From Pastor Kathy…

As you may know we have a Special Pastor’s Fund that enables Asbury to help those who are in vulnerable situations. I want to take this opportunity to share a couple of stories of how we have used this fund to help others and in doing so are being God’s love through our hands, our hospitality and our back account.  We are currently helping a family of 4 who are moving from Ohio to Inyo in Southern California. The move is in part because they have a daughter who is severely Autistic and California provides more services for special needs children than does Ohio and job prospects for his kind of work (Tow Truck Driver) are better here. Their van broke down in Livermore. The family has purchase a used truck which needed some work. So the Pastor’s fund has provided a hotel room for them and purchased needed parts. The Father is repairing the truck in Asbury’s parking lot and several in our church community have been working with the family to help them recover from this set-back and get back on the road so they can get to their destination.

Another family in our congregation had a one month lapse between health insurance policies and a family member became quite ill during that month. The Special Pastor’s Fund helped to cover the expense of an emergency room visit and treatment and thus, helped to stabilize that family while they were in this transition. Thank you for your support of the Pastor’s fund which enables us to respond in significant ways to the vulnerable in our midst and to be the hearts and hands of Jesus in the world.

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During the month of June, the Pastor’s and Lay Members from each United Methodist Church gather for our Annual Conference Session in which we worship, adopt budgets, ordain pastors, and advance our mission strategy. Pastor Chelsea and I will attend along with our Lay Members, Dave David, Marsha Howard and Cal Johnson. Our retired Clergy and Clergy on Medical Leave, Dick Ernst, Heather Hammer, and Jim Crawford are also members of the Annual Conference. Johnny Collins, the other retired clergy in our midst, is actually a member of a different Annual Conference. This year’s Annual Conference Session will be in Modesto June 19-22 in Modesto. Visitors are always welcome. For more information check out the link: https://www.cnumc.org/eventdetail/4615078

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So what is up in the denomination since the ruling of the Judicial Council that parts of the Traditional Plan were legal and would take effect on January 1, 2020? During May there have been a couple of national meetings of Centrists and Progressives working to discern a path ahead to a church that has Wesleyan roots and is fully open and inclusive for all peoples.

Other plans are also being worked on such as the Bard/Jones plan. Two bishops, each representing differing positions in the debate regarding the issue of human sexuality, have joined to identify a path toward the dismantlement of The United Methodist Church and the creation of successor denominational bodies. Bishop Scott Jones of Texas and Bishop David Bard of Michigan have begun work on a plan that would allow all churches to disaffiliate from the UMC and join one of two or three successor structures. The entities would have their own constitutions and Books of Discipline. They may also share certain structures, including Wespath (our health and pension board) and the General Council on Finance and Administration.

Chancellors (Attorneys) for the Annual Conferences have been in conversation about whether we could hold a constitutional General Conference to speed up the work on things that change our constitution.  Structural change will take some time but the majority of the US United Methodists and Western Europeans are committed to growing a church that is a home for all people. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage to sign up for information from the Western Jurisdiction http://westernjurisdictionumc.org/ahomeforall/

As always, I am happy to talk to you about any of the above or any other matters.

Blessings,

Pastor Kathy

 

 

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