Uniting Resources

articles and reflections about our path to unity

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Watch videos from the Uniting Methodists conferences, stories from pastors and leaders in our denomination, and presentations on the importance of unity for the continuing ministry of The United Methodist Church.

Articles & Reflections

Living and Dreaming Together

by Bishop Bruce R. Ough. This post was originally a letter sent to the Minnesota Annual Conference. Grace and peace to you in name of the risen Christ! I echo the words of the apostle Paul as I greet you: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers...

An Open Book Process

As followers of the One who promised, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32), we eagerly seek the truth. We are deeply concerned that any possible irregular or unethical actions in delegate elections, preparations, credentialing, or...

Statement from Michigan Clergy

Bishop David Bard, We, the undersigned Deacons, Elders, and Local Pastors of the Michigan Conference, are called in this moment in the life of The United Methodist Church to offer you this open pastoral letter. You have shared publicly that you find it difficult...

Ordinary People with an Extraordinary God

by Pastor Gary Weaver and Pastor Anna Layman Knox, Camp Hill United Methodist Church, Camp Hill, PA Dear Siblings in Christ, Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ. Earlier this week the Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist...

Pastoral Statement to Anniston FUMC

by Rev. Dale Clem, North Alabama Conference It’s hard for me to put into words what I’m feeling about General Conference. First, I hope I can respond rather than react.  Reacting is emotional, spontaneous, and allows venting without first processing.  We have all...

Continuing to Regard Each Other Equally

by Rev. John P. Feagins and Rev. Raquel C. Feagins Beloved in Christ, Over the past few days, several members of our La Trinidad community have been attending the 2019 Called General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Around 850 delegates gathered from across the...

The Living, Breathing Body of Christ

by Britt Skarda senior pastor of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, Little Rock, Arkansas Dear PHUMC Family, As I write this message to you from General Conference in St Louis, I know that many of you are disappointed and saddened by the decisions that have been...

Holy Resistance

by The German Executive Committee The Special Session of the General Conference adopted at its meeting in St. Louis the Traditional Plan. This upholds the current stance of the Book of Discipline on homosexuality; moreover, it demands consistent application with...

Andinkra and the One Church Model

by Rev. Mike Baughman There is a West African symbol called the Andinkra. It’s a Siamese crocodile with two heads and two tails. It looks an awful lot like a cross. The story goes that the two heads of this one organism are prone to snapping at one another. Because...

Easter

by Rev. Don Underwood, Senior Pastor at Christ UMC in Plano, TX Easter comes late this year. April 21 to be exact. But it is not too late to be thinking about the resurrection. Additionally, it is part of our great worship tradition that every Sunday is a mini-Easter...

A Statement on the UMC Special General Conference

by David McAllister-Wilson, President of Wesley Theological Seminary As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.Joshua 24:15 I have returned from the General Conference of The United Methodist Church in St. Louis on the Mississippi River. It may seem from news...

Dean Jan Love Offers Thoughts on General Conference

by Dean Jan Love, in an email to the Candler School of Theology community Dear members of the Candler community: I write to you from the St. Louis Special Session of the General Conference with a very heavy heart. I apologize in advance that this is a long message....

I Speak Against the Traditional Plan

by Jeremy Troxler, General Conference Delegate, Spruce Pine UMC I rise to speak against what is referred to as the "Traditional" Plan, not because it is traditional, but because it is NOT. This plan's approach is contrary to the generous, grace-filled spirit and...

Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi’s Call to Prayer

by Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi Grace and peace to you. I greet you in the name and with the love of Jesus Christ. In preparation for the 2019 Special Called Session of the General Conference, the Commission on a Way Forward worked with great integrity and faith. As an...

Reflections from Bishop Sally Dyck

by Bishop Sally Dyck Dear Friends and Members of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference: The long-awaited Special Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in St. Louis, Mo., has finished its work. The three days were very painful for people...

Bishop Farr’s Words for the Missouri Annual Conference

by Bishop Robert D. Farr Dear Friends, I want to apologize for the hurt on all sides of this special session of General Conference. As a Bishop of the Church, I am concerned for all of our clergy and laity, regardless of their opinions. We knew the special session...

A Letter from Bishop Cynthia Harvey

by Bishop Cynthia Harvey, President Designate of the Council of Bishops Greetings Louisiana Conference, The Special Session of General Conference has come to an end in St. Louis and I would like to update you on what happened and what we can expect. After much...

