You've likely heard about the travesty in Florida on Thursday.
My heart breaks for everyone who is affected by these actions. That number goes far beyond the bounds of the Florida Annual Conference.
It also reminds me of how fortunate I am to be in the Great Plains Conference. We are a "purple" conference in every way imaginable. That means, just like every other conference, we have churches and pastors who either have or are planning to disaffiliate, including a dozen or so churches today or tomorrow. The way this has happened should be a model for other conferences.
- Our district superintendents are having conversations with congregations that have chosen to leave and are doing so now instead of delaying.
- Our trustees are using the minimum terms in paragraph 2553 to facilitate fair and affordable exits.
- Our bishop is earnestly working with both "sides"
While we disagree, I am especially grateful for the way that the departing churches and pastors are handling things.
- Our WCA chapter is working together with the conference to keep all the discourse civil and constructive.
- They are telling the truth and rejecting the opportunity to advance rhetoric
- In the one instance I'm aware of where a church was taking a strongly adversarial approach, leaders worked together to quickly bring it back into alignment
I'm not personally involved with any of this. My focus has been on my local congregation and the global church. What I see from the outside looking in is a model for how this needed separation can happen quickly, affordably, and helpfully.
If you're a Great Plains person, I hope you appreciate the way both sides are moving. As members of the Great Plains, we can appreciate and be proud of the way both those leaving and those staying are navigating this path. I believe it truly is grace filled. When you read my posts that criticize the WCA/GMC leadership, please know I'm not talking about our local leaders. They are doing it the right way.
If you're in another conference, I hope you know that you don't have to take your direction from the national and global WCA/GMC leadership. Many are recommending They are leading you down a path of mutually assured destruction. None of us can afford two more years of what happened in Florida yesterday. That's part of why it was time to be honest about the viability of the Protocol. Waiting two more years for a petition that no longer serves its purpose and likely won't pass doesn't help anyone.
Let's resolve it now. The Great Plains is showing us that it's possible to part in a healthy way. It's possible where you are, too.