Lehman Memorial UMC Members and Friends,
On behalf of the Church Council, I write to inform you that this past Tuesday night, the Council voted to explore disaffiliation from the UMC, under the guidelines of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. What this means is that we will undergo a process laid out by the conference by which we explore what are the advantages and disadvantages of leaving or staying in the denomination. Without a long explanation, the reason behind the situation we are in is a result of progressive bishops, clergy, and high leadership failing to follow the UMC Book of Discipline which includes what we believe and the rules we are supposed to follow.
Many thanks to those who could stay for the congregational meeting last Sunday. Our time together, while not able to answer all of the questions posed, gave the Council a good idea about where we were as a congregation in regard to a desire to take this initial step in the process.
This decision does not mean Lehman Memorial UMC will be leaving the denomination! It simply means we are at the point of wanting to gather more information upon which a decision will ultimately be made. The process includes the appointment of two discernment guides who will lead the church through the rest of the process. There are various outcomes that will eventually be voted upon by the members of the church. Essentially, there are three options that exist while staying in the denomination and three options through disaffiliation. These will be discussed as the process continues.
It is probably true that there are more questions rather than answers at this point, but as time goes on and the process begins to unfold, we will get the information and time we need to make the right decision. This part of the process ends in January of next year, so there will be ample opportunity for the congregation to be involved.
As was identified at the meeting, prayer needs to be at the center of our discernment and the process as a whole. Please be in prayer for one another and our church. More information will be shared when the exploration process begins.
In His Service and for the Church Council,