Bishop Carter Comments on the Special Session

by Ken Carter, Resident Bishop of the Florida Conference and President of the Council of Bishops Dear Florida Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Some are grateful for the results of the Special Session. And others sought a different outcome. All of this will take some...

A Pastoral Letter Following General Conference 2019

by Brett Opalinski, Christ Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Christ Church family and friends, The special General Conference of the United Methodist Church, in St. Louis, has concluded. As a wise person said to me on Saturday night at our special prayer service for...

And Yet, There is Change

by Rev. Teresa G. Welborn, District Superintendent of the Capital District in Austin, Texas I’m heading home to Austin from General Conference. I want to share a few words - especially to the laity and clergy of the Capital District. It has been a rough few days. Some...

We Are People of Grace

by Juan Carlos Huertas, Lead Pastor at Grace Community in Shreveport, Louisana Sisters and Brothers, After much deliberation and work the delegates at the 2019 Special Session of General Conference have approved the Traditional Plan. I join you in grieving this...

Charting a New Way Forward

by Pastor Justin Coleman, University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina On Sunday, February 17, we shared information in worship and held a Town Hall meeting so that you could learn about a United Methodist Church’s denomination-wide Special...

All Are Welcome to Pursue Christian Ministry

by Greg Jones, Dean of Duke Divinity School Dear Members of the Board of Visitors and National Alumni Council,
  Duke Divinity School is a seminary of the United Methodist Church (UMC), and on Tuesday, February 26, the UMC passed legislation that affirms the...

The Witness of the Church

by Luke Edwards, Pastor of Boone UMC, King Street Campus My personal reflections on the United Methodist General Conference: Friends, it’s too early to tell what will happen to the United Methodist Church. We will know much more by Easter when the Judicial Council...

A Commitment of Non-Discrimination Towards LGBTQ Persons

by Neil B. Blair, President of Saint Paul School of Theology Dear Saint Paul Community,  As most of you know, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church met in St. Louis the past four days. The purpose was for elected General Conference delegates from...

God Brings Light in Darkness

by Pastor Dan Bryant, Lakewood United Methodist Church in Lakewood, Ohio Sitting on the other side of the GC 2019 actions that clearly have “untied” The United Methodist Church, I am reminded that God is with us. Standing in prayer as the vote for the One Church Plan...

A Letter to My Fellow United Methodists

by Wil Cantrell Dear Fellow United Methodists, In 1972, we realized we had significant differences of opinion on homosexuality within the United Methodist Church. Thankfully, John Wesley was not naïve enough to think the people called Methodists would never experience...

2019 General Conference Update

by Pastor Laura Ledford Dear Saints, As you may have read or heard about, a special called session of the United Methodist Church’s General Conference gathered this week in St. Louis. The General Conference is the “deciding body” of our denomination, made up of...

Niner United

by Stephen Cheyney, UNC Charlotte Campus Ministry Niner United is UNC Charlotte’s Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and United Methodist campus ministry. Today I want to talk with you about the United Methodist part. Niner United was founded in 1965 by the Methodist...

I Remain Committed

by Rev. Bradley Laurvick, Highlands United Methodist Church in NW Denver As a United Methodist, as a pastor, as a child of God, I remain committed to our call to build a home where all belong. Never has it been more important for loving, inclusive United Methodists to...

A Pastoral Word of Love

by Rev. Magrey deVega, Senior Pastor at Hyde Park United Methodist in Tampa, FL Dear Hyde Park Family, With the close of yesterday’s special General Conference in St. Louis, I’d like to give you an update on its outcome, and share with you a pastoral word of love to...

Respond, Don’t React

by Rev. Andy Call, Lead Pastor at Church of the Saviour, United Methodist in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Dear members and friends of Church of the Saviour, I find it difficult to find words to adequately capture what I am feeling today, much less how to interpret the...

General Conference Recap

by Hilary Marchbanks Dear Church, Six of us from Saint John's have spent the past several days at the United Methodist called General Conference in St. Louis, participating in prayer and worship, watching our general conference delegates decide the church’s current...

The Denomination Remains Divided on this Issue

by Clayton Oliphint Dear FUMCR Family, I have just arrived home from the Special Session of General Conference in St. Louis, addressing issues of ordination and marriage of those in the gay community. By a margin of 53% to 47% the conference approved the Traditional...

