A Pastoral Letter to Oak Hill

As you may know, a Special Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church was held in St. Louis in late February. The purpose of this meeting was to address our denomination’s ministry to and with our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. This is something we have been wrestling with in our own church for years.

The Church we love, were baptized, confirmed, and ordained in — this imperfect body of faith may no longer be united. The General Conference rejected an option called the “One Church Plan.” This was a compromise plan, recommended by the Council of Bishops, that would allow annual conferences and local churches to choose for themselves whether to accept gay clergy and officiate same-sex weddings.

We, your pastors supported this “One Church Plan.” However, it failed. In its place the General Conference chose another option called the “Traditional Plan.” This plan strengthens the anti-gay language in the current Book of Discipline and calls for mandatory punishment for clergy who do not comply. As we understand it, clergy may be asked to sign a statement confirming they agree with the Discipline’s statement that being gay “is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

We, in good consciousness, cannot sign such a statement. We have seen too many people, many of them young, harmed by this attitude.

We realize that some in our church may disagree with our theology and convictions. Know that we love and respect you. It’s because of this that we feel compelled to be up front and clear about where we stand on this matter. We feel grief that our denomination will cease to exist as it currently does. We don’t yet have all the answers of what this will mean and look like, but we’re figuring it out as information is available.

Regardless of what General Conference has decided, the ministry of our church must go on. Sunday is coming and we will all gather to worship our God. God is still faithful and has not left us or forsaken us. We will get through this as a family — it might be messy and even painful, but we will get through it. Please be in prayer for the United Methodist Church and for our beloved Oak Hill congregation.

Peace, Hope, and Love,

Jim, Katy, and Laura

Town Hall Meeting: August 25, 2019

Since our denomination’s last General Conference in February, there have been discussions about dividing the church over the full inclusion of LGBTQ persons, specifically in marriage and ordination. We responded to this uncertainty by holding a town hall meeting in March 2019. We followed up with a second town hall meeting on July 21, 2019. If you were unable to attend the July town hall, you can watch the video here.

During the August 25th town hall meeting the Reconciling Ministry team collected feedback from the congregation on the criteria that should guide our decision making process and on concrete actions we can engage in to foster unity in our church. You can review the comments from the congregation and the minutes from the meeting below.

Town Hall Minutes
Criteria for Decisions
Action Plan

Town Hall Meeting: July 21, 2019

Since our denomination’s last General Conference in February, there have been discussions about dividing the church over the full inclusion of LGBTQ persons, specifically in marriage and ordination. We responded to this uncertainty by holding a town hall meeting in March 2019. We followed up with a second town hall meeting on July 21, 2019. If you were unable to attend the July town hall, you can watch the video here.

Questions received during the July 21, 2019 Town Hall Meeting

During the July town hall meeting we gave people in attendance the opportunity to write down questions they had. The questions were then compiled into this document and answered by our Reconciling Ministries Team. You can view all of the questions and answers in this PDF.

Bishop Richard Wilke: A Plea to The United Methodist Church

UMC NEXT Press Conference | May 22, 2019

From May 20-22, more than 600 participants, coming from every U.S. annual conference, gathered at UMC Next conference in Kansas City to resist the action of General Conference 2019 and discuss the future of Methodism. Click here to view the press conference held at the end of the 3-day event.

UMC NEXT Proposal released August 16, 2019

The Convening Team of UMCNext announced today the UMCNext Proposal, a long-term comprehensive plan that offers a way for a reimagined United Methodist Church to move forward with renewed vision, missional alignment and self-definition.

The plan, developed and supported by the broad UMCNext Coalition that includes Reconciling Ministries Network, Uniting Methodists and Mainstream UMC, provides a pathway to an inclusive United Methodist Church that allows for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be shared fully in transformational ways for all people and for all the days to come.

Proposal

March Town Hall Meetings and Q&A

Immediately following the General Conference, we held two town hall meetings in March 2019. You can watch the video of these meetings, review the slides, and read over the Q&A on this page.

District & Rio Texas

Information on General Conference from the Capital District UMC and the Rio Texas Conference.

UMC Info

Information on General Conference from the United Methodist Church and its various bodies.

Other Churches

Information on General Conference from other United Methodist churches.

Traditionalist Info

Information on the traditionalist point of view.