A weekly newsletter from United Methodist Church of Lenox
Rev. Nami Yu, Pastor
Notes from our Pastor
Bishop Kenneth H. Carter reflects on journey to GC2020
Bishop Kenneth H. Carter has held multiple roles during a time of great stress in The United Methodist Church. The Florida Conference bishop was one of three moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward, the 32-member panel charged with finding ways through the denomination’s deep divide on homosexuality.
Since May 2018, he has been president of the Council of Bishops. In that role, he saw the special General Conference adopt, by a 438-384 vote, the Traditional Plan that reinforces policies against “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy and same-sex weddings. A majority of bishops had backed the One Church Plan, another plan to emerge from the commission’s work that would have left questions of ordination up to conferences and weddings up to individual clergy and congregations.
He’ll pass the president’s gavel to Louisiana Conference Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey at the 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis.
In a conversation with UM News, he reflected on his time on the commission, on reaction to the special General Conference 2019 and on expectations for General Conference 2020. UM News: What do you think the Commission on a Way Forward now means to the church? Bishop Carter: As I look back, the contribution of the commission was how to do conciliar work with a global body around LGBTQ identity and practice and the unity of the church. (It) included some of the most progressive people in our 12 million-member denomination; some of the most traditional conservative persons who live in countries where this is against the law, where they had great courage just to speak about it; persons in the U.S. church who were simply thinking about how is this going to affect the local church. And I think they did good work. In the end, I think it provides a foundation for further work. UM News: What do you make of the responses to the special General Conference both in the U.S. and the central conferences? Carter: I preached in three successive churches the next three weeks in Florida — Ft. Myers, Clearwater, Jupiter. And I found increasingly that many people felt like they needed to create a counternarrative, to say, but that’s not who I am, or that’s not who our church is in the U.S.
Now many people were in favor of the outcome. Many traditionalists were. I found that they needed a great deal of, at times, pastoral care. They just felt like they were the object of this response, this emotionally intensive response.
And then many LGBTQ persons and some who talked to me were wondering: Do I have a future in the church? Can I go through the candidacy process for ministry? UM News: In May, the Council of Bishops affirmed the Connectional Table’s proposal of a U.S. regional conference to deal with U.S.-only matters. Can you tell me about that conversation? Carter: This really came as a gift from bishops in the central conferences to us, who said, “We have the gift of being able to adapt the Book of Discipline into our culture. And we believe that it’s only fair that the U.S. is able to do the same thing.”
As you know, we would not want to call ourselves a central conference because of the history of Central Jurisdiction, the segregation in the U.S. according to race. But the idea is that as a U.S. regional conference we can focus more on our context. …
So, you’re right. We did endorse that and we see that as one way, one pathway, toward a more vital church future. UM News: This summer, most U.S. annual conferences elected a new slate of General Conference delegates. What lessons do you take away from this summer’s annual conference season? Carter: I think there was a generational shift in leadership. I saw that in many annual conferences, that there was a desire for younger persons to be at the table and to give voice to the church they love.
I have often felt that a lot of the heat in our church was generated by (and I’ll say myself) people my age and older. …
A person in their 60s and 70s and 80s can’t say, “I’m tired of living in this house; I want to sell it and divide it up and we’ll live in two houses.”
What I hear younger people saying, laity and clergy, is: “This is our house. This is the house I grew up in and I want it to be the kind of house we can live in, so don’t burn it down.”
For the entire interview, please go to this link
As the first Stewardship Sunday, in place of a sermon, parishioner Nancy Gleason will give a Testimony. This Sunday communion will be celebrated during the worship service. Come and be filled with the Holy Spirit! Everyone is WELCOME!
This Saturday our church will be hosting the resource day for our district. All of you are invited!! The lunch will be provided.
“Resource Day: Rev. Ryan Dunn” Internal Church Communications (morning session)
Church leaders will gain the tips, tools and techniques they need to create a holistic communication plan tailored for their congregation. Participants will learn about consistent messaging, effective email communications, interpersonal relationships, and working with volunteers.
Church Marketing (afternoon session)
Leaders will begin a journey to build and implement a strategic marketing plan for their church. They will explore the planning process, branding standards, and various ways their church can effectively reach individuals and make an impact in their community.
Our 5th annual “Holiday Craft Connection” is fast approaching. Less than a month away, Saturday November 23, 2019 from 9am – 3pm! We have 36 vendors participating in the event this year! A great time to start your holiday shopping!!
The church will not be having it’s own craft table this year, however there are still plenty of opportunities to participate in the event. We will need holiday baked goods to sell at our “Heavenly Homemade Pies and Breads” booth, cookies for the “Holiday Cookie Walk”, gift baskets for the “Silent Auction”, and as always lots of helping hands to assist the day of the event.
Sign up sheets are in fellowship hall.
The craft fair has been our largest annual funding raising event, raising close to $6,000 each year. Please consider helping to make it a success again this year.
For more information contact any member of the Hospitality Committee (Nancy Gleason, Laurie Sturma, Laurie Kropkowski, Shirley Perkins, Judy Rufo, Judy Upton, Mary Lou Nutbrown, Lois Hill, Lisa Turner).
Save the date!
This year's Ecumenical
will be held
Sunday, November 24 at 4 p.m.
at the Church on the Hill