God Is Still Creating Something New

by Oak Lawn United Methodist Church Staff Greetings Oak Lawn Family: We are here in Saint Louis on the final day of this special called general conference. It’s been an emotional week— as many of you have seen. The One Church Plan did not pass in legislative session...

Our Doors Are Open

by Rev. Carol Cavin-Dillon Dearest Members of the West End UMC Family, The General Conference in St. Louis has come to an end. I know that many of you were watching over livestream or keeping up on Twitter and Facebook, but I want to summarize for all of us what was...

People of Sacred Worth

by Carl Frazier, Martha McLean, Heather Herrin Wong, Ben Adams Grace to you and peace from our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. By now, you may have heard that the special session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church has completed its work. The...

Our Spiritual Crisis

by Rev. Don Underwood, Senior Pastor at Christ UMC in Plano, TX, and clergy delegate to General Conference David Brooks of the New York Times pointed out earlier this week that approximately 47,000 Americans will die this year by suicide, and another 72,000 by drug...

On Being Counter-Cultural

by Rev. Andy Call, a Pastor in the East Ohio Conference A number of people have spoken to me recently about their views on what the United Methodist Church should do regarding human sexuality and their hopes for the outcome...

Preparing our Hearts and Minds for General Conference 2019

By Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church. This was originally published as a letter to the Dakotas and Minnesota Conferences. Friends in Christ in the Dakotas-Minnesota Area, I greet you in the grace, peace and unity of our Lord...

United Methodist Colleges and the One Church Plan

by Rev. Allen Stanton, Executive Director of the Turner Center at Martin Methodist College in Tennessee Not-so-deep into the debates leading up to the 2019 General Conference is a back and forth around what to do with our institutions, as the value of our...

Try a Little Tenderness

by Ashley Crowder Stanley, a Clergy Delegate from Western North Carolina Annual Conference Tears were close all day on Sunday for me. I had preached on the inclusive love of Jesus for those who will follow and serve him. As I prepare to go as a delegate to...

Only God Can Save Us Now

by Dr. Stephen Long, Professor of Ethics at Southern Methodist University Recently, a conservative Methodist leader used my own words written in 2003 against the article I wrote about my son in 2019. I was not informed that this was going to happen and I find the...

What a New UM Survey Really Tells Us

by David Livingston You may want to look at this survey that UM Communications commissioned. Right off the bat two shortcomings should be noted. First, with only a little more than 500 respondents it's hard to know how accurate it is. A statistician I am...

Looking for Nicodemus

I am responding to Dr. Maxie Dunnam’s “Open Letter” from the Confessing Movement newsletter. I greatly respected Maxie from a distance before I quickly grew to love him through being introduced by my mentor Dr. Bill Hinson. Maxie’s letter reminded me of their close...

A Plea for Courage, Faith & Love at General Conference

by Rev. James Howell, Senior Pastor of Myers Park United Methodist Church As I’m packing to go to St. Louis for General Conference, my mood oscillates. Part of me feels like Caleb and Joshua, acknowledging there are giants in the land but also surprising, sumptuous...

Freedom and Connectionalism – The Wesleyan Way!

by Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey (Retired), Lake Junaluska, NC One of the primary issues at stake in the upcoming United Methodist General Conference is our nature as a “connectional” church. Careful exploration of the nature and practice of connectionalism in our...

One Church Plan – Impacts on Clergy

by David Livingston, Pastor of St. Paul’s UMC in Lenexa, KS Getting the Facts Straight As the Special Session of General Conference draws close, it is especially important for all delegates and interested United Methodists to gain as clear as possible a sense of the...

Looking Ahead with Urgency

Uniting Methodists Suggestions for the Special Session of General Conference in St. Louis – February 23-26, 2019 Now is the time to move forward with purpose, determination, and hope.  The One Church Plan comes to The UMC through the faithful work of the...

One Church Plan Receives Additional Support

Joining with the many others speaking about their hope for the future of The United Methodist Church as the special called session of General Conference draws near, a group of John Wesley Fellows has issued the statement below. Speaking for the group Drs. Rebekah...

Ordination and Connectionalism in the One Church Plan

by Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey (Retired) In what is arguably one of the most significant rulings ever made by the United Methodist Judicial Council, virtually all of the One Church Plan proposed to the upcoming special session of the General Conference was ruled to...

