Information for Mt. Olive's Discernment Process
Denominational Opportunities

Information on this page is to be used for helping our discernment process in whether or not to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church or stay as a United Methodist congregation. There will be resources from both the conservative and progressive viewpoints, and it may be updated with new items, so check back often. 

Conservative Viewpoint

The congregation was invited to attend a presentation with the conservative viewpoint on January 15, 2023, at The Connexion Church in Kokomo. Click the button to view the video of the presentation.
Information from the presentation in Kokomo:
Source of quotes used in the WCA informational presentation
"When it comes to the Bible, people make choices about ... which stories they let shape and inform their lives ... when they go searching in the Bible, some passages speak to them, and others they set aside.... The challenge for people like you and me is to find the Good News in the Bible. When we find that, we can let the rest recede into the background."
Excerpt from UMC Bishop Elaine Stanovsky's sermon, February 3, 2019

"By the leading of God's Holy Spirit, we come to know some things allowed in scripture are no longer appropriate and valid, and that some condemnations and rules need grace-filled and loving updating."
Excerpt from UMC Bishop Hee-Soo Jung's "Soul Food" series, December 27, 2019  (the middle of the last paragraph)

"What am I supposed to do with clear instances of prejudice in the bible? At the very least we should attach censorship flags similar to those on Twitter and Facebook. But ideally, we should ban such problematic passages from the bible altogether."
Excerpt from a web blog by UMC Pastor Frank Schaefer, March 20, 2021

"And while I believe in our traditional, orthodox faith that's rooted in the Scripture, I also have always believed that we have to adapt our doctrine and our scriptures to changing life circumstances that people have."
Excerpt from a newspaper interview with Florida Bishop Ken Carter, July 26, 2022

"We might think of him as the Rock of Ages, but he was more like a hunk of clay, forming and reforming himself in relation to God. If Jesus can change, if he can give up his bigotries and prejudices ... then so can we." Bishop Karen Oliveto, 2017
Excerpt from UMC Bishop Karen Oliveto's weekly message to her conference, Aug 19, 2017

"Friends, Jesus isn't God. Jesus didn't die for our sins. Jesus wasn't killed instead of us.. There isn't
a hell ... God didn't write the Bible. ... Jesus' resurrection didn't have to be understood as a physical
one for it to be a real and meaningful one ...  And Christianity isn't the only way for humans to experience salvation." Pastor Roger Woolsey, 2018
Excerpts from an article by UMC Pastor Roger Wolsey, May 24, 2018

“[General Conference] has been dysfunctional for 50 years ... and it hasn't born much fruit. The postponement of General Conference is a good thing. We've been given permission, maybe it's self-appointed permission, to move ahead."
Excerpt from a podcast interview with Bishop Thomas Bickerton, May 2022

“We have for too long depended upon the imperfect mechanisms of the General Conference to address challenges that cannot always be solved by legislation. The legislation will eventually follow. But real change will happen first at the grass roots-in local churches and annual conferences."
Excerpt from an email to North Central Jurisdiction delegates from Bishop Kennetha Bigham-Tsai, Sept. 2022
This email is not on the internet, but since I was a direct recipient, I can forward a copy to anyone upon request to

“No, it is not important that we [referring to United Methodists] agree on who Christ is." "God became flesh, but not particular flesh. There's no particularity around that. God became incarnate in a culture, but not one culture."
Excerpt from an interview with Bishop Kennetha Bigham-Tsai, September 2022

"Dottie believes we are living in a time of epochal change, which requires the church find sacred ways to die in order to be reborn. She calls for heretics and edge-dwellers to lead the church forward. Now is the time, she says, to push these new leaders to the forefront of church restarts." Quote from the church website of the previous appointment of newly elected Bishop Dottie Escobedo-Frank

Resources to Help Your Discernment
Helpful articles can be found at:
This page is from another Indiana congregation, but it has a wealth of resources to consider:

Progressive Viewpoint

A meeting was held on Sunday, February 5, 2023, at 2:30 pm in the sanctuary for the progressive viewpoint. The following video is from that meeting.
This webpage is from the North Alabama Conference, but it contains a wealth of articles pertaining to the progressive viewpoint of the issues.

