The moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward are urging United Methodists to engage in reflections on where they see mission at the heart of the denomination, as well as seeing mission as significant for resolving conflict. Below is the statement from Bishops David Yemba, Sandra Steiner Ball, and Ken Carter:

Mission and the Way Forward in the Season after the Epiphany

At the conclusion of the recent meeting of the Commission on a Way Forward, the members were asked to share three words that expressed their prayer for the church in the present moment. The 32 persons reflect the global nature of the church and a profound diversity of gender, age, theological perspective. They are laity, deacons, elders and bishops. The three words each shared then helped to create a word cloud. The more often a word is named, the larger it becomes in the word cloud (picture). The result can be viewed online.

In the Mission, Vision and Scope given to the Commission by the Council of Bishops, we are seeking to “design a way for being church that maximizes the presence of a United Methodist witness in as many places in the world as possible.” This vision is deeply rooted in the movement of the gospel from a small village in Bethlehem to the ends of the earth. The revelation of the Christ to the Magi (the gentiles) in Matthew 2 signals the church’s calling to share the good news with all people. At our best, this has been the vocation of a missionary church and is the root of a global church, where we are sent “from everywhere to everywhere” in the name of Jesus.

Read about three potential futures for Church from Commission.

For reflection:

  • What does it mean that the commission sees “mission” at the heart of the way forward for our denomination?
  • Could it be that we discover our unity as we are in mission together?
  • What if mission became the primary framework for our work in resolving conflict?
  • How are we called to be in mission together more fully with our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community?
  • And what three words would express your prayer for the church in the present moment?

Bishops David Yemba, Sandra Steiner Ball, and Ken Carter
Moderator Team of the Commission on a Way Forward