By Chuck Griffin, Holston WCA President
At our annual meeting of the Holston Chapter of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, we issued a document called the “Statement of Intent.” It also has been available on our website as part of our “Looking Ahead” document, which has been downloaded about 400 times since March 19.
Already, these completed statements are starting to arrive at the Holston WCA, and we’re getting inquiries about the document, so I thought I should take a few moments to revisit it.
To avoid confusion, I will repeat what the Statement of Intent says at the top. This is not a document of the United Methodist Church; it in no way binds you to the Global Methodist Church or releases you from the UMC.
Filling out the Statement of Intent accomplishes something important, though. It lets your WCA chapter put a number on how many churches in the Holston Conference really feel ready to move to the Global Methodist Church. Ultimately, this information will allow the WCA to help these churches work together to achieve their common goal.
We keep these forms very private. As a church, you of course might want to declare your intent publicly, along the lines of what First UMC of Alcoa did last August. That’s up to your church leadership, though. The Holston WCA leadership won’t be releasing those names on our own.
Ideally, a church’s top administrative body will vote to send in the Statement of Intent.
Please also note that the form can be used by groups of traditional Methodists within churches unlikely to leave the UMC. We want to count you, too, so we can provide assistance as you make important decisions. You have lots of options before you as an organized group of traditional Methodists, even if you feel out of place in your church.
It is our prayer that all churches in the Holston Conference of the UMC are having open and frank conversations now about whether they ultimately will want to be in the UMC or the GMC.
Again, here’s the “Looking Ahead” document, with the Statement of Intent on the last page: