Dear Family of The Fount,
Many of you have heard or seen the recent news about a “Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation” that has been released by the United Methodist Council of Bishops. The Protocol, as it is known, is an agreement between various factions in the denomination of how the UMC should divide. It should be noted, however, that this Protocol is only a recommendation; any action has to be approved by the General Conference, which will meet in May of this year.
As your pastor, I caution you to not jump to conclusions about this matter. The secular press, in particular, has reported very inaccurate “facts” about it. My experience is that the secular press does not understand things related to the church in general, and the UMC in particular. So I would direct you to sources from within the church for more accurate information. Below, I list some sources that I would recommend that you read.
Whatever you have read or heard, know this: The Fount will continue to serve the Lord as we always have, regardless of our denominational affiliation. We do not serve The United Methodist Church; we serve the Risen Lord Jesus Christ! Very little will change here locally in the foreseeable future and I intend to walk with you through this transition, whatever it looks like.
Clearly, the UMC cannot continue in the form it now has. Some of us have been working on renewal in the church for a long time. But other forces are at work to try and liberalize the church’s theology and teaching. We’ve come to a point where the two “sides” cannot stay together in one denomination. So some form of separation must happen. As a traditional, evangelical and orthodox church, The Fount will continue to seek affiliation with others of like mind and heart even if that means leaving the UMC to help form a new traditional Wesleyan denomination. We have been members of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) since its inception, and will trust the groundwork that has been laid by the WCA toward that goal. Your leaders and I have been in conversation and deep prayer on this matter and we are preparing to follow wherever the Lord leads us.
In the meantime, come to worship, continue to serve, continue to give and continue to share the love of Jesus with friends and neighbors. Our work is not done! And God is not through with us yet!
If you have questions, please feel free to talk with me, with our Lay Leader, Ted Smith, or with any of the Church Council members. And please keep The Fount and the UMC in your prayers. These five months between now and the General Conference will be very important.
Here are some links I would recommend for you to become better informed on the Protocol:
In Christ’s Service,