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Additional Questions

These questions were submitted after Listening Session 3 with Rev. Tom Pasmore.  Both answers are from Rev. Pasmore:

Question: We had a question about the development of the UMC Next. Was UMC Next created as a complete unit, such as the GMC or is it simply the evolution of the UMC heading into the future? Also, where can we find more information about the UMC Next? There seems to be a lot of information about the WCA and the GMC and we were hoping the same type of information might be available for UMC Next. Thanks again for your presentation and discussion.

Answer:  UMCNext is just a caucus group like the WCA. We are not as well organized nor as well funded but we advocate for people to stay and do the ministry that we have been called to by Christ within the Wesleyan framework of the UMC. We do advocate for full inclusion of all peoples, since we see all people as created in God’s image and of sacred worth. We have a website (https://pendelnext.com/) (which is a little out of date) and a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pendelnext) (which is more up to date). These are our primary modes of communication. There is no real governing body, we simply function as a committee of the whole. Anything on the UMC website would be relevant to what we would want to share.

Question: The Methodist church currently has a drag queen, Ms Penny Cost, as a certified candidate for ordination in the United Methodist Church. Are you in agreement to this ordination? Is this the “new” UMC with pastors using pronouns and drag queens in the pulpit?

Answer: I understand the frustration of trying to make sense of a church that is large and diverse. I was not aware that there was a person donning drag that had been certified. I also want to be clear. Isaac Simmons is not serving as clergy in any Annual Conference. They are a church hire functioning in the role of outreach pastor. Will they be ordained? I have no idea. As a reminder, the ordination process is long and complicated in the United Methodist Church. From the time that I discerned that I was called into ministry to the point in which I was ordained was 7 years, and I was a certified candidate for 5 years before ordination, which is a two step process in and of itself. I would invite every layperson in the United Methodist Church to read Paragraphs 301-342 in the 2016 Book of Discipline to see all that this process entails and requires of the person who is called. Do I support their ordination? I don’t know. I haven’t met Isaac Simmons nor do I know anything about them other than they dress in drag. I personally think the “new” UMC will be pretty much like the old UMC, full of all the same broken people that were part of the church in the past. All denominations are flawed and all denominations do some amazing work for the Lord. Let us live into the three General Rules: Do no harm, do all the good you can, and stay in love with God.