05-08-2024 FUMC Words for Wednesday

United Methodist General Conference

Here is the General Conference Legislative Recap so you can be informed as to what took place at in Charotte, NC over the last two weeks.

 

ABOUT GENERAL CONFERENCE

General Conference is the top lawmaking assembly of The United Methodist Church and the only entity that speaks for the denomination. It convenes every four years, with delegates from the denomination’s regions around the world.

 

MAJOR ACTION

Regionalization Petitions Approved

• Delegates approved legislation that would restructure the denomination to be more      contextual in different regions served by the church. Bishop Tracy S. Malone, president of the Council of Bishops, said that “Regionalization would enable the church to be contextual in ministry while remaining connected around the mission of the church and the essentials of the faith.” It would enable the church to “honor who we are as a worldwide denomination.”

• Regionalization represents an effort to put the church’s different geographical regions on equal footing and to make the General Conference less U.S.-centric. The current central conferences and the U.S. would become regional conferences, with the same authority to pass legislation for greater missional impact.

• Delegates also approved the continuation of work on a General Book of Discipline that would be brought to the next regular session of General Conference.

• The regionalization legislation involves an amendment to the church’s constitution. This would have to be approved by at least two-thirds of the total votes cast across all annual conferences worldwide in order for much of the regionalization legislation to take effect. If they receive the necessary number of votes, the results would be announced by the United Methodist Council of Bishops. The regionalization constitutional amendment is to be sent out 30 days after the adjournment of General Conference, which means some annual conferences could be voting on the amendment this year.

• Regionalization stands as distinct from the other work of General Conference. It had been in development for many years, with the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters and the Connectional Table collaborating on the petitions that were submitted. It received support from delegates from every region.

 

MAJOR ACTION

Removal of Restrictive Language Related to LGBTQ People

The General Conference voted by overwhelming majorities to remove from the United Methodist

Book of Discipline discriminatory language and bans related to ministry by, with and for “self-avowed practicing” gay and lesbian people. Actions included:

• Removal of the language that the “practice of homosexuality … is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

• Removal of the ban on the ordination and appointment of “self-avowed practicing homosexual” clergy.

• Removal of language that made the ordination of “self-avowed practicing homosexual” clergy and the performance of same-sex weddings chargeable offenses.

• Removal of mandatory minimum penalties for clergy holding same-sex weddings.

• Removal of a prohibition against using United Methodist funds to support groups, activities and causes that promote the acceptance of homosexuality.

• Removal of the requirement that the General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination’s finance agency, enforce the funding ban. Instead, the provision says the agency should ensure that church funds do not go to anything that rejects LGBTQ persons or limits the response to the HIV epidemic.

• Allowance for all clergy in good standing to be appointed across annual conference lines when their bishop can’t locate an appointment in their conference.

IMPORTANT: Nothing passed by General Conference would compel churches to receive a gay pastor. The legislation approved also explicitly protects the right of clergy and churches not to officiate at or host same-sex weddings. Pastors have the authority to decide when and for whom they will officiate a marriage. Congregations have the right to determine whether such ceremonies will be held on church property.

These changes bring the Book of Discipline back to a neutral place where one group is not singled out for discrimination. It holds space for differing opinions within The United Methodist Church by avoiding broad mandates.

 

MAJOR ACTION

Apportionment Percentage Decreased

In an effort to balance funding important connectional ministries through the general church budget and supporting the local church during financial challenges due to the pandemic and disaffiliation, delegates approved a compromise regarding apportionments. Conferences will shift from their current base rate of 3.29% to a base rate of 2.6% for 2025 and 2026. Then, if the apportionment collection rate is 90% or higher in those years, the base rate will increase to 2.9% for 2027 and 2028.

 

MAJOR ACTION

Budget Approved

Delegates approved a 2025-2028 budget of $373.4 million. That total is contingent on collection rates being at 90% or more for the next two years. If giving is below that percentage, the budget bottom line will be $353.6 million. The total approved is significantly smaller than the budget approved by the 2016 General Conference. Annual conferences will be asked to pay less in apportionments.

