In the name of the one of is, the one who was, and the one who will always be,
Hello Saints! Hello Sinners!
I pray this email finds you experiencing the grace of God.
Today I write with information on the Special Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church. I lament for the decisions made, but I also look forward to the way God will work through us in the days, months, and years to come. Because the work of the Lord Jesus Christ is never done. We have, do, and will continue to respond to the Gospel call to love our neighbors.
One the next page is a heartfelt and informative letter from Bishop John Schol. I believe he summarizes events of which you should be aware, shares his own pain, and recommits himself to the work of the church. The traditional Plan that Bishop mentions basically keeps the current language of our Book of Discipline the same on regards to beliefs, but adds very specific and strict punitive language for any pastor or member who does not go by the letter of the law. For a denomination that theologically relies heavily on God’s grace, this changes the very nature of who we are. So much so that most of the plan, even though approved, has been found to be out of compliance with the church constitution! So, it may not even stand up to our Judicial Process. There is a great deal of uncertainty right now. But, I feel that it is the beginning of an even bigger change. There is no going back from the realization that this General Conference brought—we are a divided denomination, and we must find a way to actually move forward.
I want to share with you what I said at the end of service last Sunday: Milford UMC will be the same this Sunday as it was last Sunday. Our hearts will not be hardened, and we will welcome all in the name of the Lord. We shall not be moved. We will celebrate 200 years of ministry in 2026! The name of the door has slightly changed a few times in the past 193 years! And it will change again I’m sure. But we will continue to welcome all in to the house of the Lord, no matter what the denomination calls itself.
This Sunday is the Sunday preceding Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent. It is also Transfiguration Sunday, which tells the story of Jesus revealing to us a peek at his divinity on a mountainside, found in the synoptic gospels. I long to sing with you, pray with you, and share the table of Christ with you on Sunday. Our Communion Collection will go to UMCOR Sunday, because we are still the church and proud of their work around the world. We are gonna raise the roof in song and praise! Invite a friend, especially if they’re feeling confused about the church right now.
Come, Holy Spirit, Come!
Rev. Luana Cook Scott