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CLUB 444: …and From Our Florida Bishop…

June 10, 2022

who wrote at about 9:15pm Central Time —-

A Brief Note on Friday Evening

The Florida Conference is filled with awesome people. And the outcome of our clergy session has gone viral. The vote of the clergy session, a needed 75%, was 72%. I truly love and serve all of the people of our conference. A small and vocal group is departing. A number of them spoke in the clergy session. I prayed today for them and for the 13 churches who will depart. I am not disparaging them. I appeal to them not to disparage us.

The primary reason I write is to center the persons who were affirmed at every level of discernment along the way—local church, district, conference, and not affirmed by 75% of the clergy session, the needed differential being seven votes.

I grieve the harm you have experienced.
I am committed to the support of your call.
The United Methodist Church needs you.

This is not a time, at least in this space, for cynicism or assumptions about us or avoidance. If you are reading this, I am really thinking of the candidates. And if you are reading this from outside of Florida, I want you to know how awesome the people of this conference are.

We are reflecting on a process that will not do more harm and that will truly serve the candidates and by extension the mission of the church. This is work best done carefully and intentionally and collaboratively. We will do it in this way.

If the church were merely a human institution this would feel like failure, and to an extent it does. But the church is not merely a human institution.

I take the long view. If God is for us, who can be against us?


For this space, and on this evening, please limit responses to those that center the experience of the candidates for commissioning in the Florida Conference this week. The best response is intercession.

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