 

MAJOR ACTION

Adoption of Revised Social Principles

Delegates approved the first overhaul of the denomination’s Social Principles in nearly 50 years. The Social Principles, contained in both the Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions, are statements that reflect official United Methodist teachings on a wide range of topics. They are not church law but are intended to inform United Methodist witness on issues of the day with a biblical foundation. The 2012 General Conference approved revising the Social Principles, setting in motion a process that involved input from people around the world, coordinated by the General Board of Church and Society. In addition to the language changes regarding human sexuality and inclusiveness, the Social Principles address the importance of advocating for human dignity and combating racism and other threats, caring for creation and the environment, standing against social ills, and supporting healthy community in all its forms, including economic, social and political.

 

MAJOR ACTION

Disaffiliation Policy Ended, Re-affiliation Measure Approved

Delegates removed Paragraph 2553 from the Book of Discipline, ending the disaffiliation policy that was added by the special 2019 General Conference. They also required annual conferences affected by disaffiliation to develop grace-filled policies for reaffiliation of churches that want to rejoin the denomination.

ADDITIONAL MAJOR ACTIONS

Delegates also:

• Approved a constitutional amendment addressing the denomination’s commitment to eradicating racism.

• Approved an apology to victims and survivors of sexual misconduct by clergy and lay leaders in the church. The resolution also encourages the reporting of sexual abuse and states that the abuse of power will not be tolerated in the church.

Delegates also observed Thursdays in Black in recognition of violence that is perpetrated against women around the world.

• Approved an apology for the role of Methodists in the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawaii in 1893.

• Approved allowing deacons to preside at the sacraments – Holy Communion and baptism — in their appointments.

• Approved updating jurisdictional young people’s ministries, including changing the Division on Ministries with Young

People to the Young People’s Connectional Network.

• Approved a new retirement plan for U.S. clergy, called Compass, which would be a defined contribution plan similar to what many corporate employers provide. The plan takes effect in 2026.

• Approved a full communion agreement with the Episcopal Church. If the Episcopal Church affirms the agreement, it will mean the denominations recognize each other as the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church in with the Gospel is rightly preached and taught.”

• Approved adding two bishops for Africa, for a total of 15, and set the number of U.S. bishops at 32 – a decrease from the 39 active bishops and one retired bishop currently serving episcopal areas in the U.S.

• Adopted a new Book of Resolutions, including readopting many resolutions and approving new ones, addressing topics such as climate change, rights of farm workers in the U.S., the observance of the Children’s Sabbath, caring for Native people and opposition to racial profiling.

• Adopted a resolution condemning racial-ethnic discrimination and gender-based violence against Asian Americans.

• Approved a resolution calling on United Methodist institutions not to invest in the government bonds of countries that have been cited by the U.N. Security Council or the International Criminal Court for prolonged military occupations. (Israel, Morocco and Turkey)

• Approved a motion to allow four Eurasian conferences to leave the denomination and form an autonomous church.

• Celebrated the impact of Africa University and milestone anniversaries – the 200th anniversary of Methodist mission, the 100th anniversary of the United Methodist Building in Washington, D.C., and the 80th anniversary of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

• Elected a new Judicial Council, the denomination’s top court, and filled positions on the Commission on the General Conference, University Senate, general boards and agencies of the church and other entities, as well as trustees to John Street United Methodist Church in New York, the oldest continuously operating Methodist church in the United States.

Youth and Children will meet at 6 pm.

Pastor Jimmy will begin his 3 week study on 2 Thessalonians.

Supper menu for next week: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, vegetable and dessert

Young at Heart Day Trip to Gibbs Garden in Ball Ground on Saturday, May 18th. Bus leaves at 8 am. Cost for seniors is $18. Bring money for lunch at the Arbor Cafe there in the park.13 slots available. Sign up with Ingrid at iengle@firstmethodistblairsville.com

Our financial secretary Deidra is retiring effective Wednesday, May 15th. We are collecting “good-bye/thank you” cards for her. You may drop them off at the church office by next Wednesday.

