June 3, 2019

In response to the recent General Conference and Judicial Council rulings in February and April, respectively, Bishop Hee-Soo Jung is assembling a team of clergy and laity leadership from across the Wisconsin Conference to envision a Wisconsin way forward – a Wisconsin Option to the calls for separation on both the traditional and progressive sides of our theological spectrum.  Rev. Dan Schwerin, lead pastor of First United Methodist Church in Waukesha and chair of our Conference Committee on the Episcopacy, will facilitate the task force in partnership with Bishop Jung.  Other members of the task force are Forrest Wells, Chet Ward, Lisa Wink, Jenny Arneson, Sheri Graeber, Esther Fahm, Kate Jones (secretary), Don Greer, Lisa Jones, Jonah Overton, Jack Stubbs, and Karen Dischler.

The purpose of the task force is to help clarify and refocus the identity of the Wisconsin Conference with a missional focus, and inclusive foundation, and a “grace margin” process that allows clergy and laity from across the Conference to share their thoughts and responses.  The Wisconsin Option builds upon the Wesleyan General Rules to “do no harm, do all the good we can, and to attend together to the ordinances of God.”  We commit to help leaders and congregations across the Conference live out these General Rules in tangible and transformative ways.

In a time of deep emotional and spiritual division and disagreement, the leadership of the Wisconsin Conference is seeking a healing, collaborative, and sustainable alternative that can be a witness to the Conference, the denomination, and the world that the reconciling grace and power of God is greater than any human dividing walls.  This is a journey we invite the whole Conference to make together.