June 1, 2023

Administrative Council and Kentucky Annual Conference Updates June 1, 2023

The Administrative Council met last Tuesday, May 30, to consider adopting a Theological Statement for First United Methodist Church. This was part of an on-going process of discernment about our response to General Conference 2024 and the denominational issues surrounding the United Methodist Church. I’d like to report that the Council did adopt the statement which states, in part, that we are remaining United Methodist. Communicating this to you all in this way greatly underestimates the hours of prayer, study, collaboration, and debate that has gone into this process and risks oversimplifying a robust theological work to which we truly hope you will give yourselves. The entire Theological Statement will be available next week on our website after we put the finishing touches on it. Hard copies will also be available if you prefer. Much more will be forthcoming in terms of small group studies, podcasts, and one-one-one opportunities for learning and interacting with the Theological Statement. For now, please know that Administrative Council has completed this phase of our discernment process. Thank you for your patience and thanks to the Administrative Council for their many hours of work to get us to this point!

Again, expect to see much more in the very near future. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me or visit our website page which contains everything about our discernment process. If you would like to see the document before next week, please let one of the Pastoral Lead Team know and we will be happy to send it to you.

One further thing to note, the Kentucky Annual Conference begins Sunday, June 4, in Owensboro, Kentucky. On Sunday evening, we are expecting 50% of the Methodist churches in Kentucky to formally leave the denomination through the process of disaffiliation outlined in Paragraph 2553 of the UMC Book of Discipline. As you can imagine, this will dramatically reshape Methodism in the Commonwealth. Please keep the delegates and leaders in your prayers as we do the work of the Conference.

All my best,