Letter from Pastor Brian - Voting
November 9, 2022 | Brian Cook
Dear St. Andrew Family,
It is a season of voting! By the time you read this note, the 2022 elections will have come and gone. Well, perhaps not gone. I am guessing there will be some political races that are still being contested if our recent history repeats itself.
Not only have we experienced political voting, but we have seen denominational votes happening all around us. Judicial Council took place in early November with the election of new bishops to serve the broader church. We have witnessed Charge Conference in November where votes were received to support the ministries of local churches.
Other church related votes we are seeing during this season of “voting” is the disaffiliation of some churches from the United Methodist Denomination. I have read many articles, heard many stories, and witness churches and pastors that I know vote to leave the denomination that I have grown to love. During our sermon series on overcoming grief, this was one of the grieving points for me. Some churches that voted to disaffiliate are now voting on whether to join another denomination or remain independent churches.
Much is being written about this season of voting and disaffiliation. I have spoken to many at St. Andrew who have done their research and have good insight into the season of change that is upon the United Methodist Church. On November 19, 2022, there is a special Called Annual Conference for the purpose of addressing churches in the Indiana Conference that still wish to disaffiliate. If you are curious about this business, I invite you to consider viewing the work of this called Annual Conference. A livestream option will be available for non-voting individuals who would like to view the Special Session proceedings. The link for the livestream will be posted on the conference website a week prior to the webinar. I would encourage you to call the church office if you have questions how to connect.
I am excited to share the ministry teams, the leadership teams, and the staff of St. Andrew are convinced that we are perfectly aligned with the United Methodist Church to accomplish the missional calling God has placed on our faith community. While this is a season of “voting,” we have no plans to have any kind of vote for disaffiliation at St. Andrew. However, as we move into 2023, we will create space to share information about the impact of disaffiliation on our denomination and conference.
I invite you to join me in praying for the churches that have chosen to disaffiliate. May they find a path that aligns them to the missional journey God is calling them. I also invite you to join me praying for St. Andrew as we discern where God may be leading us to help fill the void in communities where former UM churches have left our denomination. Until we gather in our spaces of conversation, I invite you to review the resources ResourceUMC.org/BeUMC (#BeUMC). I am proud to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in the United Methodist Church. I look forward to what is doing among our people! As Bishop Trimble always shares, “Be encouraged!” God is not done with us, and I believe there are great days ahead for us who are called United Methodist!
Blessings for your journey!