Friday, May 24, 2024

What Next?! Archbishop Elizabeth Eaton Glories in the United Methodist Split,
So Similar to the ELCA's Collapse

Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA, has issued a pastoral letter on the United Methodist Church (UMC) General Conference, which concluded last week in Charlotte, N.C., after having been postponed since 2020. “For 15 years we have accompanied our full-communion siblings in the UMC through joyous and challenging times,” the letter read, in part. “We know firsthand the pain of debate, disaffiliation and division that they have experienced. Yet we also know the hope-filled renewal of Christ’s church.”

The letter continued: “With each day’s news we witnessed our partner church emerging strengthened, revitalized and united. Several actions will shape the future of the UMC. These include the adoption of a plan for worldwide regionalization to restructure the UMC as a truly equitable, diverse and global church, which now goes to annual conferences for ratification.” Regionalization will allow for unity within the worldwide UMC structure, Eaton said, even as members hold diverse opinions on actions taken. Those actions included:

  • Lifting a 40-year ban on the ordination of practicing homosexual clergy.
  • Lifting restrictions on clergy to officiate at, and on congregations to host, weddings between adults of the same gender.
  • Eliminating from the UMC’s Social Principles the assertion that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.
  • Broadening the definition of marriage to be between either a man and a woman or two consenting adults.

“These significant actions and the UMC’s witness to the ecumenical vocation we share come as we celebrate 15 years of full communion,” Eaton said.

Read the full letter.