Our next Church Council meeting is Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30pm in the MAC.  In addition to it’s regular business meeting, we will also (1) hear the results of the Natural Church Development survey; (2) get an update on the recent General Conference; and (3) hear the current state of FUMC.  We hope that everyone can plan to attend.

Any member or regular attender who wishes to be have our church app, Realm Connect, please contact the church office to receive an “invite”.

The Morning Glory Circle will have their annual Mother’s Day candy sale this Sunday. They will be set up to sell after each service. Proceeds from the sale will go to Isaiah 117 House.

Boy Scouts Troop 101 invites you to their fundraiser Pancake Breakfast at

Longhorn Steak Restaurant on Saturday,May 18th from 8:00-10:00 am.

Tickets are $7.00 at the door.

There is a new sign-up sheet if you want a magnetic name tag. Cost is $12.00. Barb Wagner, your tag is in the church office ready for pick-up.

Please stop by and say a prayer over these quilts. Tying a knot lets the receiver know that people care and that we have prayed for them.

If you know of someone who would benefit from a prayer quilt,

 please let the office or Paula Myers know.

Sam Wilson - Stage 4 prostate cancer; metastasized to bones

Carrie Ann Fredericks - Kidney dialysis

Tyler Cook - Brain tumor removed this week; 10 year old grandson of Phil and Kathy Cook

Lois McCray - Cancer

Gym hours:

Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am till 7:00 pm.

Wednesdays from 9:00 am till 3:00 pm

Fridays from 1:00 pm till 4:00 pm.

Those under 21 years of age need to be accompanied by a parent or another adult over 21.

There is still a need for volunteers to oversee the gym on

Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00 until 7:00 pm.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Robby Morris after church, at his office, by email @ rmorris@firstmethodistblairsville.com, and by text @ 704-942-8769. Training will be provided.

MAC Walking Track Hours…

Monday-9 am - 7 pm, Tuesday-9 am - 7 pm,

Wednesday-9 am - 3 pm, Thursday- 9 am - 7 pm, Friday- 1 - 4 pm

Pickleball Schedule!

The Blairsville Pickleball Club now plays on Tuesdays from 12:00pm till 3:00pm and Fridays from 1:00 pm till 4:00 pm. Everyone is welcome! Join us!

Fitness Classes For You!

“Tai Chi”: Led by Pat Tomzyck. Meets Tuesdays at 8:00am in room M-0 (First floor). Cost is $5.00 per class. Bring a mat!

“Christ-Centered” Yoga: led by Pat Tomzyck. Meets Tuesdays at 9:00am in room M-0 (First floor). Cost is $5.00 per class. Bring your own yoga mat.

Please Help Us at the church by keeping us informed of any sickness or procedures that you or any of our family members may be experiencing. You may contact Pastor Mack for your prayer requests at mack.riley@ngumc.net or call the church at 706-745-2073.

Prayer Concerns and Celebrations:

Please help us keep this list updated by notifying the office of any changes.

