At Table: United Methodists Seeking a Way Forward Retreat Information
The work of the Commission on the Way Forward is on the minds of many if not most United Methodists. The questions we have about their upcoming proposal and the subsequent response of the called General Conference in early 2019 are causing anxiety throughout our connection. Lay and clergy leaders are looking for assistance in navigating this challenge.
With the blessing of Bishop McAlilly, a group of clergy representing:
- the Methodist House of Studies at Memphis Theological Seminary,
- our Orders of Elders and Deacons and Fellowships of Local Pastors (in both conferences)
- the Turner Center for Church Leadership and
- the Boards of Ordained Ministry (in both conferences)
is designing a retreat to explore the issues and concerns pastors, laity and local churches have regarding the Commission’s work. This retreat, At Table: UMs Seeking a Way Forward, focuses on assisting pastors and lay leaders in discerning how to help their churches navigate the numerous issues related to the Commission’s work.
The desired outcomes of this retreat are threefold:
- to experience and model healthy and helpful conversation on the issues facing us.
- to share imagination and techniques for conversations in our local churches.
- to review the latest information on the Commission’s work and the schedule of events leading to the called General Conference.
Memphis Annual Conference Retreat
Date: Friday, April 13 & Saturday, April 14
Time: Friday April 13th, noon – 8:45 pm / Saturday April 14th, 8:45 am – 2:30 pm
Location: Northside UMC, 2571 N Highland Ave, Jackson, TN 38305
Tennessee Annual Conference Retreat
Date: Friday, April 20 & Saturday, April 21
Time: Friday April 20th, noon – 8:45 pm / Saturday April 21st, 8:45 am – 2:30 pm
Location: Donelson Heights UMC, 84 Fairway Dr, Nashville, TN 37214
- Way Forward Handbook
- The Anatomy of Peace, Arbinger Institute
- Leadership and Self-Deception, Arbinger Institute
- Book List (put together by the North Virginia Annual Conference)
Information on the Commission on A Way Forward
The Commission on a Way Forward was proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by the 2016 General Conference to do a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and explore options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church.
Official Updates from the UMC:
- March 23: Commission members grateful to serve, complete work on final report
- Feb. 28: Bishops see progress in unity effort, focus on 2 plans; Commission on a Way Forward clarifies values as it presents two sketches to bishops
- Jan. 30: Commission moderators emphasize mission as key to way forward
- Jan. 22, 2018: Commission on a Way Forward prepares updated report to bishops
- Nov. 10: UMC Bishops call for respectful conversations in time of uncertainty
- Nov 9: Bishops Uphold Values of Mission, United, Space, Contexuality in Interim Report
- Commission on a Way Forward drafts interim report to the bishops
- Commission on a Way Forward issues status report
- April 28: President of the Council of Bishops: Statement regarding Judicial Council decision 1341
- April 28: Judicial Council Decision 1341
- April 25, 2017: Bishops set date for special 2019 General Conference
- A letter from the Council of Bishops, April 24, 2017