Hello, friends of Danbury Community Church,
Hope this finds you well, warm and dry! It is hard to believe I have been with you for a month already. The time is so quickly moving us forward! Neill and I are thoroughly enjoying our time with you, making new friends, sharing in worship, Bible study, prayer and community ministry. It is a good thing to be walking into God’s future as it comes to us, full of grace and truth, and as we seek to move more fully and faithfully into it, trusting God is both before us and behind us, and walks beside us, every step of the way.
In the confidence of God, who is “I am,” we also step forward in faith, even though the way is not clear for The United Methodist Church after this historic week and the actions of General Conference. I am thankful for the prayers, interest and compassion I have heard you express in conversations this week about the events of the Special Session of the General Conference in St. Louis. And, I am looking forward to further conversations about what has happened, what has NOT happened, and what steps are before the denomination.
First, and foremost, you need to know, nothing has changed about The UMC or the BOOK of DISCIPLINE at this moment. Decisions made must be reviewed by the denomination’s highest court, the Judicial Council, and they do not meet until the end of April. Judicial Council’s decisions about the constitutionality of the Traditional Plan will determine what happens next. Any changes for the UMC, if and only if deemed constitutional, become effectIve until January 1, 2020.
I am including a link for a video message from Western North Carolina Bishop Paul Leeland, Rev. Kim Ingram and Jennifer Davis about the General Conference meeting. I will also share this video during Fellowship Time on Sunday, after worship, and before we go to the hospital to share Holy Communion with long-term residents there. When we return from the hospital to the Church, I will be available for a Q&A time for anyone who would like to talk further about the General Conference.
Sunday worship at 9:30 includes Holy Communion. We have a special guest, Amy Higgins, a participant in the Neighborhood Seminary program in Greensboro, who will also be with us, and share some reflections on “Who is My Neighbor?” We hope everyone can be with us for worship this week as we both lament the brokenness of the Church in its earthly expressions of denominations, and give thanks for the eternal and Universal nature of the Church which continually arises anew to better love God and neighbor, and more fully embody God’s love and grace for all people in all places at all times.
Looking forward to seeing you in worship in the morning!
Grace and peace,