Additional Resources:
Resolution Five – [future of Indiana UMC] – This resolution was passed at the Indiana Annual Conference 2022, and provides a glimpse at the future position of the UMC in Indiana.
Building Beloved Community – [future of Indiana UMC] – A resolution passed by the UMC North Central Jurisdiction, which includes Indiana, providing more context for the future of the UMC
#BeUMC – [reasons to stay UMC] – This is a site dedicated to providing information for local congregations to encourage commitment to the United Methodist Church
“Gladly Choosing to Be United Methodist” – [reasons to stay UMC] – Adam Hamilton is featured in recorded webinar from an association of retired UM clergy formed in support of Bishop Oliveto.
'Ordinary' United Methodists Push Back Against Misinformation [recent UM Insight article] - Disaffiliation stories
Where to find information about staying United Methodist

Resources on
Why We Are Staying in the UMC | Rev. Adam Hamilton | May 17, 2022

Christianity and Homosexuality -- Tony Campolo

What’s Next for the United Methodist Church with Lovett Weems Wesley Theological Seminary

Staying UMC by Texas Conference

Organizations and news websites
Room For All of Indiana Coalition at
Sign up for periodic e-news letters

A nationwide coalition to remain United Methodist from a centrist perspective.

“Some Notes and Reflections on The Transitional Book of Doctrines and Discipline of the
Global Methodist Church Comparing and Contrasting with The Book of Discipline of The
United Methodist Church (2016)” Prepared by: Rev. Dr. Dave Morse, Rev. William (B.T.)
Gilligan, and Tracy Merrick - July 8, 2021 at Reconciling Ministries of Western Pennsylvania
( Click on menu in upper lefthand corner. Click on RESOURCES and scroll to
bottom of the page. Click on above titled document.

United Methodist Insight (An independent, weekly UM-related news service out of Dallas,
Texas found at and edited by Cynthia B. Astle, a past editor of The United
Methodist Reporter, a former national independent newspaper.

For daily stories about The United Methodist Church
United Methodist News Service based in Nashville, TN at
Daily Digest at
Sign up to have Daily Digest sent to your e-mail inbox

Ask The UMC “What should congregations know about disaffiliation?”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With the 2020 General Conference postponed to 2024 and the
announcement by the Wesleyan Covenant Association that it launched the Global Methodist
Church on May 1, 2022, there are many questions about disaffiliation. The Ask The UMC team
has created a FAQ in an effort to provide clarity about the process and dispel confusion.
Read FAQ at: about-disaffiliation
Read more Ask The UMC at

Other resources on the subject of homosexuality in the life of the church
Faithful and Inclusive: The Bible, Sexuality and The United Methodist Church by Rob Fuquay,
senior pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis and produced by Susan
Fuquay and the Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship (authors of the Disciples Bible
Study Series). Faithful and Inclusive allows one to gain an understanding of how United
Methodists can be both obedient to God’s Word and fully welcoming to LGBTQ persons in the
church. This is a six-session DVD series with each session lasting 50 minutes.
For more information and to preview and order this video, visit The video also is available from
by searching Faithful and Inclusive DVD. Cost $39.99.

Is It Time? Helping Laity and Clergy Discuss Homosexuality One Question at a Time by Adolf
Hansen. Abingdon Press. Nashville. 2017. Available from Cost $7.79.

When Christians Get It Wrong? By Adam Hamilton. Chapter 5. “In Dealing with
Homosexuality,” Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2013. Part of a DVD six-session discussion series,
available at Cost $11.99.

Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships by James
V. Brownson. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Grand Rapids, MI. 2013.
Available from Eerdmans at
sexuality.aspx. Cost $29. Also available as e-Book from Kindle.

What makes you proud to #BeUMC?
#BeUMC honors the core values that connect the people of The United Methodist Church (The
UMC). This grassroots campaign, built upon powerful stories of congregations and people living
their faith, celebrates what draws us to The UMC and what we aspire to be.

The UMC is founded on a Wesleyan theology of grace, anchored in Scripture, and based in the
life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the continuing movement of the Holy Spirit.

Share your story! The full story of The UMC reflects all of our interwoven experiences. Consider
our common roots and your answer to the question, “Why am I United Methodist?” Then, post
a video, photo or written testimony on your preferred social media platform – don’t forget to
use the hashtag #BeUMC.

For #BeUMC campaign resources visit:

List created by:
Dan Gangler, the Rev. Dr., retired Elder of the Indiana Conference United Methodist Church and
former conference director of communications.