Future of Our Church 2
Christian Discernment (verb): A decision-making process, guided by God, to help an individual make a discovery that can lead to future action.
We are in a season of discovery at our church. Will we remain a part of the current United Methodist Church? Will we find a new home in the future Global Methodist Church?
The Jeremiah 29 Task Force of Christ UMC was charged with “studying the question of our congregation’s affiliation and how information can best be shared with the membership.” We’ve been meeting for many months, and this website is the beginning of the information we have collected.
Our website does not offer a recommendation for your decision. Jeremiah 29:11, says: “For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We are relying on the promise of that scripture as we consider the future direction for our congregation, and we pray that you will as well as you begin personal discernment and prayer.
On this site there is a section with General Information and there will be one devoted to the activity of the Jeremiah 29 Task Force.
There also will be sections for the predominant church affiliation options. You may find that content within one denominational tab conflicts with that in another. We encourage you to research diligently and explore evenly as you do the work of personal discernment.
Your questions, suggestions, thoughts are welcome by email or regular mail to our workroom mailbox; each is read by all members of the Task Force, and questions answered to the best of our knowledge.
Going forward we will add to this website, offer to speak to Sunday Schools and small groups, and members will be present at the various scheduled gatherings and town hall meetings led by our pastoral staff and church leadership.
Ultimately, however, the decision of your church home rests solely with you. We ask that you consider all options, hold grace-filled conversations and seek answers through prayer.
District-wide Information Meeting on UMC Future
The Future Discernment Task Force, Texas Annual Conference, is holding a District information meeting, Sunday, Aug. 7, 4-5:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s UMC, 20775 Kingsland Blvd., Katy. We encourage you to attend, as questions can only be asked in person.
More information: www.txcumc.org/FDTF
Contact the Task Force
The Jeremiah 29 Task Force started its discovery process in much the same way that most of you will: asking what, why and how. We offer this General Information to help you with the same questions.
About the United Methodist Church
We found it important to learn the Structure of The United Methodist Church (UMC), so that we understood why a decision of the UMC Judicial Council, or a vote at the Texas Annual Conference, could impact our local church.
We also learned a new language of terms and acronyms, such as: “What is the ‘trust clause’?” “What is the BOD?” To help you, we developed a Local Glossary. For the definitions we’ve omitted, you’ll find 100s more at the Glossary of The United Methodist Communications website.
Ask the UMC FAQs is a series of short articles regarding where the UMC stands on doctrine, and what it believes about baptism, communion, poverty, abortion, human sexuality, and more.
To stay informed on developments, and receive news faster then we can update this website, consider a free daily, or weekly, email subscription to the UM News newsletter.
What Are the Options
This is a complex and emotional question: at once worldwide and local; equally about our congregation’s purpose and mission now and in the future; about why you chose this church as your home and what you believe will be best for you and your family going forward.
A single source of background and information is to attend the August 7 meeting planned for our District, or view and listen to a recording (approximately 1:00 hour) from a previous meeting. The Future Discernment Task Force of the Texas Annual Conference sponsors these meetings, and these have been prepared carefully to present information in a consistent and balanced approach.
We believe the sections for each denominational option [these will be added in a few days] will provide a great deal of decision information, and we acknowledge that there is much to wade through. However, rather than cull the information to a few video snippets or one to two articles, we’ve decided to post all that we consider relevant, and let you decide how deeply you will explore.
The archives of the UM News, Good News magazine and UM Insight, contain many articles and opinions on what has brought the UMC to a point where schism is occurring. Take note of the source and the date of any publication you read or view, because events are moving fast and something published just four months ago can be out of date. Also recognize that secular publications and news sites, should you review those, rarely understand the deeper issues at hand.
The Texas Annual Conference offers balanced information regarding the primary denominational affiliation options:
- Comparison chart of doctrine and social principals: A Comparison of The United Methodist Church & The Global Methodist Church
- A recording of a panel discussion from the Texas Annual Conference 2022 Laity session discussing the options known as traditional, centrist, and progressive. This is long at 1.5 hours, but offers a comprehensive discussion on these three positions presented in a respectful manner.
Discernment Process at our Church
These first actions were part of the series of steps suggested by the District Superintendents of our Annual Conference in their letter Period of Local Church Discernment. As a committee we have implemented several of their suggestions, which you will recognize as you read the document.
Additional discernment articles you may find informative:
- An article from the newsletter of the UMC: What should United Methodist congregations know about disaffiliation?
- Texas Annual Conference website “Navigating the Waters,” that, while dated prior to the May 2022 Annual Conference, provides background information in the context of our Annual Conference.
Frequently Asked Questions
As of August 1, 314 questions have come from the five District meetings. For expediency and to assure none are omitted, the Conference Future Discernment Task Force listed all questions, which has created a massive – albeit comprehensive – document. Many of these questions and answers have a local focus, so you may find answers to many questions you have.
The Jeremiah 29 Task Force has developed its own FAQs, [document to come] of what we think are the most common questions asked in our local congregation.
Ask the UMC FAQs, as mentioned previously, is a series of short articles regarding where the UMC stands on doctrine and what it believes about baptism, communion, poverty, abortion, human sexuality, and more.
An important part of discernment is to ask questions and prayerfully consider who we are as a church, before we begin actions to change. Throughout July, we have been asking questions [document to come] to seek to know what the congregation holds valuable. Your input has been valuable, and we hope you will continue to give us your thoughts.
As Christ Church journeys through the next months, we will pray, listen, and learn together, keeping our eyes on Jesus, as detailed in the Affiliation Discernment Process Timeline. This resource includes the preparation that has brought us to this point, and dates and times for scheduled and possible upcoming events.
We are available to visit with your small groups, Bible Studies, and Sunday Schools. Send your request to email@example.com.
Information coming soon!
Information coming soon!
Information coming soon!