Blog

What’s Happening with the United Methodist Church? (FAQ)

Grace and peace to you.

In recent years there has been a lot of activity and debate in the United Methodist Church as a denomination, especially around homosexuality. I work closely with Indiana Bishop Julius Trimble and our Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Fulbright, as I chair the Indiana Conference Committee on Episcopacy. Our church rules (the Book of Discipline) are reviewed and amended by the General Conference (GC) when they meet, which is generally every four years. GC delegates are elected from every Annual Conference (like Indiana). Representatives from all over the world are comprised of equal numbers of clergy and laity. This is the only body that speaks for the United Methodist Church. The next GC is scheduled to convene in 2024.

FAQ

Are churches required to vote on remaining United Methodist?

No. Churches are not required to vote to remain or discontinue (disaffiliate) to be United Methodist. The GC has never taken action that forces or invites churches to take such a vote. Our Book of Discipline (BOD) has always had provisions for congregations to disaffiliate. There always will be such provisions. The Special Called GC of 2019 established a temporary provision for disaffiliation that expires at the end of 2023. This temporarily grants permission for churches to disaffiliate and retain their buildings and grounds. There is still and always will be a financial cost for disaffiliation. Even if GC allows the 2019 provision to expire, churches may negotiate for disaffiliation while retaining their property. This practice was already occurring before 2019 in some circumstances.

Are some churches leaving the UMC? Why?

Yes. In Indiana, over twenty churches have acted to disaffiliate, and others are planning to do so. Many Indiana churches that are disaffiliating want to affirm traditional views regarding homosexuality. They anticipate the UMC eventually becoming progressive on this issue. In some parts of the country, churches are disaffiliating in protest to the current traditional rules regarding homosexuality in the BOD.

Will the General Conference act in 2024 to settle the issue of homosexuality once and for all?

Not likely. Nearly every GC since 1972 has handled motions and proposed legislation on homosexuality. No matter how GC may act in 2024, action on the issue may still come to future sessions of GC.

Where can I find United Methodist theology and doctrine?

Our core and central theology statements are in the BOD and protected by the UMC’s Constitution. Changes in these basics require more than GC action. Such changes are difficult and complex, requiring each Annual Conference worldwide to act. Visit this link on the UMC website to find “What We Believe” http://www.umc.org/en/who-we-are/what-we-believe.

Closing Remarks

We are United Methodists. That does not mean that we all must think alike. We do not. Never have. Never will. But, as John Wesley suggested, we certainly may all love alike.
I would be open to discussing this further with you or a group of which you are a part at PUMC.

Go in peace. Go with God. And be well.

Shalom,

Charlie

Food Drive

Thank you for your continued support of our food pantry collection instituted in March 2020. We have been faithful with our collections and deliveries weekly and are switching collection times to match current giving patterns. Food collection will be from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Sundays at door number 1. You can also drop off food at The Donation Depot during open office hours, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

We will also arrange assisted transfers upon request. If you need assistance transferring food to the church, it can be arranged by calling Pastor Ken at 317-590-9589. The demand for food is up, and Plainfield UMC is doing its share in meeting the demand with your faithful donations.

Dinner and a Meeting

Inflation and increases in fixed costs present a challenge in preparing the 2023 Basic Ministry (operating) Budget.
Your Plainfield United Methodist Church (PUMC) leaders want you to have a complete understanding of the financial needs of PUMC as we prepare to bring our commitment cards to the altar to be consecrated on October 30. So, come on Wednesday, October 19, at 6:00 p.m. for dinner, fellowship, and a discussion.
Dinner will be in the Worship Annex at 6:00 p.m. The PUMC men’s group will cook some hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, and the rest of us will bring a dish to share. At 7:00 p.m., we will move to the Sanctuary to discuss the 2023 basic ministry budget. Let’s come and share together! Childcare can be provided if requested by October 17.

Call for Coffee Cans for Angel Tree

One valuable resource that is needed for PUMC’s Angel Tree Ministry every year is coffee cans. We decorate these cans for use in delivering home-baked Christmas Cookies to the Angel Tree children. Ideally, we would like to have metal coffee cans, but we realize they are hard to come by. Viable alternatives are round 240 and 270-cup plastic coffee cans. (We cannot use square or 210-cup plastic coffee cans.) Please drop off clean, empty coffee cans at the Donation Depot near Door 1 to help with this vital part of the Christmas Angel Tree Ministry.
If you have any questions, contact Rev. Ken Loudenback at kloudenback@pumc.org.

Music Moment: September 25, 2022

The composer of today’s postlude, Charles Wesley (1757–1834), was the eldest son of Charles Wesley, the leader of the Methodist movement. Charles the younger’s musical talent was inherited from both parents. He was organist in London of Surrey Chapel before 1794, then of South Street Chapel, Welbeck Chapel, and Chelsea Hospital, and finally of Marylebone Parish Church.

Kairos Is Going to Prison

The Kairos Prison Ministry will have a table in Main Lobby on September 25 and October 2. We want to surround this ministry with prayers throughout the weekend at the Plainfield Correctional Facility, October 6 – 9. This will be the first weekend at the facility in three years. Along with wrapping the ministry in prayers, meal tickets will be available for purchase to support the ministry during this weekend.

2023 Budget Information Meeting

Inflation and increases in fixed costs present a challenge in preparing the 2023 PUMC Basic Ministry (operating) Budget. If giving does not increase, we will change what we experience—staff, missions funding, etc. We want you to have the best information possible so that you can pray and consider carefully what percentage of your income God is calling you to give. If you want your experience at PUMC to remain as it is, this is what it will take; if not, then there are some things that will have to change. There is more information involved than we can share on a Sunday morning, so we invite you to a special information meeting on Wednesday, October 19, at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. Refreshments will be provided.

“Bundle Up” Coat Drive

Winter will soon be upon us, which means cold weather and time to “Bundle Up.”
Each year the Plainfield Church federation collects coats, scarves, gloves, and other cold weather gear to help families in need.
We need everyone’s help in this task, so please, if you have any of these items that are no longer needed, bring them to the church. Barrels marked with coat drive markings will be available throughout the church.
The drive this year ends on October 15. The new or slightly used coats will be distributed on October 22 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds Expo Hall.