Something New -> UMC Next FL
To all who have been with us on the journey to FLUMC19:
To you, and all those who have gone before us and on whose shoulders we stand, we want to extend our most sincere thank you.
What we had the privilege to witness at FLUMC19 was a long-awaited shift in the Florida Annual Conference toward the full inclusion of our LGBTQ+ family. For some of us, this is something that we were not sure we would see in our lifetime. For others, it was simply the obvious choice; one that has been long overdue. Surely, this couldn't have happened without the movement of the Holy Spirit within each of us, calling us to find our voice in support of those whose voices have long been silenced.
Now, we begin the hard work of being good stewards of what has been entrusted to us. This involves shaping the narrative of what took place in Lakeland in a way that honors the amazing work done there, as well as acknowledging the pain that some in our conference are now feeling. We know and understand this pain; we have felt it for years, and because of this we are able to extend both grace and empathy to those who may be experiencing it for the first time.
General Conference 2020 is less than 11 months away, and all legislation must be submitted by September in order to be reviewed in subcommittees. Before that deadline, we will need to clarify, in detail, our hopes for something new within the UMC. To do this, we will be looking for input from various "listening posts" within our conference. Those of us who began Florida Methodists for Something New have chosen to join the broader UMCNextFL coalition to help craft options and perspectives to take to GC2020. We hope that you will continue to lift your voice in your churches, your district, and within the conference to help shape this vision. Most of all, we ask for you to continue praying for our denomination and for the Florida delegation to GC2020.
We encourage you to follow UMCNextFL.org to stay up-to-date on our work. Within the next day or so, the branding of this Facebook group will change to UMCNextFL. The focus of this group will remain the same: to provide a space for those Florida Methodists in favor of full inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community.
Again, a heartfelt thank you for lending your voice towards full inclusion. To God be the glory!