DISCERNMENT

 
August 3, 2022
 
Dear Rose Hill Church Family,
 
“I thank my God every time I remember you.” ~Philippians 1:3
These words from the Apostle Paul ring true for me on a daily basis. I do thank God for you every day.

God has done amazing things in the life and ministry of this church through you and the generations of faithful followers before you. For over 150 years, God has employed and empowered Rose Hill United Methodist Church to carry out His mission as recorded in Matthew 28:19 and to, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”

As a congregation, we have always claimed Christ as this “Church’s One Foundation” and have built our lives around Acts 2:42, devoting ourselves “to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Our mission (to make disciples) coupled with our core values (The Authority of Scripture, Community, Prayer and Service) gives us our unique identity as people who profess Jesus Christ as Lord, which leads me to the primary purpose of this letter.

So, here’s the bottom line: the time has come when we as a church congregation must decide a denominational affiliation pathway based on our core values, theological beliefs, and who we believe God has called us to be.

We must prayerfully discern what God’s will and God’s way is for us. Specifically, this means we may have to change our denominational affiliation, in the very near future, to effectively pursue our ministry. Ultimately, these are the choices: we must decide whether God is calling us to remain in connection with the UMC, affiliate with a different Methodist denomination, or become independent.

For this reason, your Church Board and I have unanimously agreed to enter us into a period of discernment and have made this decision known to our Bishop. At minimum, this is a 40-day journey of prayer, study and conversation. Basically, there are three aspects, or phases, of this season we are now entering: learn, discern, decide.

As members of the church, the decision to leave, stay, or wait is yours, and you will be invited to make this decision during the month of October at a special called Charge/Church Conference (TBD).
 
In the meantime, there’s a lot of work to do in the learning and discerning phases. First, I invite you to pray that God would give us wisdom. Secondly, I encourage you to do your own research. In the next week or so, you will be able to visit a separate page on our church website containing links to a variety of different perspectives so you can hear from voices that represent all sides. You are invited to attend any or all church-wide learning sessions run by our Church Board Chair, Larry Chatman. As of right now, we have three sessions scheduled:

Sunday, August 14 (4pm) Faith Center
Monday, August 29 (7pm) Faith Center
Wednesday, Sept. 7 (7pm) Fellowship Hall (Dinner 5:30-6:30)

As we progress in the learn and discern period, we will also hold special prayer and worship services. We all know just how important prayer is going to be during this discernment process and I would love for you to join us for our first prayer and worship service this Sunday, August 7, at 5pm in the Chapel.

Finally, I want to affirm once again that I do thank God for you and believe God has great plans in store for this church as we continue to share the message and love of Christ.
 
For the Kingdom,
Jason
Dr. Jason J. Nelson
 
 

RESOURCES

There are many resources, both fact and opinion, available on the internet to the public for learning more about the United Methodist Church, the Global Methodist Church, and the process of disaffiliation.  Below are just some of these sites that you may find helpful during this period.