Finding Our Way Forward

Finding Our Way Forward

March 29, 2017

Dear Buncombe Street Family,

We continue to find our way forward in the Trinity adoption process. No one knows how this decision is going to go, but there are some erroneous impressions from last Sunday’s information meeting that we need to correct. While we all want everybody to be happy, there are certain requirements stipulated in The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church that must be followed. The first requirement is that at least ten days’ notice of a Church Conference be given to all Church Members. The second is that all voting is accomplished at the duly called meeting of the Church Conference. While we discussed other options in the information meeting on Sunday, our research clearly shows that a vote must be held at a duly called meeting of the Church Conference and that votes must be cast during the time frame of the Church Conference. Thus, we cannot allow absentee voting, nor can we offer a second opportunity to vote for those who cannot be present on April 2, 2017.

A telephone caller left a message on the voice mail in my office; this person was deeply dissatisfied with the decision to require the vote to be taken only at the duly called Church Conference. I understand, but I also understand that if we fail to follow the procedure that is prescribed by The Book of Discipline, then a member who disagrees with the outcome of the vote could raise a legitimate protest of our process and potentially nullify the outcome of the Church Conference.

Given that this is the only way to make this fair under our Discipline, I implore you to make every possible effort to be with us on Sunday, April 2, 2017, at noon.

That said, we have found a way to open the voting at exactly noon on April 2, 2017. Ballots will be distributed to members of Buncombe Street as they enter Sisk Hall. The District Superintendent will call the Church Conference to order and you may remain for the reading of the motion and the arguments for and against, or, if you cannot stay, you may simply complete your ballot and place it in the basket on the altar as you leave.

There is a second Q&A session in the Sanctuary on Wednesday, March 29, beginning at 6:30 PM. The due diligence team and others will be here to answer your questions. This seems to be a weighty issue in the life of our congregation and your continued prayerful discernment is sincerely sought and deeply appreciated.

Grace & Peace,
Robert J. Howell, Jr.
Senior Pastor