DECISION 2022

Decision 2022 at Southside United Methodist Church

 

A while ago, Pastor Phillip read a letter to the congregation. It was calling attention to the pending division in our denomination. A copy of that letter was sent via email, linked in the newsletter, and posted below here on the sumcjax.org website.

 

Since he has asked various members of Southside to serve on a "Study Team." Thus tasking them to research ALL the options available to Southside on this matter. This study team will carefully review, learn and study all the options to provide the Southside church community with as much information as possible. After the study team has taken a season doing so, they will report to the Southside congregation their findings. Upon hearing the gathered information, the Southside congregational members will be able to vote.

 

Please note: that the Study Team is NOT deciding for the church; they are simply a committee formed to gather information and present it to the Southside congregation. Upon conclusion of their research, the committee will present its findings to the church. Members of the church will then be able to in-person vote on our future path. 

 

As we recognize how important it is to keep our congregation up-to-date with the developments. Below, you will find a list of communications sent out to the congregation during this process to date. Please email them to the Study Team at decision2022@southsidemethodist.org - If you have any questions, comments, or concerns that you wish to raise. 

 

If you can not attend any of the scheduled meetings discussing this matter please contact Pastor Phillip, Pastor Dale or the Study Team directly.

 

We are all here for each other!


SEE ALL THE COMMUNICATIONS


UPCOMING DATES & EVENTS:

 

  • Thursday, August 11th at 7:00 PM in the FLC - Study Team Meeting. You are welcome to attend.
  • Sunday, August 14th at 10:00 AM in the FLC - Immediately following the close of the 9:00 am service there will be a Decision 2022 Study Team Update including an opportunity for Q&A. Please plan to attend.
  • Wednesday, August 24tht at 6:00 PM in the FLC - Rev. Jeremy Rebman will be discussing the WCA/GMC. Please plan to attend.
  • Wednesday, August 31st at 6:30 PM in the FLC - Rev. Durwood Foshee, District Superintendent, NE Florida discussing the UMC. Details coming soon. Please plan to attend.
  • Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00 pm in the FLC - Study Team Meeting. You are welcome to attend.
  • TBA - Rev. Durwood Foshee, District Superintendent, NE Florida present for charge conference to vote on disaffiliation

     


We would like to invite all who is interested to a special gathering in the Family Life Center this Sunday, August 14th at 10:00 a.m. As you know, the United Methodist Church is in a season of division. You are invited to come and hear an update from some of our committee leaders this Sunday.

There have been some on-going conversations about the United Methodist Church, the divisions that are coming to our denomination, and how Southside United Methodist Church will address them.  During this season it is important to ask: “What does the Bible say?” A presentation on what the Bible says and how it pertains to the conversations in the UMC.


Pastor Phillip and the Decision 2022 Study Team will be giving a special talk on Sunday, May 15 at 12:00 pm about the issues that are presently challenging the United Methodist Church.  This talk will be given in the Family Life Center and lunch will be served. Please make sure to RSVP to reserve your spot by May 11th.  

The talk, which will be identical to the one given at the April SWM meeting, and will address five questions: 

1. Who were we? 
2. What have we become and how did we get here? 
3. What is before us?  
4. What are our options?
5. What can I do?  

Pastor Phillip will offer his explanation of all of the above. You will have an opportunity to ask written questions. We will provide note cards and pens for your use. 

RESOURCES

Have questions? We hope these resources will be useful to you.

You can always reach out to our pastoral staff or the study team for any questions, comments or concerns 

at info@southsidemethodist.org or decision2022@southsidemethodist.org

 

 

 

 

 

 


Update Letter 7/18/2022

Dear Brothers & Sister in Christ,

 

Each congregation in the United Methodist Church is at a place where it needs to make a decision. Does that congregation wish to be progressive and continue in the UMC? Or does that congregation desire to be more traditional as part of the GMC? Whether we like it or not these questions and the need for this decision to be made are coming even to Southside.

 

The United Methodist Church has long described itself as a “big tent.” This “big tent” paradigm is an attempt to describe an institution that has a wide variety of theological approaches within it. Some of the approaches are conservative, evangelical, charismatic, orthodox, moderate, liberal, and progressive. Some of the movements within the church are exclusively committed to evangelism, discipleship, or missions.  Some are given over to a variety of socio-political or justice causes. You may well anticipate that such a wide diversity of approaches can make life interesting. It may be more accurate to say that our wide diversity of approaches has made such things as institutional focus a tremendous challenge. Over the years some of these different approaches have made coalitions and sought to control the resources and direction of the denominational church. One of the unfortunate aspects of the “big tent” approach is that different caucuses tend to form and work to out-position those who are thought of as the opposition. It has been difficult to maintain denominational unity. At times the different approaches seem as if they are rowing in opposite directions.

