Message sent by Reverend Sandi to the congregation on May 3, 2017.
Dear Members and Friends of WPUMC:
Many of you were in worship on Sunday or have heard through media outlets that the Judicial Council of the UMC issued a ruling on the question concerning the election of our conference's episcopal leader, Bishop Karen Oliveto. It is a complex and confusing ruling, and there has been a lot of misunderstanding about it. Bishop Karen was not removed from the episcopacy, but the Judicial Council referred the matter back to the Western Jurisdiction Council of Bishops.
I've responded to half a dozen emails already this week from those of you who want more information, or who want to know how to show support of Bishop Karen and desire to see full inclusion in our denomination. This is a time of great tension in our denomination, and it doesn't seem that it will be resolved quickly or painlessly. I am happy to be in conversation with anyone who would like to discuss this further. If you want to show support, letters of care to the Bishop are appreciated. There is a Facebook page (Mountain Sky Area Loves Bishop Karen), or you can email Bishop Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I believe one of the best things that we can do in this time is to continue to be the witness of love, grace and inclusion here in Wash Park that we have been for years. News updates are being posted on our church website (link below). Thank you for sharing your feelings, for being poised to take action when necessary, and for keeping this process in your prayers.
Rev. Sandi Dillon
Wash Park UMC, Senior Pastor
Updated news on WPUMC Website:
Don't miss out on this month's programs, activities, and events! Read the Link.
From Colorado Public Radio: "After Methodist Church Court's Ruling, What's Next For Openly Lesbian Bishop Oliveto?"
In a 6-3 vote, the church's judicial council says the bishop's homosexuality violates church law. Oliveto heads the region that includes Colorado.
Listen to or read "What's Next For Openly Lesbian Bishop Oliveto?" on CPR from May 2, 2017.
Read the original letter here. Copied in its entirety below:
Beloved of the Mountain Sky Area:
People within the Mountain Sky Area, across The United Methodist Church, and around the world have been holding all of us in their prayers as we waited for the Judicial Council decision.
On Friday, our United Methodist Judicial Council released an important decision relating to Bishop Oliveto and the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church.
The ruling was long, complex, and raised several matters of church law. The effect for our area is that it has been determined that Bishop Oliveto was properly elected to the episcopacy, and will continue to lead the Mountain Sky Area as a Bishop in good standing. However, the judicial review process will continue in the Western Jurisdiction. She sends her warm greetings and love to every congregation in the Mountain Sky Area. She is grateful for the expressions of love and support she has received.
We know many people have questions about the details of the ruling and its implications. A detailed Question & Answer document will be forthcoming to help us understand the decision better.
We also know that not everyone agrees with this decision. We know there is pain for some committed, faithful United Methodists who disagree with the Council’s action upholding Bishop Oliveto’s election. And we know there is pain among LGBTQI people and their families who have seen the Judicial Council create new law making it more difficult for them to serve the church they love.
A part of Paul's letter to the Colossians reads: And above all these things put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:14). Harmony means we don't all sing the same line, but find our own voice which is needed to create a beautiful harmony.
We in the Mountain Sky Area have many different voices representing many different perspectives. Our life together is a beautiful representation of the Body of Christ and when we join our voices together, a sacred song is sung to which the world responds.
May God bless the people of the Mountain Sky Area.
Rev. David Burt, Assistant to the Bishop and Eastern Montana District
Rev. Margaret Gillikin, Trinity District
Rev. Kama Hamilton Morton, Central and Western Montana District
Rev. Youngsook Kang, Director of Connectional Ministries
Rev. Paul Kottke, Metro District
Rev. Jeff Rainwater, Wyoming District
Rev. Dr. Melanie Rosa, Mile High Pikes Peak District
Rev. Jeremy Scott, Vital Congregations Developer
Rev. Skip Strickland, Peaks & Plains District
Rev. Tezenlo Thong, Mile High Pikes Peak District (incoming)
Rev. Marv Vose, Utah/Western Colorado District
Rev. Jan Witman, Central and Western Montana District (incoming)