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Showing posts from May, 2017

The Future of The United Methodist Church?

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Salem is a vibrant, fruitful, and growing congregation. Our denomination, The United Methodist Church, however, is struggling. Therefore, our Council of Bishops announced a special General Conference in February of 2019. This special meeting of our denomination’s top lawmaking assembly will be limited to acting on a report by the Council of Bishops, based on the proposals from the Commission on the Way Forward. The 32-member commission, appointed by the bishops after last year’s General Conference and has been tasked with finding ways for our denomination to stay together despite deep differences around homosexuality. In the meantime, the Judicial Council met in New Jersey and made some pertinent decisions. The Judicial Council is The United Methodist Church’s top court. Denominationally, we are structured much like the United States government. We have an executive branch (the Council of Bishops), a legislative branch (General Conference), and a judicial branch (the Judicial Council). …

Membership and Discipleship

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“How do you become a member as Salem?” That’s a question I am asked fairly often. It’s a good question that deserves a helpful answer. First, while we love to receive new members (and we're receiving new members during worship in a couple weeks), I want to let you know that our mission isn’t to make new members but to make new disciples of Jesus. Our initial focus, therefore, is to connect with people and help them to first become and then grow more mature as followers of Jesus, who go on to live in a such a way that they participate in God’s mission to transform, to renew the world. So you don’t need to become a member of Salem. That’s not our goal. And all are welcome to be a part of Salem regardless of membership. That means your baptism, wedding, or funeral can happen at Salem even if you’re not a member. We’re more concerned about your connection to and participation in the congregation. You can worship and serve and be a part of the church in every way except for two. You have…