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What's Happening at New Hope UMC
New Opportunity to Volunteer
As our construction process moves forward, we would like to add office volunteers to work with our Facilities Team for a few hours a day. Things will get pretty hectic as we have two projects going simultaneously. Duties would include answering the phone, receiving packages, directing vendors, some computer work, and whatever else might come up depending upon your gifts and graces. For more information or to volunteer contact Tim Ashcraft at tim@findnewhope.com or 689-4161.

Looking for a place to serve around campus or in the community?  CLICK HERE to complete our SERVE form. 
A Note from Pastor Jamie...

The United Methodist Church will face a defining moment in February 2019 when a special called General Conference (GC- the only body that can speak officially for the entire denomination) will take action on various proposals related to our longstanding disagreement on standards of human sexuality. Since 1972 the UMC has had conversations, debates, and learning opportunities while affirming what the Church of Jesus Christ has affirmed for 2000 years- the standard of one woman and one man in marriage. This remains the ideal standard upheld by most Christ followers around the world still. 
 
At New Hope we had Point of View table discussions with over 130 members to help us have empathy for people with different views than our own. This, I believe, was vital in helping us understand others as well as possible. Over the years many people have engaged in the process to change our policies in the Book of Discipline, but now- more than ever before- a number of people are explicitly disregarding our covenant. For instance, our Book of Discipline clearly states that we will not ordain practicing gay and lesbian people to serve as pastors in our churches nor will our pastors perform same gender weddings in our sanctuaries, but in 2016 the Western Jurisdiction of the UMC elected and consecrated as a bishop of the whole church, Karen Oliveto, who is in a same gender marriage and states she has married over 50 same gender couples. As of yet, those in charge of holding her accountable to the Discipline of our church have not taken any action. A number of Annual Conferences have also committed themselves to disregard what the Book of Discipline states as our policy on human sexuality. This is confusing to many United Methodists around the world, but we need to understand that for a number of people this is such a vital justice issue that they feel conscience bound to violate the Discipline. The reality is that people who care about one another can read the same Scriptures and reach different conclusions about the best course of action.
 
On July 8, the Commission on the Way Forward, was supposed to issue a report featuring three major proposals that will be before the General Conference in 2019, but because of complications and translation issues the report was not released. The full report is now available, but only in English.



The final report comes in at a whopping 230 pages (https://peopleneedjesus.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/docket-10-2018-12.pdf). The GC delegates will also not be limited to these three options. They could amend an existing plan or choose a plan that hasn’t even been submitted yet. Here are the basic outlines of the three major plans:
 
1) The Traditional Plan calls for maintaining our current stance on human sexuality in the Discipline and strengthening accountability for those who no longer wish to honor it. Traditionalists believe our current standards offer both truth and grace by stating that all people are of sacred worth to God and that we won’t marry same gender couples nor will we ordain GBLTQ individuals to serve as pastors in our churches. This is the standard we have agreed to live out as UM at every General Conference since 1972. Your pastors and Leadership Team at New Hope lean toward a traditional stance held gently and in love. All people are always welcome at New Hope, and that will never change. Our commitment is to love and care about all people as we seek to live out the truth with grace. 
 
2) The One Church Plan would remove the restrictive language against the practice of homosexuality in the Discipline; that is, marriage would be defined as a relationship between “two persons.” Decisions about whether to ordain LGBTQ clergy would be made at the Annual Conference level by clergy only. Decisions about conducting same-gender ceremonies would be made by individual pastors and congregations. People who support this plan call themselves centrists, who want to allow for as much freedom as possible in unique contexts; that is, every Annual Conference, pastor, and individual congregation will determine how to understand human sexuality. If this plan was approved, many traditionalists have been clear they would be unable to remain in the UMC. Similar plans have previously not been approved by the GC.
 
3) The Connectional-Conference plan would allow conferences to choose among three connectional conferences for affiliation. The connectional conferences would align based on theology or perspective on LGBTQ ministry- traditionalist, progressive, or allowing for a variety of approaches. This plan would require multiple amendments to the denomination’s constitution and require a 2/3 majority vote at GC2019 and a 2/3 majority vote of all annual conference delegates around the world, which would make it almost impossible to pass. 
 
So here’s what I practically believe about all of this: the Traditional Plan is the only proposal that has the ability to pass at GC in 2019. We are a global church, and given the makeup of the 864 delegates who will be voting I don’t believe the One Church Plan, although recommended by a majority of bishops, can pass at the GC. As I said earlier, similar plans to this one have already been rejected at previous GC gatherings. I predict the One Church Plan can receive no more than 40% support, but this is just my current opinion. 
 
The New Hope Leadership Team will carefully review the plans and be prepared to make recommendations to the congregation once we know the results of the General Conference in February 2019. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have, and continue to pray for God’s guidance and leading for the denomination, church leaders, and this local church as we discern the best way forward.
 
Praying for genuine unity and God's best,
Pastor Jamie
jamie@findnewhope.com

 
From the Trustees-
The church is in need of an industrial golf cart, as well as possibly, a regular golf cart to transport members around campus. If you or anyone you know has a decent cart for sale or donation, please let us know by contacting Tim Ashcraft, Director of Facilities, at tim@findnewhope.com or 689-4161.
Build Hope Campaign Update
Forward progress on the building the new Social Hall- This Monday, July 23, don't be surprised when you come by the church and see workers in hazmat suits and respirators. This is just the asbestos abatement team preparing the old Social Hall for demolition, which will hopefully occur from July 25-27.

In order to stay up-to-date with information sent via e-mail regarding this project be sure to update your Connect Zone profile.  

Collection bins will be located in the Sanctuary.  Items can also be dropped off at the Church Office during normal business hours.  
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New Hope United Methodist Church
120 N. Knights Avenue
Brandon, Florida 33510


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