Denominational Discernment

Upcoming

Congregational Meetings

Our three congregational meetings happened in January of this year. They are available for re-watch under the "Videos" section of this webpage.

Share your Thoughts

Please fill out this short survey from the Discernment Committee.

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Documents

Paragraph 2553
Disaffiliation
Call to Prayer
A letter from our Bishop
November of 2022
Letter from the Team
Come | Join | Pray
Pray Together
December of 2022
Letter from the Team
FAQ and Updates
Discerment Update

New Document

Congregational Resources

This document details articles sent to the Discernment Team from congregants, as of December 31, 2022. Each member received a copy of all articles shared and one team member responded to each sender as an acknowledgment of receipt. The articles are listed as of the date received, in no other particular order.
The Discernment Team shares these articles for informational purposes only and does not endorse or recommend any article, writer, or publisher. A few congregants sent multiple articles, so this list should not be taken as an indication of a common feeling among the church as a whole.

The UMC is splitting?

For the United Methodist Church, of which Huntsville First is a member, it means some churches have entered Discernment periods to decide whether or not to leave the UMC using Paragraph 2553 (see documents section). Some have discerned and decided to “disaffiliate” (leave) the UMC while others have decided to stay with the UMC. Some have decided not to enter into a Discernment at all, opting to stay UMC by default.

Possible Paths Forward Are:

Remain

Remain United Methodist.
It is not assumed that departing the UMC is the best or preferred option for all churches.

Disaffiliate

Disaffiliate from the UMC and either:
  • Join another Methodist Church (such as Global Methodist Church, Free Methodist Church, etc.)
  • Join a different evangelical or Wesleyan denomination
  • Become an independent church

Wait

Wait for the outcomes of the 2024 General Conference. Paragraph 2553 expires Dec 2023 unless it is extended in future rulings by the UMC General Conference.

Excerpt from the booklet mailed to all members this summer on the United Methodist situation:

“There have been calls for separation for years, particularly regarding issues relating to LGBTQ marriage and ordination rites. There was hope in early 2020 of a separation that could be amicable. I believe it was the Holy Spirit who prompted Bishop John Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference to call together leaders at different ends of the theological spectrum for the purpose of reaching a healthy separation. The Protocol for Grace and Reconciliation through Separation, known simply as The Protocol, was the result of this call and much expert mediation. Traditionalist leaders sought to continue the church’s prohibition on LGBTQ marriages and ordinations in the UMC. Progressive leaders sought to remove such prohibitions… “

This was a snippet from our booklet that was sent out. If you did not receive that booklet or would like an online copy…

Discernment Team

Billy
Bell

Sherry
Polk

Bo
Harrison

Sarah Lauren
Kattos

Carolyn
Puryear

Robert
La Branche

Lora
Walker

Janice
Johnson

Elizabeth
Bowman

Allison Bragg
Summerford

James
Sweeney

These are the members of our Discernment Team. They are seeking to understand God’s will for Huntsville First UMC in this Discernment Process; nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

You can help in this process with your prayers and by sending your thoughts and reflections by emailing:

discernment@huntsvillefirst.org

Videos

Congregational Meeting
First Meeting
Congregational Meeting
Second Meeting
Congregational Meeting
Third Meeting
Video 1
Progressive vs Traditional
Video 2
General Conference
Video 3
Paragraphs
Video 4
A Man, a Plan, and a Vote
Video 5
Reviewing Options
Video 6
What's Next?

120 Greene Street  |  Huntsville, AL 35801  |  256-539-5738

120 Greene Street
Huntsville, AL 35801
256-539-5738