A Message from our President
2018 Theme for the year …
Legacy: Harvesting with the Holy Spirit
Scripture: Galatians 6: 9
I bring greetings to you from your CA-NV UMW Conference Leadership Team as we just completed our first gathering for the year. We were blessed to begin our time together in retreat lead by Rev. Kristie Olah. We discovered what it meant to work together as a Collective. We worked to identify our strengths and explored our spiritual types. We determined that “we” are the best, the strongest, most joyful when we lead out of our strengths, our passions. Our thanks to Rev. Olah for helping us to lay a firm foundation to move forward.
As you have an opportunity to look over the “Updated” Conference/District calendar for the year (on this website), you can see that there is much to prepare for and be involved in this year. I hope that each of you takes the opportunity to participate in our Conference and/or District special events. The issues presented at these events are vital to all of us in our present political environment. The opportunities for spiritual growth are the perfect settings to renew our personal faith and commitment to the work of UMW as well as provide us with the opportunities to be in fellowship with our sisters. We are blessed with the opportunity to attend UMW Assembly in Columbus, OH, and I am happy to share that we currently have 160 CA-NV UMW sisters registered to attend. This is truly a wonderful event that is sure to enhance our personal lives. We will come home from this event on a high …. new ideas ….. renewed enthusiasm ….. ready to tackle whatever issue is placed before us.
My last two years as your president has been filled with opportunities to learn and experience far more that I had ever imagined. I have met and worked with people throughout our conference both in UMW and on the Conference leadership team as well as many from our Western Jurisdiction and those from National UMW. I have been so blessed. I look to this year as a continuation of this growth. To be your representative at all levels of UMW and in our conference, has truly been a joy. I hope to continue this same path.
I appreciate your input and encourage you to contact me if you have questions or concerns. God has given me a job to do on your behalf and I can only do this job if I hear from you. Please make your concerns known to me directly or through your district officers.
Our God is an awesome God and as his disciples we are on a pathway of service in his name. We are a “collective” as we learned in retreat …. a diverse group of people working together for a common purpose. Communication, understanding, as well as honesty are only a few of things that impact what we do and how well we do it. Our focus …. “faith, hope, love, in action.” May 2018 be a wonderful year for CA-NV UMW …. for our God. Blessings upon each of you.
CA-NV Conference UMW Leadership Team stands in “The Red Zone” to intercept Human Traffickers in 2018
A WAY FORWARD – January 2018
As your president, I as well as your Vice President, Sally Wenzel, and our current National Board Member, Juliet Maliksi, have all been asked to provide to our UMW sisters here in our conference, foundation information on A Way Forward. This is what our denomination, our Council of Bishops, are now struggling with … what will the United Methodist Church be …. what will we look like as we move forward.
I am providing you with some information for you to look over and become familiar with. This information has been presented to about 120 of you over the last month at several UMW events. Please, ask questions. Share this with your fellow sisters. Contact me and I will be glad to speak with you about this and you will hear more as we progress through the year and come closer to a special General Assembly in 2019. We are asked to “have conversations” about this. This is not something to be debated …. who is right ….. who is wrong. It is for us to talk about and seek understanding of all the various viewpoints. God Bless. Marlene
Video of Council of Bishops – email@example.com or
Way Forward fleshing out 3 possible futures
By Heather Hahn
Jan. 22, 2018 | UMNS
The Commission on a Way Forward is fleshing out the details of three possible models for how the denomination treats LGBTQ inclusion.
The multinational group, appointed by United Methodist bishops, held its seventh meeting behind closed doors Jan. 18-20 in Dallas.
Each model has its supporters among the 32 commission members with no single plan having a clear majority, commission members told United Methodist News Service.
“Some commission members prefer one sketch; others prefer a different sketch,” the Rev. Tom Lambrecht said. “There’s no one sketch that predominates how we think is the best way to go forward.”
Dave Nuckols, another commission member, said that it’s less relevant which model commission members prefer than that they provide the bishops what they need.
The bishops also have asked the commission to draft a theological statement that both informs the three models and creates a compelling narrative for them.
“Ultimately, the final report of our work is really not going to be our final report,” Nuckols said. “It’s going to be what the bishops make of our work because we are supporting them.”
The three options, in no particular order, are:
While United Methodists have bandied about the first two options in earlier church discussions, the third is different from what comes before.
“The multi-branch option is intended to provide a space within the overall church where different groups could operate according to their conscientious beliefs,” Lambrecht said.
“Structurally, that’s still under development as how that would look. But I think the intent is that it would abide by one of the principles we operate under, which is that there would be no winners or losers in this scenario.”
However, Nuckols — a Minnesota Conference lay leader and treasurer of the Connectional Table — sees the first and third options as ultimately untenable. He favors something along the lines of the second option, which offers more local decision-making.
“Our bishops requested ‘contextual differentiation,’” he said. “That means allowing more space so that we can each succeed in varied mission fields and so that we no longer litigate a single uniform church law treating married homosexuals differently than married heterosexuals.”
He said the second option offers space within one church, while the third offers space between different branches.
“The simpler Space Within approach cultivates greater tolerance as a sustainable path to unity, discipleship and mission,” he said. “The well-intentioned but complex Space Between approach offers structural co-existence, but in my opinion, its long-term consequences will be instability and schism.”
Lambrecht is a leader in the advocacy groups Good News and the Wesleyan Covenant Association — both of which advocate for maintaining the church’s restrictions.
“I think it’s fair to say most evangelicals would prefer to see an option similar to option one — whether that’s realistic at this point is up for grabs,” he said.
The bishops will use the commission’s work to develop legislation that will go before the 864 lay and clergy delegates of a special General Conference on Feb. 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri.
The special meeting of The United Methodist Church’s top lawmaking assembly will be limited to acting on a report by the Council of Bishops. Nevertheless, at least some United Methodists are already drafting their own plans to propose as substitute legislation.
While the Wesleyan Covenant Association has not decided whether to submit its own legislation, Lambrecht said he knows of individuals who are working on their own proposals.
At the beginning of the recent commission meeting, Council of Bishops President Bishop Bruce R. Ough offered some advice to the commission members.
“Time is running short and we need to focus,” he said, according to a commission press release. “Simple is better than complex. Reasonable detail is better than ambiguity. Fewer disciplinary changes is better than more. Honor the parameters and values of the ‘mission, vision and scope’ document — unity, contextualization and enhanced mission.”
Retired Bishop David Yemba of the Democratic Republic of Congo also urged the commission to keep the denomination’s global nature in mind. Yemba is one of three bishops serving as commission moderators.
“Many United Methodists outside of the United States would like to see the context be taken into consideration seriously,” he said, according to the press release. “Whatever models the Council of Bishops will come up with and recommend to General Conference as a way forward, it is expected that such a recommendation will provide space to focus on what unites us and not what separates us as well as what we can say together as basic principles on human sexuality in the light of the Gospel.”
The Council of Bishops will have a special meeting in February to review the commission’s work. The commission has two more meetings scheduled this spring. The bishops have a deadline of July 8 to submit their petitions to the special General Conference.
A Way Forward Readings
Commission on a Way Forward – Mission, Vision, Scope
United Methodist Women’s historical social policies summaries on Human Sexuality
Holding Together, by Jane Ellen Nickell, June 19, 2017 – blog
(More readings are available. Contact Marlene for further listings.