Dear St. John United Methodist Church Family,

The recent General Conference made significant changes to our Book of Discipline related to human sexuality. Because of these decisions, there are many mixed feelings in our denomination. None of the changes approved at General Conference change our mission, vision, and values at St. John. We are still the same church we were a month ago in terms of ministry, worship, and preaching. In partnership with Harrison UMC, provided teacher appreciation luncheon for Harrison Elementary Staff, our food ministry continues, and hosted an Ice Cream Social. This summer, VBS will be held, and campers will go to Camp Lookout. As previously stated, the trustees of Holston Conference are working to develop a process by which churches may enter into a “fair and non-punitive separation” from the United Methodist Church. Based upon when we receive the specific process lined out by Holston Conference, our Bridge Team will explore missional, financial and membership consequences. At that point the process and consequences will be given to all members of our church, and a vote of church members will be taken whether to enter the process. If our church votes to enter the process, another vote will be taken later on whether to officially separate on the completion of a discernment process.

Below is a link to a brief survey which you can complete online. Please complete by May 31st. You can answer the survey individually or as a family. Each one will be read by the Bridge Team. We ask that any comments be in a respectful tone. Every voice is important. There will be an Informational session, following Annual Conference, on Sunday, June 23, 2024, sponsored by the Bridge Team. Please be looking for more details as to time and place. You are encouraged and are welcome to attend that meeting. Thank you for your commitment to Christ and for the many ways you give yourself to the mission of Jesus here at St. John. In these unsettled times, may we all continue to put our hope in trust in Him.

In the love of Christ, Carl Blackburn, Pastor Rick Williams, Lay Leader and Bridge Team Leader