Update and From The Community

Relationship with Christ United Methodist Church

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the Congregational Conversation on February 11. The information that was shared during our SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) has been compiled into a spread sheet for analysis. You can view the spreadsheet here:


The identified strengths and opportunities point to consideration of what we might do better together with the availability of more people (such as worship, outreach, education) and leadership collaboration.

The weaknesses and strengths relate to a number of things: finances; pastoral leadership; the differences in the size of the memberships of each church and related financial concerns; and identity.

It’s clear that we have questions that need a response from the United Methodist wider structure. Several folks have asked about how pastoral changes would happen and what happens to the building should Christ UMC eventually close. Because of those questions, it is the hope of the Church Council that some of our leaders can meet with the Methodist District Superintendent (DS) and Rev. Dr. Tony Clark, our Transitional Conference Minister. Our churches would be represented by both pastors and 2 or 3 key lay leaders. The process to make that meeting happen has begun.

We have previously raised the concern of the impact on our Open and Affirming focus. We have been assured that Christ UMC has taken the first steps to become a Reconciling Ministries Congregation (the UM version of Open and Affirming).

During our last Council meeting (February 19) the conversation shifted from “merger” to the idea of exploring shared ministry without full merger. Rev. Lynne has shared that concept with Rev. Dawn. The hope is to discuss it further at a meeting of leadership from both congregations to be held in the near future. We will also be asking the leadership of Christ UMC to keep us informed about the work being done among their membership regarding a potential merger or shared ministry.

We’ve been wondering who has done this before and what might we learn from them. We’ve discovered some information that came from a study done by the UCC in 2015. (You can access the report here: https://new.uccfiles.com/pdf/UCC-Multiply-Affiliated-Congregations-Report.pdf) It turns out that, yes, this has been done before and of the denominations that UCC congregations have aligned with the most is United Methodist! We will be finding out who some of those are and reach out to them to see what we can learn, especially from those who have done so more recently.

Please remember to keep your church in your prayers as we continue with this conversation.

If you have any questions or thoughts, please be in touch with Dick Kloppel, Karen Spencer, Rev. Lynne or any of the Church Council members.

From the Community

Every once in a while we get some feedback about the messages we post on the electronic message board on the back of the church building, seen mostly by the folks in the drive-through at Dairy Queen. Up until now, that feedback has been positive and appreciative of the messages that are about what it means to love your neighbor. We have included the image of a pride flag that says, “All means all.”

Earlier this week, for the first time, we received a different message. Someone (no name or phone number available on caller id) left a voice message on our phone sharing their opinion that it’s “in very poor taste” to put it out there and “like, maybe it’s accepted and an okay thing.” (I’m assuming they mean homosexuality… and yes, it is an okay thing!)

To everyone in our congregation who strives to live into what it means to be an open and affirming congregation, I say “Thank You” for the faith that strengthens you to be clear that we will continue to welcome and affirm all people as God has created them to be: amazing, beautiful, loving and lovable. As a white, cis-gender, straight person, I realize that I am sheltered by privilege. Yet, I will continue to stand with you all as we continue to work in partnership with God to create a world where all are loved and valued and where hatred and fear are silenced. I am honored to do so.


Rev. Lynne