Why Scripture Compels Me to Favor the One Church Plan

by Rev. Dr. James C. Howell As we come to this lovely season when we dig into the Scriptures, which Martin Luther called “the swaddling clothes in which Christ is laid,” I want to share why my commitments and devotion to the Bible compel me to be a Uniting Methodist...

Making Space for Love, Joy, Peace…

Dear Friends, Psalm 132 captures David’s desire to build “a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One.” (Psalm 132:4-5) One of the challenges in our media-saturated, 24-hour-cable-connected, Facebook-Twitter-addicted culture is to create space for God...

One Church Plan ‘could unite diverse denomination’

The Rev. Tom Berlin, lead pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, was a member of the Commission on a Way Forward and submitted the One Church Plan legislation to General Conference. Berlin spoke with UM News as part of "Seeing a Way Forward," a...

Carter: “One Church Plan creates a home for everyone”

Bishop Kenneth H. Carter Jr., episcopal leader of the Florida Conference and president of the Council of Bishops, also served as a moderator for the Commission on a Way Forward. He shares some concerns he’s heard and talks about the effect the three plans might have...

Uniting Methodists Thank African Bishops

The Coordinating Team for Uniting Methodists expressed appreciation for the leadership of the African Bishops of The United Methodist Church after reading their statement released after a September 3 – 7 meeting in Sierra Leone.  Commenting on the bishops’ statement,...

On Uniting Methodists: Is Scripture Authoritative?

by Scott Gilliland I had the pleasure of being on the host team for the Uniting Methodists “Room for All” Conference held at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas in July. We were incredibly thankful to have such an inspiring and important event on our campus....

One Church Plan Comparison Chart

The One Church Plan provides a generous unity that gives conferences, churches and pastors unique flexibility to reach their missional context without disbanding the connectional nature of The United Methodist Church. In the One Church Plan, no annual conferences,...

“Taking the Bible Seriously”

Tyron Inbody, the long-time professor of theology at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, was fond of saying to his students: “Let me grant you for a moment that the Bible is word-for-word the perfect and precise words and thoughts of God.” His comments were...

Homosexuality & The Church

One of the key questions central to the discussions around the future of The United Methodist Church pertains to the authority of Scripture. In this essay, renowned New Testament scholar Luke Timothy Johnson grapples with that issue. How can the church both maintain...

Commission’s Legislative Proposals

The report of the Commission on a Way Forward and the related legislative proposals are now posted publicly on the Judicial Council website. Uniting Methodists strongly support the One Church Plan which the majority of both the Commission and the Council of Bishops...

Annual Conferences Discuss One Church Plan

by Jim Harnish The United Methodist News Service headline was correct: “Annual conferences mixed on bishops' plan.” If you were watching the debate on resolutions and counting votes in favor of or opposed to the One Church Plan in the annual conferences, you’d be...

A Way Forward

by Bishop Robert Schnase (originally posted on the Rio Texas Conference blog, en español aquí and used by permission) Dear Friends, Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Two weeks ago, the Council of Bishops received the final report from the...

Uniting Methodists Respond to the Judicial Council Decision

The Judicial Council has ruled that ¶ 507 of The Book of Discipline 2016 presumptively allows any United Methodist group or person to submit a legislative petition for consideration at the called special session of General Conference scheduled for February 2019, but...

“I Believe I Am Being Led By The Holy Spirit”

This resource is an abbreviated version of a longer booklet written by Rev. Dr. Adolf Hansen. As Dr. Hansen describes in the booklet's addendum, this version demonstrates "one way United Methodist laity and clergy might carry out their responsibilities if the proposed...

How Will We Be Known?

by Rev. Dr. William O. (Bud) Reeves I’m going to go out on a limb here. The Commission on the Way Forward, the group established by the Council of Bishops at General Conference in 2016, is presenting a final report to the Council, who will then present a proposal to a...

Happy Birthday… and how many more?

by John E. Harnish April 23, 1968… Dallas, Texas. That was the day the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church came together to become the United Methodist Church. The day was marked with high hopes and bold dreams about how these two denominations...

