Discernment and Due Diligence

Discernment and Due Diligence

March 3, 2017

Dear BSUMC Family,

Since our Charge Conference on Sunday, February 26, there has been much conversation about the proposed adoption of Trinity United Methodist Church and it becoming a second campus of Buncombe Street United Methodist Church. The Charge Conference approved the creation of a pastoral position and voted to move forward with our discernment process and due diligence study of the proposed adoption.

On Monday, March 6, the Due Diligence Team will meet with the District Superintendent for clarification of some issues related to their work. More importantly, they are seeking to gain clarity about how the costs of this new campus pastor will be covered. We already know that the Annual Conference has committed to salary support of $43,600 in 2017, decreasing by 25% each year until the beginning of year five, when the campus will be completely our responsibility. In addition to salary, the Annual Conference will carry part of the load for benefits.

There are two meetings currently scheduled to provide information to the congregation prior to any decision being made. The first of these will be held on Sunday, March 26, following 11:00 AM worship. The second will be on Wednesday, March 29, at 6:30 PM. The Due Diligence team, District Superintendent, and I will be there to answer questions and hear concerns. Our hope is to clarify as many issues as possible so that the Church Conference can proceed with all understanding the dynamics involved in the adoption proposal.

This Church Conference will be held on Sunday, April 2, following the 11:00 AM worship services. A Church Conference, unlike a Charge Conference, extends voting privileges to all members of Buncombe Street UMC. There will only be one proposal before the Conference: whether or not we will move forward with the adoption of the Trinity UMC campus, making it an integral part of Buncombe Street UMC. The vote will be taken by paper ballot. Ushers will be at the doors distributing ballots to each member who attends the Church Conference, and child care will be provided during this meeting as well as the informational sessions, so that all adult members will be able to attend.

These are weighty matters that require our best thoughts and our prayerful seeking after God’s will in this undertaking. Whatever happens on April 2, we are God’s people, doing God’s work, under God’s power, in the name of Jesus. May it always be so.

Robert J. Howell, Jr.