On November 18, 2019 the Bishop’s Task Force gathered for their monthly gathering. The purpose of offering the Wisconsin Conference regular updates is to stay transparent. During this meeting there was continued discussion and review of how other Annual Conferences are gathering with a similar type task force on human sexuality.
Most of the discussion was around Bishop Jung’s vision of moving Wisconsin forward as a people of God called United Methodist. The goals are to live into being radically inclusive, embracing a Church that celebrates full inclusion for all brothers, sisters, siblings of Jesus Christ, living “do no harm” practices, holding no church trials against LGBTQIA+ individuals, and calling for an immediate moratorium on charges/complaints around LGTQIA+ issues. An area of reflection for everyone to consider is first, what does this look like? Second, where are we not being inclusive as individuals, communities, churches, conferences, or a denomination?
In addition, the task force embraced implementing Action Item #25, entitled “Resolution of A Vision Forward for the Wisconsin Annual Conference,” which was referred to the task force at the 2019 Wisconsin Annual Conference. This action item states, “As a way to express a vision for the future of the Church moving forward into a new expression of Methodism,
- We envision a Methodism that is rooted in Jesus, grounded in Wesleyan theology, inclusive of all persons, and engaged in the work of justice, reconciliation, and liberation, and
- We envision a Methodism that affirms the full participation of all gender identities, sexual orientations, races, cultures, classes, abilities, ages, and nations, and
- We envision a Methodism that affirms the sacred work of PoC+Q+T (Persons of Color + Queer + Trans) persons, celebrates their gifts, and commits to being in ministry together.”
Lastly, the task force wanted to embrace the trust bestowed upon them by the delegates of the 2019 Wisconsin Annual Conference by providing practical tools to use in pastoral care, church leadership, personal growth around the vision of Bishop Jung and other conferences moving forward to a full inclusive Church. One of the resources is on how congregations can embrace Bishop Jung’s vision along with the work of the Bishop’s Task Force, especially what Wisconsin United Methodism looks like effective January 1, 2020.
Continue to hold the Bishop, Conference, Congregations, The UMC Denomination, and the Task Force in your prayers. Look for more continued updates and the soon to be released tools which will be offered to all Wisconsin United Methodist Clergy/Congregations.