The Offspring of a Prayer Vigil

by Rob Fuquay https://vimeo.com/252189949 In the early 1700s, a group of Moravians were fleeing from threats. They went to Germany where they heard of a wealthy Moravian named Count Zinzendorf, and they asked if he would donate land to them where they could live in...

A “Fixed and Free” Romans 14 Church (Perspectives 4)

by Scott Gilliland This past week, the local church I serve, Lovers Lane UMC, hosted a gathering of area clergy and lay leaders interested in learning more about a movement called "Uniting Methodists." Leading the presentation and ensuing discussion were Rev. Rachel...

The Inevitability of Kinship (Perspectives 3)

by Justin Kelly Coleman One of my favorite hymns is "O God in Heaven." I love the rich language and Trinitarian theology the hymn expresses so plainly. I'm particularly drawn to a phrase in the third stanza that I don't recall being in any other hymn: "sealed in our...

Willing to Relocate? (Perspectives 2)

by Melissa Maher "Are you willing to relocate?" This question came as a surprise during the ordination process. As a candidate for elder in The UMC, I was expecting the usual theological questions. But am I willing to move? My response was, “Sure. If the bishop and...

Resolved to Love… United to Serve (Perspectives 1)

by James A. Harnish A bronze plaque on the wall of one of the oldest buildings on the campus of Asbury University proclaims the words of my alma mater’s most famous graduate, E. Stanley Jones: “Here we enter a fellowship. Sometimes we will agree to differ; always we...

Uniting Methodists Conference Videos

These videos are the primary lectures and conversation starters from the Uniting Methodists Conference at Impact Church from November 2017. Conference Opening & Greeting Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson https://vimeo.com/247821607/bff704559d Opening Worship Jasmine...

What’s at Stake when Schism is an Option?

by Lovett H. Weems, Jr. United Methodists are facing major decisions about our legacy and future in the coming months and years. Myriad actions taken over many past years have set up a classic win/lose situation, particularly regarding human sexuality, quite common in...

Uniting Conference Lecture Notes

Dr. David N. Field is a United Methodist living in Switzerland where he serves as the Academic Coordinator for the Methodist e-Academy. He is author of the Bid Our Jarring Conflicts Cease: A Wesleyan Theology and Praxis of Church Unity (Foundery Books, 2017) and Our...

Uniting Methodists Hold Uniting Conference in Atlanta

Nearly 300 United Methodists gathered in person and were joined by over 50 online sites around the world as the Uniting Methodists movement met November 13-14 at Impact UMC in Atlanta. The Rev. Olu Brown, lead pastor at Impact, led the planning team and convened the...

Unity Begins in Baptism

by Sarah Heaner Lancaster The unity of the church begins in baptism. When we are made one with Christ, we are also in Christ made one with each other. This is the fundamental unity given to us by God. It is our job to respond to this gift by making our unity in Christ...

Methodism Is An Experiment In Grace

by David McAllister-Wilson What is essential to us as United Methodists? What is our DNA? It is not the Book of Discipline; and, it is not that we are “open” or “connectional.” John Wesley is oft quoted as saying it was possible that the Methodists might only “exist...

Why I Am Committed to the Unity of the UMC (Part 2)

by David N. Field Unity, Centrism, and the Incarnation After some delay I now come to my second of what was intended as a four-part series. (The series will probably be longer.) People committed to a renewed form of institutional unity for the UMC in the context of...

Why I Am Committed to the Unity of the UMC (Part 1)

by David N. Field The Significance of Visible Unity As the work of the UMC’s Commission on the Way Forward moves to an increasingly crucial stage and I reflect on my own involvement in the Commission the inescapable question that I need to face is: Why am I committed...

Where Covenant, Justice and Unity Meet

by Ken Carter This fall I have used a simple drawing of three circles to portray something of where we are as a church in the present moment. The three circles are covenant, justice and unity. Covenantal people greatly value the promises we have made to God and to...

Uniting Methodists is a movement rather than an organization. As a movement we are striving for greater inclusion and genuine representation in pursuit of shared goals. The statements found on this website represent our current consensus about important questions before the church. We invite suggestions, critique, and engaging conversations from persons across the UMC. The Uniting Methodists Leadership Team views this work as iterative and certain to be added to and enhanced over time.

* Uniting Methodists is a not-for-profit movement made up of members of The United Methodist Church and is not associated in any way with Room for All, Inc., an LGBTQ advocacy organization in the Reformed Church in America.

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