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A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Carter

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Carter

Denominational News General Conference


Dear Friends,
 
I write to you as we lament the violence and loss of life in the Ukraine. We pray for peace, and we lift up United Methodist churches in this area and all people living in harm’s way.
 
Each day we learn more about the implications of the postponed General Conference. I am a part of the work of the Council of Bishops in this season and am writing to provide guidance to you and your local churches.
 
I regret the activity of closed meetings being held in United Methodist churches in Florida by the Global Methodist Church. I do not understand the need for closed meetings. I do not understand the turning away of persons at the door of a church. I do not condone falsehoods being shared about The United Methodist Church. I rely on the spirit of 1 Peter 3:15 and appeal to us to take the high road and “give an account for the hope that is in us.” 
 
We are United Methodist disciples of Jesus Christ. We are a people under the cross of Jesus Christ, and the flame is the warmth of the Holy Spirit that calls us into connection with each other. We are an evangelical church that lives deeply in the grace of God and therefore shares this grace with all people, without exception.
 
A series of district gatherings are being planned for later this month. Superintendents will host these opportunities for you to learn about the vision of the continuing United Methodist Church – a vision that preserves the rich heritage of Florida United Methodism while committing to an ever more faithful and inclusive church for all. We want to encourage you in the important ministry you are doing in your local context. These meetings will be open to all. Two webinars will be held to give insight and support to our clergy and lay leaders as they guide us through opportunities and challenges of this season. The webinar for laity will be held on Sunday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. The webinar for clergy will be held on Monday, March 28 at 1:00 p.m. Registration links will be sent out next week. I invite you all to participate in these gatherings.
 
I commend three resources for you:  
1.  A Narrative for the Continuing United Methodist Church
2.  #BeUMC
3.  A Community of Love and Forgiveness
And my appeal to you is simple: 
  • Take the high road.
  • Give an account for the hope that is in you. 
  • Remember that we are scriptural, grace-filled, and missional people who want a church for all, no exceptions.   
“Welcome one another, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:7
Please click here for Creole translation and here for Spanish translation

The Peace of the Lord,
+Ken Carter
Resident Bishop, Florida Conference
The United Methodist Church
 

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