September 15, 2022 | Read Time: 2 mins

By: Rev. Mark Sorensen

Grace and peace to you, friends.

As we settle into the rhythms of fall, I want to take a minute to share a brief update on our Forward in Faith campaign, and to ask for your help.

First the update: On the other side of our successful churchwide disaffiliation vote last month, we are beginning to study the best options for future affiliation — whether to join a different Methodist denomination or remain an independent church but affiliated with a network of other Methodist congregations. If part one of our denominational discernment was about what we were leaving behind in The United Methodist church, part two is about charting the way forward — determining where we are headed and how we will get there.

There are so many factors to consider during this truly historic time in the life of our church. Hear me when I say, it would be unwise to make a rushed decision without fully discerning first what God is preparing for the future of our ministry together. In my prayer time I have been sitting with the word “awakening” — as in, awakening to the fullness of opportunities that are now emerging on the post-UMC horizon. I am using a few lenses to focus and discern our next steps, beginning with comparisons of options in the following six categories: Theology, Mission, Operations, Culture, Community and Vision. We will share more information in each of these categories in the coming months.

Now to the request for help, in the form of input from you. We have prepared a member survey as a means of measuring your ideas and attitudes across a variety of topics. Perhaps you remember me saying during our last State of the Church sermon in July: “You will not come to church one day to discover you are members of a new church denomination.” No — I am working hard to keep you informed and include you at each step of our discernment journey. Your input is vitally important to our planning process, so please take a few minutes to complete the survey. You can expect I will be back to share findings and next steps later this fall.

In the meantime, please continue to pray for our church, and please hear this: No matter the uncertainty for the time being, God’s got this! And we rest in knowing His mission for our church will not change. Through it all, we will remain dedicated to winning people to Jesus, discipling them in faith, and helping those in need. Thank you for playing your part as we continue to move forward in faith.

In His grace,