Our agreement is to come to the next meeting with a tangible contribution to one or more of these areas in which we have passionate response.
We are in covenant
- Premise: We need to be in relationship
- It is offered as a gift by God’s grace
- Do we perceive it? Do we care? (Or how much do we care?)
It is broken (or flawed)
- We confess we are covenantally powerless
- What are we afraid of?
- Brokenness turns us inward and inhibits mission/outward focus
It can be rebuilt (or healed, or restored toward wholeness)
- If you and I want to
- It doesn’t require common ground (e.g. agreeing) but it does require commitment
- How do we care for each other? (or, to reprise a question from an earlier team meeting, how do we love one another?)
We are not without resources
- Orders (elders, deacons, Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members) (see BOD ¶¶ 307, 323 and surrounding, BOD ¶ 139)
- Language of brokenness and opportunities for reunion in constitution preamble (BOD p. 23)
- Code of ethics/conduct that could be distilled from Book of Discipline, Conference Rules, Book of Resolutions, et al.
- Relevant portions of Book of Resolutions (#s 152, 623, 627, 640, 850, 919)
We seek to confront power and privilege and the tyranny of majority rule
We seek protection of and equality for the vulnerable/minority by ending participation in discrimination
Possible means of communicating with other clergy
- Flow chart(s)
- Oral presentation at Annual Conference
- Ramp-up/reveal before Annual Conference
- Memes (Facebook example: https://www.facebook.com/UnitedMethodistMemes)
- Focus group of clergy colleagues invited to May 2 meeting
We had a very productive retreat that cannot be summarized.
The work we did led to a provisional working executive summary:
As UMC clergy we called to be in committed relationship with God, the United Methodist Church and with one another.
We acknowledge brokenness in our denomination, in relationships among clergy and within our own souls. We confess a deep sense of powerlessness to address brokenness that result from flawed relationships. We rejoice in the grace of God that offers healing and restoration of relationship and we are called to heed Jesus prayerful invitation that we might all be one.
Our Christian, denominational and collegial relationships can be restored/healed through intentional action that will require energy and commitment to all who desire to see such relationships restored.
We invite you to consider:
- Order of Elders Retreat
- Individual Clergy Covenant Groups
- Code of Ethics/Conduct
- Elimination of Discrimination of GLBT in Wisconsin