United Methodist Church bishops are calling on members of the denomination to engage in respectful conversations amidst growing conflict over political, religious and justice issues in many places in our world.
In a pastoral letter released at the end of the Council of Bishops (COB) meeting at Lake Junaluska in North Carolina Nov. 10, COB President Bruce R. Ough reminded the members that the UMC was a Church which is diverse in its theological understanding of Scripture and Christ’s call in our lives.
“Conflict and differing opinions, a natural part of the human and faith experience, come in a variety of forms. We are called to address our differences with authenticity and respectful conversations which enrich our understanding of God and of one another,” Bishop Ough said.
The bishops reminded United Methodists about Ephesians 4:1-2 which admonishes us “to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church
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The models come to the bishops from the Commission on a Way Forward, which has the task of trying to find a way for the church to stay together despite deep divides over homosexuality.
The bishops have been meeting in closed session Nov. 6-9 to discern whether the commission is heading in the right direction. The bishop-appointed commission has three more meetings planned early next year, and the bishops do not plan to develop any final recommendations until May 2018. Read more…
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United Methodist bishops find themselves “off the map” as they try to navigate a way forward through the church’s impasse over the practice of homosexuality and whether it is acceptable among those entering or engaged in ordained ministry and marriage.
At the UMC Council of Bishops meeting in Lake Junaluska, N.C., Bishop Bruce R. Ough, council president, compared his colleagues to early American pioneering explorers, as the bishops struggle to navigate through the denomination’s mountainous moral challenge. He spoke as the bishops were about to embark on discussing the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. Read more…