What’s Happening To the Methodist Church? Part 4

Questions and and answers were the next order of business for Scott Field, the minister of the First United Methodist Church of Crystal Lake.

I asked why we were sending any money to the Northern Illinois Conference.

Part of Field’s answer:  “They like a profitable franchise.”

He observed, “People vote every week with their feet and their dollars.”

Crystal Lake is sending the Northern Illinois Conference $124,000 this year.

The word “condordant” came up in the presentation.

That refers to a proposal that any sixty congregations could form a separate, but related denomination.

There were a series of questions about how a pastor relates to homosexuals:

  • Can a gay person be baptized?  Yes
  • Will a minister baptize the children of a gay couple?  Of course.
  • Will a minister bury a gay person?  Yes

Is there an option not to change the Book of Discipline?  Yes, the Traditional Plan.

Are all Methodist Churches talking about this?  No. For example, a church in Virginia in contact with Field is not.

A question about “global fallout” was incorporated earlier in the part about African Methodists.

Scott Field

What will be the effect on UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief)?   “It is typically funded separately.  It depends on who’s funding it.”

What is the percentage split expected to be?  At 2016 international convention, the split was 60%-40%, Conservative to Progressive.

“It looks as if the vote will hinge on the votes of about 60 people.”

Field added, “I have a rule that if the vote is that close, don’t ask, don’t do it.”

What is the church budget?  $450 million for four years, 90% coming from United States.

At this point, Field said that he though “it might be a good idea for us to leave the denomination entirely.”

One proposal would allow local churches up to five years to make such a decision.

Under the current system, every Methodist pastor is supposed to be able to serve any church.

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More tomorrow.

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