Following worship on Sunday, May 19, 2019, you’re invited to join us for a discussion of the United Methodist Church Judicial Council’s latest ruling on the Traditional Plan and talk about how Paradise Valley United Methodist Church is planning to stay true to our vision to have a “love that crosses all barriers and embraces all people.” We are considering joining the Reconciling Ministries Network to show others we care about our LGBTQ+ siblings and are fully inclusive.
Meetings will be held in the sanctuary after the 9:30 am worship service at 10:45 am and in the chapel at noon after the 11 am Ignite Modern worship service. Choose one forum to attend. Clergy and Church Council leaders will guide the discussion. After a brief summary of where we are now and where we might be a year from now, you will be invited to ask questions. There are many unknowns at this point, but we will do our best to respond to concerns. We want to hear from you and make sure your voice is heard as we make decisions about how to navigate our future as PVUMC.
Bishop Robert Hoshibata of the United Methodist Church Desert Southwest Conference shared a letter with us on April 27, 2019. In it, he says,
“Yesterday, the Judicial Council announced their ruling. In their decision, they determined that some of the petitions of the Traditional Plan were constitutional while others were ruled unconstitutional, and a petition related to a plan for churches to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church was ruled constitutional. Those petitions ruled constitutional will go into effect on January 1, 2020, in the United States. In Africa, Europe, and the Philippines they take effect twelve months after the next General Conference. The petition on a gracious exit goes into effect immediately. You may review the Judicial Council’s decisions at http://bit.ly/JCR1378 and at http://bit.ly/JCR1379. An explanation of both rulings is at http://bit.ly/UMNSApr26.”
He continues, “This news is being received with joy by some and with deep despair by others. Clearly, we remain a deeply divided church about matters related to the inclusion of our LGBTQIA siblings in the church, the community, and the world. We are conflicted about how we hold each other accountable and how we move into the future, perhaps united and together or perhaps divided and apart. I am moved by many conversations I have had with persons of solid faith and character representing the whole theological spectrum who have shared that although we think differently, we can and should work together in unity of mission for the sake of our call by Jesus Christ. But from others, I am also seeing and feeling the excitement and perhaps the inevitability of something new and exciting emerging from the rubble of The United Methodist Church.
At this moment, no one knows what our future is going to be. There are many conversations taking place in different groups and among various leaders throughout the world.” — Bishop Bob Hoshibata (You can read his letter in its entirety on the Conference website.)
As the Bishop says, “no one knows what our future is going to be,” but we invite you to find a way forward with us. We are restarting a conversation here at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church to reiterate what we’ve said in the past and uphold the statement we made two years ago, which you can read on our Welcome page. Read more about the Church Council’s decision in the spring of 2017 to approve the invitational statement.
When the UMC Special General Conference met in St Louis, MO, February 23-27, 2019, bishops and delegates of The United Methodist Church met to review and act on the report from the Commission on a Way Forward.
Here’s what happened: http://www.umc.org/topics/general-conference-2019-special-session.
Nearly two months ago, Bishop Bob, laity and clergy from across our conference gathered in worship as a community to affirm our shared vision and values. Called Together by Grace: One Body was held in four different locations: three in Arizona and one in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, March 2, 2019. Bishop Bob shared a message of hope and unity even as he talked about the disappointing passage of the Traditional Plan over the One Church Plan at the special session of the 2019 General Conference.
The Bishop invited us then to read Colossians 3:12-17 and to be in prayer that God’s spirit will be present in moments of grace, reconciliation, faith, love, and hope.
“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.”
Let us go forth in thanks for our church and for God’s continued presence with us. Hope to see you on Sunday, May 19, 2019.