The United Methodist Church, since its inception, has been debating questions regarding social issues and the Church. In response to cultural and political debate, several General Conferences have added language to the Book of Discipline regarding various issues. The conflict regarding human sexuality has been a long-standing discussion which came to a climactic moment at General Conference 2016 in Portland, Oregon; but, the discussion was once again left at an impasse. At that time, the Council of Bishops formed a committee known as the “Commission on the Way Forward;” and, in February 2019, a called General Conference was held to review proposals and determine how we might move beyond this complicated theological issue.
A plan was made to continue working toward a way forward during the regularly scheduled General Conference in 2020. However, that conference was postponed due to the global pandemic and has been pushed back once again to the regularly scheduled General Conference to be held in 2024.
It is important that we, Bremen First United Methodist Church, engage in prayer and discernment as we anticipate the General Conference of 2024. To that end, the BFUMC Administrative Council approved a motion in January 2023, charging the church’s nominating committee to select an ad hoc committee who would be responsible for creating a way to provide our congregation with resources, videos, and web links to become informed and prepared as we move toward the General Conference and any potential decisions necessitated at that point. A committee of seven church members and one pastoral resource was approved by the Ad Council in March 2023. The committee meets regularly to discuss and update information to be shared and posted for review. The committee has worked independently of pastoral participation; our Associate Pastor, Brian Hammond, has been the committee point of contact for questions regarding sources, theology, or policy.
Angela Awalt, Susan Browning, Scott Hodges, Bonnie McClure, Norma Norton, Brad Powers, and Alan Threadgill.
We are a group of people who care deeply about our church, about our past and our future, and about our continued service to our community. We want the best for everyone. We do not have all the answers but are also looking for knowledge, understanding, and guidance.
We commit to being gracious with one another and seek the guidance of Christ as we humbly put ourselves toward this task. We commit to take our charge seriously, work diligently, and represent each church member in a fair and impartial way. We commit to remain focused on the shared mission of our church and provide information so that each member can determine for themselves.
TOPICS TO EXPLORE (Link)
The link above is for a Google Folder with eight documents. Each document is a PDF of a PowerPoint for exploring the general points and additional links about important topics related to this issue. You may start with the first document and go through all eight sequentially to see the issue from its entirety, as we have attempted to tell the story in a way easily followed and logical. Topics can also be selected randomly for what most interests you.
The last document is a list of Frequently Asked Questions and links to additional FAQs which may help as you explore this issue more deeply. As you read, if you do have a question not answered here, please feel free to send it to ExploreB424@BremenFirst.org, and we will work to update the information to include an answer. Therefore, the documents are titled with a date to indicate when that document was last updated. They will be updated as needed as we go through this period of education prior to April 2024.
Paper copies of the documents are available in the Church Office if you prefer to not navigate through technology.
MORE RESOURCES (link)
Select the link above if you would like to explore with additional primary documents relevant to explore
SHARE YOUR QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS
The Explore B4’24 Committee is committed to ensuring you have all the information you need and all your comments are shared with our Administrative Council. Therefore, if you have questions or comments, please email EXPLOREB424@bremenfirst.org. If you would like to submit written comments or questions, please drop those by the church office, in care of EXPLORE B4’24.