May 26, 2022
For this week’s General Conference update let us encourage you to take a deep breath, enjoy this beautiful weather, and make sure you have propane for your grill this weekend! We aren’t going to hit you with any new information! It is a catch up week.
Here is a full list of what we have published so far:
- Click the following to find the video [YouTube] and letter [PDF] referencing previous communications from First United Methodist Church of Lexington about the General Conference postponement. Included is the full statement from our Administrative Council about our plans to remain United Methodist as we await the results from the General Conference.
- Click here [PDF] to view the Definitions and Frequently Asked Questions from the first General Conference update email.
- The news release from the Kentucky Annual Conference discussing the Judicial Council's ruling about Annual Conferences voting to separate from the UMC can be found here and the full decision from the Judicial Council can be found here.
- A written version of the timeline for First United Methodist Church of Lexington's time of discernment can be found here.
- The First UMC Leadership podcast can be found here and on Apple Podcasts. New episodes will be released every other week as First United Methodist Church of Lexington journeys through its time of discernment.
We would also like to share feedback. The following are three things we have been hearing. You might be asking yourself these same questions.
1. Which way does the congregation lean?
This question comes up regularly and the answer remains the same. The only place we are leaning is “on the everlasting arms” of Jesus. Go ahead…you can chuckle. There is a lot of truth in that statement too. Trying to handicap which direction the congregation will come down on any topic, much less human sexuality, is difficult. So we commit to prayer, listening, studying, and remaining curious by asking questions.
Those asking this question desire some certainty. As do we all. There are two things we can be certain about right now: PROCESS and PEOPLE. We have a timeline and are diligently working it. We have a church family who has proven faithful and we know that Christ will not let us down.
2. How will the clergy be impacted?
Both the GMC and the UMC have said clergy credentials will be honored, pensions will be secured, and appointments are based on fruitfulness. Therefore, no decision needs to hinge on what happens to the clergy. And even if it did…we would not allow our personal needs to supersede that of the congregation.
3. I’ve heard other churches have already made a decision to unite with the GMC. How did they decide by now?
It is true that we are hearing of more churches declaring their intention to align with the GMC. We are not worried or focused on what other people are doing however. Making a decision in the best interest of the First United Methodist Church of Lexington is our sole focus. Other congregations may have already had their conversations and feel ready to decide. We applaud them for that. We, however, refuse to rush the process. Carol Cooper reminds us regularly that we have chosen a slow-cooker approach not a microwave.
As always, we are available and willing to answer questions and have conversations. Next week we will send a new podcast episode so please be on the lookout.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!