New Year, New Way: Conversations on the Way Forward for the UMC


The mainline church across America is emerging as a movement to focus on

the love proclaimed in the gospel message.  We find the Church today struggling in a dualistic mode of right/wrong, left/right, conservative/liberal. It does not take long to see how such division harms the church and debilitates the building of the Kingdom.


As Methodists across the world ponder and prepare for discussion and decisions on the body of Christ and the Book of Discipline’s rules on LBGTQ, we will enter a year long journey of discerning the Spirit’s movement of our covenant community here at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church.  The power and presence of the Spirit is evident in the vitality of our church and the passionate drive to transform the world with the love of Christ.


During the last General Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Council of Bishops appointed a Commission on the Way Forward.  The Commission is a gathering of thirty-two members – clergy, laity, gay, straight, conservative, liberal – representatives from our World Church.  They have been meeting in worship, scripture study, and holy conferencing to bring back to the Council of Bishops a recommendation that will be presented to a Called General Conference in February 2019.


In January 2018, Hayes Barton will begin the journey of listening to the Spirit, studying the scriptures and engaging in holy conversations at Table. A joint Sunday School on January 7th will kick off our discussion and study, led by all three pastors. Also, two of our Bishops have been invited to join us in January.


Bishop Will Willimon, professor of the practice of Christian ministry at Duke University Divinity School in Durham, retired bishop of the North Alabama Conference, and former dean of the chapel at Duke University will join us on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 from 6:30p.m.-7:30p.m. in the sanctuary.  Bishop Willimon is a prolific writer.  One of his latest books, Fear of the Other – No Fear in Love, is a great read before joining us on the 10th.


Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, present bishop of the Raleigh Area will join us on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 from 6:30p.m. – 7:30p.m. in the sanctuary.  Bishop Ward, actively engaged with the Council of Bishops, and a powerful voice and servant throughout the world, will bring clarity and encouragement as we discern God’s Spirit moving through a people called



Wednesday, January 17th, 6:30p.m. – 7:30p.m. in the sanctuary, we will gather as a Church to join in a covenant to worship, pray, study and engage in holy conversations allowing God’s Spirit to empower us as the Church to build God’s Kingdom of love in the world.


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