The Way Forward
" But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
On Monday, July 25, 2022 the Administrative Council of Northwest Hills UMC voted to call the congregation to a 6-month period of prayerful discernment regarding our future relationship to the United Methodist Church.
Background: Since its founding in 1968 the United Methodist Church has had an ongoing debate over homosexual sex, particularly the performance of same-sex weddings and the ordination of self-avowed practicing homosexuals. The General Conference (the governing body of the denomination) has, by majority vote, addressed these issues every four years, each time reaffirming a conservative or traditionalist stance, expressing the grace of God toward all people but prohibiting either practice.
In recent years, increasing numbers of pastors who disagree with the majority vote of the General Conference have intentionally acted in disobedience to the rules of the UMC. More recently, bishops and entire Annual Conferences that disagree have refused to enforce the rules of the UMC. These progressive pastors and bishops say they are pursuing justice and obeying a higher law. Conservatives say they are breaking their ordination and/or consecration vows and, more important, as disobeying scripture.
Because of the current disarray in the UMC, some congregations are considering the possibility of disaffiliating from the denomination. This is the process to which the Administrative Council of Northwest Hills UMC now calls you to consider.
During this time of discernment, we will offer a series of informational meetings, as well as three listening sessions at which our District Superintendent will preside. At the end of this 6-month period, we will invite all full professing members to vote, by secret ballot, to decide if our congregation should disaffiliate from the United Methodist denomination.
Please watch for future information coming your way. Please pray for us to identify and follow God’s will in this matter.
Joe Baumgartner J. David Trawick
Chair, Administrative Council Senior Pastor
INFORMATION SESSIONS STARTING WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31
6:30-7:30 PM, SANCTUARY
Pastor Trawick will be hosting Information Sessions. We will meet live in the sanctuary, where there will be opportunities for questions and comments, but will also record them on our YouTube channel, for those unable to attend in-person.
Topics for the Disaffiliation Information Sessions
SESSION 1: A brief United Methodist history and how we got here
SESSION 2: Biblical study of “the hot button issue”
SESSION 3: Scripture: divinely inspired, dependable, authoritative?
SESSION 4: Is it just about sexuality?
SESSION 5: What will they think if we separate? if we do not?
Here is a video that Pastor Trawick recorded in May 2021 that gives you some information about the controversies in the UMC.