Submitted by the Rev. Dr. Donald E. Messer
Chair, United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy
Less than three days after a special General Conference concludes in St. Louis, lay and clergy United Methodists in the Mountain Sky Conference will gather for a post-GC2019 summit. The event, sponsored by the United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy (UMARC) and friends, will take place March 1 at Hope United Methodist Church in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Coffee and free registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the program starting at 9 a.m.
The session will open with singing the traditional Wesleyan hymn, "And Are We Yet Alive," an anthem often sung by the pioneer circuit riders facing peril and controversy.
“When we gather just after a conference likely to be both decisive and divisive,” says Rev. Dr. Donald E. Messer, Chair of UMARC, “new meaning will be attached to Charles Wesley’s old words about troubles, conflicts, and fears, but renewed affirmation of the glory and grace of Jesus’ love will be our top priority.”
The Revs. Dr. Charles Schuster and Claire McNulty-Drewes will lead in opening devotions, followed by a performance by flutist Rev. John Blinn.
The event is scheduled almost immediately after an unprecedented special General Conference Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri. 864 delegates from around the world will come together to decide on a Way Forward
. Fears of schism and disunity abound.
The focus will be “what happened” and “what’s next” for the denomination. Reports will be shared by General Conference delegates, Rev. Kent Ingram, Rev. Bradley Laurvick, Rev. Megan Armstrong, and Kunle Taiwo. Conference observers, Rev. Dr. Valerie Jackson, Rev. Dr. Donald Messer, and Mountain Sky Chancellor, Richard Marsh, will also speak and answer questions. Bishop Karen Oliveto may or may not be present, depending on obligations following General Conference.
Conference co-chairs, Rev. Dr. Donald E. Messer, and Rev. Dr. Harvey C. Martz, note that "United Methodism is at a dangerous crossroads in mission and ministry. However, it also could be a ‘kairos’ moment, when the Holy Spirit breaks though, affirming a way forward that looks more like the inclusive Kingdom of God and beloved community Christians proclaim.”
Live streaming will be available, starting at 9 am. Details can be found on the UMARC website