In order to keep the lines of communication open between evangelical renewal groups and the Council of Bishops, a gathering of representatives from both entities will take place in Chicago on October 21, 2011. This is a follow-up meeting to one that took place two years ago.
In November 2009, leaders of the renewal groups within the UM Church met with the Bishops’ Unity Task Force to share their concerns about the unity of the church and how the Church can move forward in mission together. The same task force of Bishops had previously met with a group representing the Reconciling Movement and the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA).
The evangelical leaders spoke with the Bishops about (1) the theological differences that divide the church; (2) events at General Conference that have caused concern; and (3) activities and decisions outside of General Conference by United Methodist leaders that have created divisions rather than unity.
Good News President Rob Renfroe and Vice President Tom Lambrecht attended the original meeting in 2009 and both will be present for the October meeting in Chicago.
We believe that the Council of Bishops should be fully aware of the concerns of grassroots United Methodists. That is why we have created a blog that allows lay and clergy to express their hopes, beliefs, and concerns about the future of the UM Church. That future is threatened by bishops who are speaking out against the time-honored, Biblical position of our church on marriage and sexuality, by annual conferences that are encouraging the violation of our Book of Discipline, and by clergy who are promising to disobey the covenant that they had sworn to uphold.
The soul of the United Methodist Church is at stake. In this time of crisis for our church, we are having to decide whether to remain true to Scripture and the 3,000-year-old moral teachings of our faith, or cave in to a culture bent on excluding God from the public arena and making up its own standards of moral behavior.
We hope that you will utilize this site to tell us what you would like us to tell the Bishops. To participate, you can go to www.speaktothebishops.wordpress.com and add your voice. The Revs. Renfroe and Lambrecht will read your comments carefully and prayerfully consider them in formulating their conversation with the Unity Task Force in October.