When New Year’s Day rolls around, I am reminded of newly made commitments to get in better shape; to work less and play more; or I invite you to fill in the blank for 2021. Change can also come to organizations. After just fifty years of existence, it would appear that the United Methodist Church as a denomination is heading in a new direction. I will attempt to share some perspectives with you about this new direction in this and upcoming issues of PowerLines.
For a couple of decades now, the United Methodist Church has seen two different movements within the denomination arguing their particular stances concerning human sexuality. For the sake of comparison, we will refer to them as the progressives and the traditionalists. It would appear now that the differences that exist between the two are compelling enough to cause a split within the denomination. That would mean that one group would remain calling themselves United Methodists while the other group would leave the denomination and choose from a host of options that they best believe match up with their mission and congregational makeup. At this point we do not know which group will claim the United Methodist denominational name.
Let me offer a viewpoint that might help us understand why this situation needs to be resolved. The more time we spend debating and arguing about matters that divide us, the less time we have to spend focusing on strategies for making disciples for Jesus Christ. We should never forget this great commission that Jesus has called us to and that time is of the essence.
As this situation develops, I will endeavor to share updates about this paradox the United Methodist Church finds itself in. Meanwhile, our leadership will learn, discuss, and most importantly pray about how our local church in Clewiston will respond to this situation so that we can aggressively pursue our mission. We begin our 76th year of ministry in 2021.
We are planning a new roll-out of a children and youth’s ministry program called Awana. Our hope is that our current health crisis will be in our rearview mirror before too long. We continue to partner with Food For Clewiston’s Children (provides food to children on the weekends during the school year) as well as offering mental healthcare counseling and partial scholarships through Refuse to Sink. We will continue to worship together and online and Precepts Bible Study restarts in January too!
Our focus for 2021 will be to continue to fulfill the mission God has called us to; To share the good news of Jesus Christ with everyone in Clewiston and beyond for the transformation of the world. I invite you to lend your time, talents and resources to help us fulfill this mission as Christ’s church in Clewiston. We’ll stay true to our Wesleyan theological roots and look for new ways to positively impact our area and this world for Jesus Christ.
Happy New Year!!
God loves you and so do I.