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Showing posts from April, 2018

Becoming Members

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Salem is receiving new members on Sunday, May 13. Sixteen people have been fulfilling the requirements and responsibilities of membership and are ready to step up and help take responsibility for Salem.  When we receive the new members during worship, there’s a moment when the people in the congregation renew their membership vows, as well. Because of that, I want remind you of those membership responsibilities. Members are people who have professed faith in Jesus, been baptized, completed the membership orientation, and regularly practice spiritual disciplines to worship, grow, serve, give, and share. What does that that look like? Members worship each Sunday (9 or 11 AM) unless they are sick or out of town. Worshiping weekly gives them an opportunity to gather with others to love God, offering praise, honor, and glory; to hear what the Lord God says to the by reading scripture; and to speak their prayers to the Lord. It’s an incredibly powerful moment to re-center their lives in commu…

A Decision Will Be Made About Our Future

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It is incumbent upon me to clearly communicate what’s happening in the wider United Methodist Church. Salem may be required to make a big decision in another year, depending on what happens next February at a specially called General Conference.  In 2016, the every-four-year General Conference decided not to take up any legislation related to homosexuality. Currently, The United Methodist Church declares that all individuals are of sacred worth but the practice of homosexuality (so not homosexual people themselves) is incompatible with Christian scripture and tradition. Further, the church prevents clergy from officiating at same-sex unions, teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman, and prohibits the ordination of self-professed practicing homosexuals. Rather than voting on these matters again in 2016, the bishops were authorized to form the Commission on a Way Forward to help our denomination discern what to do in the midst of our differences around human sexuality. The Commi…