 

 The United Methodist Church began talking about the possibility of dividing decades ago. The foundational reasons for disagreement have much to do with the source of authority and the interpretation of scripture. The presenting issue of today has to do with the LGBTQIA+ issues and the place of marriage and/or ordination.

 

All the while, Southside United Methodist Church has continued to be a welcoming, family-friendly community Church loving the Lord Jesus from the point at Hendricks Ave. and San Jose Blvd. Generations of Methodists, and eventually then United Methodists, have grown up at Southside. We have worshiped, gone to Sunday School, raised our children in the preschool and children’s ministry, sent our teens to the youth ministry, and done missions projects alongside one another over the years. We have reached out to love our neighbors and serve those in need through worldwide missions. Despite debates heating up at General Conferences, Southside has continued to be a church focused on Jesus, through learning, loving, and living Him. We have always and will continue to focus on scripture, helping serve our community and world through mission, and welcoming and loving our community and the Southside family.

 

On the denominational level, the major poles in the “big tent” are drifting even farther apart.  Different votes, decisions, and reactions at General Conference 2016 and 2019 and in the aftermath of 2020 deepened the divisions. Thus the truth is that there is not much unity in The United Methodist Church today. The division that has long been talked about in the upper echelons of the denomination are now coming to every church and congregation.

 

In light of these circumstances, Southside United Methodist Church has to put together a “Study Team.” The purpose of this study team is to gather knowledge and information about these very complex discussions. Once as much information as possible has been gathered, they will then share the findings and information gathered with the Southside congregation. The Southside congregation thus being better informed of all the options available to Southside United Methodist Church will vote to decide which expression of Methodism best matches our congregation.

 

The question before us is do we stay in The United Methodist Church or do we join the new expression of Methodism that is “The Global Methodist Church.”  Please note, that moving forward the continuing United Methodist Church is on a newer, progressive course.  While the “new” expression, The Global Methodist Church, is more like classical and traditional Methodism. We as a church body must decide collectively, which is the best fit for Southside?

 

We want to assure you of a number of different things.

1. The Study Team is not secret. Anyone who wants to come and sit in on a meeting is welcome to do so.

 

2. The Study Team was not created to commit Southside to either direction. Its purpose is to gather information to better inform the Southside congregation of all the options available prior to a church-member-wide vote.

 

3. It is important to note neither the Church nor the Study Team has committed any funds toward any decision.

 

4. The Study Team has an email address, decision2022@southsidemethodist.org, specifically created to receive your questions, thoughts, ponderings, and observations. Please feel you can email the team anytime.

 

5. The Study Team has provided a number of different presentations available to anyone about the history of the denominational conflict, and what the Bible says about the issues that are before us followed by a question and answer session. The next presentation will be with Pastor Dale on Sunday, July 24th at 6:00 pm in the Chapel. Please make plans to join.

 

6. In the very near future (date to be determined) the Study Team will sponsor a presentation from UMC, the continuing United Methodist Church, on what the UMC is going to look like after the traditional Methodists leave.

 

7. Additionally the Study Team will also sponsor a presentation (date to be determined) from GMC, the Global Methodist Church, on the new expression of Methodism for “traditional” Methodists.

 

8. Once the Study Team has disseminated as much information as possible, they will have a congregation-wide presentation on their findings and then finally a church member-wide vote to decide which option of Methodism is the best fit for Southside.

 

What can you do until then?

1. Pray for our Church, the Study Team, and our present and future.

 

2. Pray for focus, unity, and witness.

 

3. Pick up the phone and make an appointment to visit with one of your pastors. Let them know your thoughts, even if you think that they will agree or disagree with you. It is important that you be heard, and it is important that you understand yourself to be honored, respected, and loved.

 

4. Pray for our future, that it may be God-honoring, Jesus-centered, Spirit-filled, life-transforming, scripture-focused, life-transforming, mercy-flavored, and grace-blessed.

 

Peace,

 

Pastor Phillip Short & Reece Comer, Chair Study Team

Important Letter from Pastor Phillip - March 23, 2022
A Letter from Pastor Phillip - March 14, 2022