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Update on the UMC from Rev. Melanie

 

Friends of First Church:

 

I wanted to update you on recent efforts to find an inclusive and welcoming way forward for our United Methodist Church.  I have been working with other Mountain Sky Conference leaders to bring two petitions to Annual Conference in Billings, MT next month.  These petitions state our strong intention not to abide by the punitive and prohibitive policies of the Traditionalist Plan that was passed by General Conference in February and taking effect in January 2020.  They guide us to work with other like-minded people to build an inclusive church, as we welcome all people into our faith communities.  These petitions state our support for all clergy, regardless of sexual orientation and support and protection of those clergy who choose to conduct same-sex weddings.  

 

Additionally, more than 600 United Methodist leaders from across the country met last week to name some possibilities and preferred outcomes for all of those centrists, moderates and progressives who strongly resist the Traditionalist Plan.  Three options have been considered:  

 

1.  To negotiate the dissolution of the UMC in order to form two or three new denominations,

2.  To create a pathway for centrists and progressives to depart and form a new denomination,

3.  To stay in the denomination and resist the Traditionalist Plan. 

 

I know that the Mountain Sky Conference will seek a better way forward, which might include the formation of a new and fully inclusive expression of Methodism in our area.   We still are not clear about next steps, but one thing is perfectly clear—the majority of United Methodists in the United States oppose and resist the oppressive Traditionalist Plan and will not tolerate it going forward.  First Church will not change our radically inclusive welcome and love for all of God’s children, no exceptions.  I am thankful for each of you and your commitment to our church—it matters now more than ever.

 

Dr. Melanie Rosa



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