  • SPECIFIC:
  • Bud Akins - melanoma returned on leg, taking chemo
  • Norma Jean Anderson - in hospital with possible pneumonia
  • Gail Bachteler’s mom Verne Lee Kephart- recovering from broken femur and has dementia
  • Jeff Bauman’s mom had hip surgery
  • Lyric Brogden’s friend Lu Millsaps - cancer diagnosis
  • Fran Browning - recent knee replacement
  • John Browning - cancer diagnosis
  • Shirley Cobb - heart issues, macular degeneration in left eye
  • Shirley Cobb’s 2nd cousin Laurie Mulloy - undergoing chemo/radiation
  • Shirley Cobb’s niece Renee Cegelis - health issues with her lungs
  • Phil & Kathy Cook’s 10 year old grandson Tyler had a brain tumor successfully removed earlier this week
  • Larry Culpepper - surgery on his throat today at Emory
  • OASIS instructor Rachel Driskell - diagnosed with lung cancer
  • Jack Dugger - in rehab from back surgery
  • Cathy Flood - recovering from surgery
  • Christine Golden - abdominal cancer
  • Barb Hahn - recovering from broken ankle
  • John Hahn - May 9, dr consultation for possible cancer reoccurrence
  • Cheri Hulke’s daughter Kristin - heart issues and travel mercies to Africa to visit her sister
  • Kitty Jones - cancer
  • Joe Kennard-back issues
  • Sandy Koss - hand healing
  • Jeanee and Jerry McJilton’s brother- cancer has returned
  • Zadie McCall- great nephew Kenn undergoing radiation for mouth cancer and nephew Ray has lost sight in one eye from an infection
  • Louise McTaggart - recovering from outpatient surgery
  • Louise McTaggart - sister Ruth has vascular dementia
  • Allie McTureous- diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy in the right eye
  • Buster Miller’s mother, Jimmie Lee Miller- skin cancer on nose
  • Bill Mollnhauer - recently hospitalized with congestive heart failure
  • Patty Norwood’s son, Ryan-serious colon problems
  • Patty Norwood’s sister, Jan-lung problems
  • Brittany Payne - waiting on doctors for surgery plan
  • Jeannie Pickerill’s granddaughter Kyla Bauer- has a second bout with cancer
  • Nikki Schuknecht - continued prayers
  • Avis Shaw’s sister Mildred Elkin
  • Fritz Simonsen - in UGH
  • Sue Stewart - rehabbing at home after hip surgery
  • Kristy Tornabene - recovering from foot surgery
  • Doris Wilder - recovering from surgery

HEALTH ISSUES and CONCERNS:

  • Bill Bender
  • Marjorie Bowron
  • Mike Brandenburg
  • Joyce Byers
  • David Cline
  • Shirley Cobb
  • Jack Dugger
  • Jesse Eady
  • Christine Golden
  • Wayne Jones
  • James Jordan
  • Linda McClarnon
  • Leura Mollnhauer
  • Elaine Neuhaus
  • Ray Norwood
  • Jeanne Pickerill
  • Carol/Norm Rogers
  • Avis Shaw
  • Fritz Simonsen
  • Sue Stewart
  • Carol Warren
  • Roy Whitelock
  • Sharon Willits

IN NURSING HOMES and ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES:

  • Jim Arthur - Stonehenge Assisted Living, Building 2, Room 5
  • Polly Conkle - Blue Ridge Assisted Living
  • Richard McGinnis - Brasstown Manor Assisted Living
  • Lois Ward - Brasstown Manor Assisted Living - under hospice care

If you haven’t signed up yet for online giving,

it’s as easy as going to our website (firstmethodistblairsville.com), scrolling down on the front page and hitting the online giving button.

A Note from Your Finance Team THANK YOU!!!

…………………… Received GF…………YTD GF Received

May 5th………….$20,217……………………$260,419

Please continue to remember your Church in your legacy trusts & wills - that gift is also greatly appreciated!

Staff Emails:

Pastor Jimmy Hood……………………………………………………………… jimmy.hood@ngumc.net

Pastor Mack Riley………………………………………………………………….. mack.riley@ngumc.net

Evelyn Ueltzen……………………………………………………….. blairsvillefumcevelyn@gmail.com

Deidra Gilbert………………………………………………………….. blairsvillefumcdeidra@gmail.com

Jeff Bauman…………………………………………………………………………………jbauman@yhc.edu

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 First United Methodist Church of Union County

938 Highway 515 Blairsville, Georgia 30512

(706) 745 2073

Rev. Jimmy Hood, Pastor

Church Website: www.firstmethodistblairsville.com

Email: blairsvillefumcevelyn@gmail.com

      We are a Stephen Ministry Congregation!

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