On March 16, 2022, members of the Virginia Conference Delegation to General and Jurisdictional Conferences met to discuss what work we could do now to move our connection forward in light of the recent postponement of General Conference to 2024. Early this year, we heard presentations regarding the Christmas Covenant (so named because of the time which it was offered by the Cavite Annual Conference of the Philippines in 2019). This followed work last fall to review Parts I-IV of The United Methodist Book of Discipline which describe the essentials of our faith: the history of the Methodist movement, the Doctrinal Standards and General Rules, Distinctive Wesleyan Emphases, and Theological Task.
The Christmas Covenant would transform the existing Central Conferences into Regional Conferences and create a United States Regional Conference. It would increase the ability of each Regional Conference to adapt the Book of Discipline to fit its missional context and create a more equitable structure for our global church. The denominational Connectional Table has endorsed the Christmas Covenant framework for a U.S. Regional Conference (https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/connectional-table-affirms-the-christmas-covenant-legislation).
We believe this Christmas Covenant shows a way into a new future for The United Methodist Church. Our Virginia Delegates to General Conference voted unanimously to endorse the Christmas Covenant. We are now forming a resolution for the 2022 Virginia Annual Conference to endorse the Christmas Covenant as well. We invite you to learn more about the Christmas Covenant legislation by visiting https://www.christmascovenant.com/pagecc.
We, the undersigned, are voicing our support for the Christmas Covenant as the most viable way for our United Methodist Church to move forward into a new future:
|General Conference Delegates|
|Rev. Tom Berlin||Mr. Warren Harper|
|Rev. Lindsey Freeman||Ms. Martha Stokes|
|Rev. Meredith McNabb||Ms. Shirley Cauffman|
|Rev. Dr. Rob Vaughn||Ms. Alison Malloy|
|Rev. Dr. Rhonda Van Dyke||Mr. Marshall Bailey|
|Rev. Mark Ogren||Ms. Jill Gaynor|
|Rev. Grace Han||Mr. Jake Paysour|
|Rev. Beth Givens||Mr. Mark Elder|
|Rev. Jason Stanley||Dr. Karen McElfish|
|Rev. Kirk Nave||Mr. Andrew Kissell|
|Rev. Jonathan Page||Ms. Kim Johnson|