Preparation for Launch to General Conference 2021
Recently I received an article written by Keith Boyette, president of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) and an ordained elder in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church. I want to share a portion of that article with you as an ongoing effort of keeping you informed and updated as we look to General Conference 2021. Please be reminded that Trinity UM Church is a WCA affiliated United Methodist Church that upholds the traditional view of Scripture, marriage, and clergy ordination.
The United Methodist Church’s General Conference will be held from August 29 to September 7, 2021. The major constituency groups of the UM Church have all supported the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation. With the adoption of the Protocol, a new global church committed to the historic Christian faith in the Wesleyan tradition will be launched and annual conferences, churches, and clergy will immediately be able to align with this new church.
Since its inception, the WCA has prepared for the possibility that such a new global Methodist church might be necessary given the irreconcilable differences in the UM Church. With the announcement of the Protocol in January 2020, the WCA helped facilitate a gathering of persons interested in a new church who met in March 2020. That group released a statement setting forth the vision for such a new church. Additionally, those leaders created a “Transitional Leadership Council (TLC) to provide direction for the launch of the new church and to lead it from the moment of its launch to its convening conference.
Using the current Book of Discipline of the UM Church and the WCA’s draft Book of Doctrines and Discipline to inform its work, the TLC has adopted a transitional polity for the new church in the areas of doctrine, social witness, membership, operation of the local church and ordination, and provisions related to superintendency and clergy deployment during the transitional period. Also, the WCA has been working for the past six months to cast a vision for ministry in the new church through various ministry task forces in six areas: accountable discipleship, church multiplication, church revitalization, global missional partnerships, ministry with marginalized communities, and ministry with youth and young adults. There is also a task force designed to ensure that the new church will do all it can to provide for full racial and ethnic equality.
Keith Boyette ended his article with these words, “The leadership of the WCA is acutely aware of our desperate dependence upon God and is extremely grateful for your constant prayer for God’s leadership in all that we do.” As pastor, I add that God has been faithful to our church and will continue to guide and empower us as we look to Him in the future through prayer, His word, and full dependency upon Him! You may go online to read more about the work of the Wesleyan Covenant Association.