Written by Bishop Karen Oliveto
Mountain Sky Episcopal Area
The United Methodist Church
At the 2019 Annual Conference in Billings, Montana, the conference members voted to approve petition MSC-09: Moving Towards God’s Good Future
. This petition was brought forward in light of the current state of The United Methodist Church. The special called session of 2019 General Conference failed to find a way forward that would keep the UMC united in ministry and mission and instead, further fractured the fabric of our unity.
Since the basic unit of The United Methodist Church is neither the local church nor the general conference but rather the annual conference, this petition helps the Mountain Sky Conference discern a way forward for our region. It also continues to honor the diversity found within our conference while deepening our ability to engage missionally across our region grounded in the values that have guided this conference for several decades.
The Mountain Sky Roundtable met to discuss and implement the petition. It was noted that there has been a team in place doing work like the petition’s request since the conclusion of the General Conference session. At that time the bishop, in consultation with the MSC Roundtable, executive staff, and other stakeholders, called together clergy and laity from across the conference. Great care was taken to ensure that the team had representatives from rural and urban churches as well as clergy/law balance, geographic diversity, and racial/ethnic diversity.
In order to keep the momentum that this team began, the MSC has named the following individuals to the Pathways to God’s Good Future team:
Marv Vose, chair (clergy, Utah/WestCO)
Barry Welliver (laity, Utah/WestCO)
Calvin Hill (clergy, Montana West)
Melanie Rosa (clergy, Peaks/Pikes Peak)
Doug Palmer (laity, Peaks/Pikes Peak)
Jasper Peters (clergy, Mile High Metro)
Pat Callbeck Harper (laity, Montana West)
Mark Feldmeir (clergy, Mile High Metro)
Melissa Martin (laity, Wyoming)
Wendy Ochs (clergy, Montana East)
Chris Frasier (laity, Trinity)
Pat Lewis (clergy, Utah/WesCO)
Rich Marsh (chancellor)
As per the petition, this team will develop options for moving forward, including but not limited to partnering with other like-minded bodies, developing legislation for General Conference 2020, and separation from The United Methodist Church, due to its embrace of the Traditional Plan which does injury to God’s beloved children and harms our missional witness in the Mountain Sky Conference.
The team plan and implement listening sessions throughout our conference to create a plan that is inclusive of the diversity found within our conference. It will also report no less than quarterly to the annual conference.
There is a need for volunteers to assist as we move toward God’s Good Future. If you would like to help or have questions and comments, please fill out the online form
. A member from the team will get back to you as soon as possible!