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The United Methodist Church is facing a difficult season. We are in the midst of uncertainty and confusion regarding the future of the denomination and our local church affiliation with the United Methodist Church. This page is dedicated to helping us to make a prayerful, well-informed, decision for the future of our local church. Please read through all the information on this page and return regularly as we will be updating the page throughout this month of discernment. Here is a link to the letter/email we sent out describing the full discernment process: Our Discernment Process!
Were you not able to make one of our Town Hall Meetings? We are placing videos of the presentations here so you can catch up with what's been presented, or come back to watch again, etc . . .
Below the videos will be a link to the questions and answers from that Town Hall session.
Below are the links to the questions and answers from each of our Town Hall meetings. We will upload them the morning after the Town Hall meeting. Q/A from Town Hall #4 are on the video instead of written out.
Download the Prayer Guides:
Week 4 Prayer Guide here: Prayer Guide!
Week 3 Prayer Guide here: Prayer Guide!
Week 2 Prayer Guide here: Prayer Guide!
Week 1 Prayer Guide here: Prayer Guide!
also, you can download the Guide to Fasting.
We begin with prayer and fasting. Please be in prayer for this whole process. Please be in prayer for wisdom and guidance from the Lord. Decisions like the one we will consider, as difficult and heartbreaking as it may be, also give us the opportunity to lean more fully into God’s presence. Ask the Holy Spirit to be fully present with us; to open our hearts and minds to His direction for His Church; to give us attitudes of love, care, and respect, especially when we disagree on important things.
We will provide a ‘Guide to Prayer & Fasting’ each Sunday morning throughout August. Make a commitment now to use that guide and pray every day for this decision. Also, make a commitment to join together in our ‘Night of Prayer’ on August 28th as we seek God’s guidance together.
Further, try fasting as a spiritual discipline this month. You may skip a meal, give up coffee, or an hour of TV, or social media time, whatever works for you, and replace that time with prayer! Give it a try! Fasting is a time honored way of seeking God’s guidance.
To get started you can look at the ‘Transitions Pathways’ section of the NWTX Conference webpage: https://www.nwtxconf.org/transition and pay attention to the two videos at the bottom of that page that present opposing views on denominational affiliation, as well as all the other information presented on that site.
I also recommend you watch a series of videos produced by Rev. Rob Renfro, the president of the Good News Movement called “Differences that Divide.” Renfro presents a good overview of the situation from a conservative perspective. Each video is between 10 and 16 minutes in length. Here is the link to those videos: https://www.youtube.com/c/GoodNewsMethodist/featured
From the 'Conservative' Side:
The question was asked at one of our Town Hall meetings for a resource of Traditionalist views regarding the conflict and division with the UMC. The best resource is found at Dr. Chris Ritter's website https://peopleneedjesus.net where he maintains a 'database' of conservative opinions and perspective. He also provides space for counter-arguments to the positions of the more Centrist or Progressive viewpoints. Pay special attention to the section titled, 'UMC Fallout; a Compendium.'
Many of you have asked about the Global Methodist Church. The GMC website is here: Global Methodist Church all the information about the GMC is there! You can also download their "Transitional Book of Doctrines and Discipline" and read through it as well.
From the 'Centrist/Progressive' Side:
Here is a link to a webinar hosted by the Abilene District Superintendent Rev. Felicia Hopkins with Pastor Adam Hamilton from The Church of The Resurrection UMC in Kansas City, and Pastor John Stephens of Chapelwood UMC in Houston. Hamilton and Stephens represent the Centrist viewpoint; Hamilton from a slightly 'left-leaning' perspective and Stephens from a slightly 'right-leaning' perspective. In this webinar they make a case for remaining in the UMC regardless of our differences around theology, governance, and ethics. Fair warning, the video is and hour and a half: WEBINAR VIDEO
August 7: Morning: Distribute Weekly Prayer Guides
Evening: 5pm, Town Hall #1: “How we got here; the history of it all.”
August 8: Morning: Video released and all church letter
August 14: Morning: Distribute Weekly Prayer Guides
Evening: 5pm, Town Hall #2: “Understanding the Perspectives”
August 15: Morning: Video released and all church letter
August 21: Morning: Distribute Weekly Prayer Guides
Evening: 5pm, Town #3: “Where do we go from here?”
August 22: Morning: Video released and all church letter
August 24: Evening: 7pm, Town Hall #4: “Presentation by NWTX Conference Rep.”
August 28: Morning: Distribute Weekly Prayer Guides
Evening: 5pm, All Church Night of Prayer!
August 31: Evening: 7:15pm, Church Conference for Vote