Where We Are and Where We’re Going

August 10, 2022, by Emily Penfield            From the Pastor

I like to keep the congregation up to date with what’s going on in the United Methodist Church.  As news of our impending “split” can be found in many forms of media, I think it’s important for us to know what is accurate and applicable for our local church.

Along with our Lay Leader, Al Coltrane, and Lyn Cosby (Assistant Communication Director for the NAC), I attended the North Alabama Annual Conference June 22-24th.  As our denomination faces changes ahead, it was acknowledged honestly that some congregations are preparing to disaffiliate to either join the Global Methodist Church or other options.  There is a called annual conference on December 10th for this process to begin. We also heard reports from many UMC ministries, including a very hopeful one from Camp Sumatanga.  There were several resolutions debated and discussed, including one for us to acknowledge and take responsibility for human-made effects for climate change.  I was thankfully re-appointed for my11th year at Woodlawn.

General Conference, where/when plans for the future of ministry in the UMC are decided, has been postponed again until 2024.  But as far as I can see, Woodlawn will stay the course with the UMC as it moves towards change and evolves to be a more inclusive body reflecting the love of Jesus. Last year we worked on a new vision for our congregation. In August, I will break down our vision statement in my sermons to give us encouragement to live into these words.  I want to keep it in front of us, as well as the mission of our conference.

North Alabama Conference’s mission is to discover, develop and deploy spiritual leaders to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

The vision of WUMC

We gather at God’s table with our neighbors to feast on food and the Spirit, seeking fullness of life for all.