In recent weeks we have placed two different items before you for your prayerful attention that seem to have created a bit of confusion.
We have first asked for you prayers for our Annual Conference. Annual conference is the yearly gathering of clergy and lay delegates from our conference to meet and discuss and vote on matters related to our conference. As United Methodists our annual conference is the Susquehanna conference. This event has already occurred over the last few days in Hershey, PA.
We have also asked for your prayers as we join with over 12 million United Methodists around the world in an effort to pray continuously for 18 months in regards to the divisions and tensions our denomination faces around issues of sexuality. Specifically we have been asked to pray for a special commission entitled the “Commission on the Way Forward” which is seeking to provide a way forward for the denomination around issues related to sexuality. Our turn to pray is Monday, May 8. You can either sign up for a 30 minute time slot from 4AM-8AM or 4PM-8PM that day or join us at Faith UMC in Montoursville for a special prayer service at 7PM that same day. Or you can do both!
What I want to share with you is that even though these two items (annual conference and the prayer emphasis for the commission on the Way Forward) have been lifted up at nearly the same time, they are not directly related. That is to say, our annual conference has not decided or voted on issues related to sexuality with the Commission on the Way Forward. A significant decision will not be made on this issue until the Commission on the Way Forward brings forward a proposal(s) to a specially called General Conference in February of 2019 (the General Conference is the only body that can speak for the denomination).
Many of you have asked what we will vote on at Annual Conference this year in regards to the Commission on the Way Forward. The truth is our annual conference did not vote on anything related to the Commission during our time in Hershey.
I’m sorry for any confusion this may have caused.
Thank you for your intentionality to pray as we seek to be faithful to God’s calling on our lives. If you do have any further questions, please feel free to seek out any one of our pastors for further understanding.