To the Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church,
Grace and Peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ!
As members of the DreamUMC movement, we are writing to invite the Connectional Table to publicly release a draft of any church restructuring plan that the Table is preparing by January 31, 2015. As a connectional people, we recognize that effective revitalization and renewal happens in deep and sustained holy conferencing. It is our hope that the vision and direction of our denomination might spring from conversation and discernment within the full body of The United Methodist Church.
DreamUMC (info: dreamumc.net) is a grassroots movement that arose out of General Conference 2012 in response to the presentations and discussions regarding PlanUMC and its predecessors. Although many United Methodists are passionate about the direction of our denomination, the plans for restructure came out of a more closed process. Seeking a more open and invitational dialogue, individuals who were excited about Methodist renewal created a groundswell of dialogue and action around reform, with greater opportunities for voices and input to be heard, and DreamUMC was born from that momentum.
Since May 2012, we have conducted biweekly chats about the mission and vision of The United Methodist Church. Over 300 United Methodist clergy and laity have been involved in our chats, providing over 5000 short bursts of feedback and discussion over social media. Our conversations include people who are of diverse ages, theological positions, and geographic locales, but are united by a shared interest, and ownership for change and revitalization within our beloved denomination. We have found that, in the midst of brainstorming conversation and conferencing, the Spirit moves in creative and exciting ways.
Through our grassroots process, we strongly believe that publishing and publicizing the work of the Table well in advance of the 2015 Annual Conferences season will allow space for these conversations to flourish among local church members, lay and clergy members of annual conferences, and interested United Methodists around the world, thereby increasing the levels of support and buy-in across the denomination for this necessary journey of revitalization. It will further help with your work as well, allowing the Annual Conferences and other interested parties to offer feedback that could be incorporated into the final legislation written by the Table to the 2016 General Conference.
In order to make better use of our connectional relationships and deepen the dialogue around church revitalization, we would further invite the CT to:
- Send a member or members of the Connectional Table to participate in a few DreamUMC twitter chats to answer questions and hear feedback from participants. We are happy to provide social media training to any member of the CT that wants to participate.
- Invite members or facilitators from the DreamUMC movement to present to the Table the ideas and input generated in our conversations, as well as how social media could better be integrated into the Table’s mission and goals to reach an increasingly connected church and world.
Our perspectives and methods may differ, but we believe our goal of living into God’s call for the future of the UMC is the same. We look forward to your response and the fruits of y/our work together.
DreamUMC movement, approved by the grassroots body January 14th 2013.
- removed “request that” language and changed to “invite” language per @BrianFelkerJones
- Added “publicizing” language per @UMDeaconJulie
- Moved DreamUMC info higher in the letter per @ttennheat
- Changed language from “small group of people” to “closed process” per @ttennheat and @pastormelissa