October 1, 2021
STRAW POLL RESULTS
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ;
Members of the White Lake United Methodist Church recently participated in a straw poll, which is an unofficial vote that decides nothing, but provides information and direction for future decision-making. The choice presented was very generalized, because we don’t even know exactly what we may have to vote on in the future, because a denominational agreement on a possible split of the United Methodist Church has not even been written, yet. In short, the question posed was, “if at some time in the future we needed to vote on whether to remain in the United Methodist denomination—which would change its rules to allow same-sex church weddings and the ordination/licensing of LGBTQIA candidates for clergy—or, leave the UMC to join the proposed Global Methodist Church—a new denomination which would be similar to the UMC in many ways, but would not allow same-sex church weddings or the ordination/licensing of LGBTQIA candidates for clergy—which way do you think you probably vote?”
The results are in. Eighty-seven ballots were returned. Sixty-four members indicated that they would probably vote to remain in the United Methodist denomination. Twenty-three members indicated that they would probably vote to leave the UMC and join the GMC.
This information will help us make some decisions. For example, we can now advise the Bishop and the Appointive Cabinet that our next pastor should be someone who intends to stay in the UMC, because that is probably what the church will do. This will avoid having a pastor for just a year or two, and then be separated by choosing different directions.
Other than that, nothing has changed. We don’t even know what changes may or may not happen someday, so let’s simply go about being the very best church we can be.
In Christ’s love,
August 4, 2021
UPCOMING STRAW POLL
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ;
Soon we will be taking a “straw poll.” A straw poll is kind of like a vote, but it is informal and doesn’t actually decide anything. You might think of it as a survey to gather some information, that will be used for later planning. Official members of the White Lake United Methodist Church (previous Whitehall members, previous Montague members and those who have joined since the merger) will be asked to participate in a straw poll any time from Sunday, August 8th through Sunday August 22nd. On August 22nd the final ballots will be received after both church services. At that point, the “polls” will be closed. You may get a ballot on August 8, 15 or 22, after church. Between those dates you may pick up a ballot in the Montague office Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. If that doesn’t work, call Tara at (231) 894-5789 during office hours. She will send you a ballot, which must be returned by August 22nd. Ballots may be returned by mail or drop-off, including after the church services of August 8, 15 or 22. If all else fails, call Pastor Mike at (231) 631-4712, and we will work it out. The absolute final deadline for votes to be counted is 12:00 Noon on August 23. Because the vote is members only, the ballots must be signed. Only Tara, Pastor Mike and another church official will ever see your ballot. Once they have verified and agreed on the count, the physical ballots will be shredded. No one else will ever know how you voted.
As the United Methodist Denomination does not have a specific plan of separation in place as yet, the wording of the Straw Poll question will have to be quite general. It may be perfected later, to make it more understandable, but it will read something like:
Post-Separation United Methodist Church: The same denomination that we are a part of now, except many of the conservative/traditionalist churches and individuals will have left to create a new denomination. The majority of the churches and individuals remaining would be liberal/progressive. Most things would remain the same as they are now (Wesleyan/Methodist), but same-sex church weddings and the licensing or ordination of “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals” (LGBTQIA) as clergy will be allowed and encouraged.
The Global Methodist Church: A brand new denomination, created and made up, largely, of many of the conservative/traditionalist churches and individuals who will have left the United Methodist Church. As the new denomination isn’t even formed yet, specific questions will be hard to answer. However, it is safe to say that the new Global Methodist Church will be similar in many ways (Wesleyan/Methodist) to the existing United Methodist Church. However, it will lean toward a more traditionalist view of some things, including, specifically, that same-sex church weddings will not be allowed and “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals” (LGBTQIA) will not be allowed to be licensed or ordained as clergy.
The Question: If, at some time in the future, The White Lake United Methodist Church needed to, by an actual vote, choose between belonging to the Post-Separation United Methodist Church (liberal/progressive) or the new Global Methodist Church (conservative/traditionalist), I would most likely cast my vote to:
(Sign One Only!)
Remain in the United Methodist Church Signature:_______________________________________
Move to the new Global Methodist Church Signature:_______________________________________