Seeing a Way Forward: The Rev. Tom Berlin

The Rev. Gary Graves, secretary of the General Conference, shares some of the questions he’s been hearing about the special called General Conference taking place in February 2019. Graves spoke with UM News as part of “Seeing a Way Forward,” a video series featuring different perspectives of church leaders on the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. Video image courtesy of United Methodist News Service.
The Rev. Tom Berlin

The Rev. Tom Berlin, lead pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, was a member of the Commission on a Way Forward and submitted the One Church Plan legislation to General Conference.

Berlin spoke with UM News as part of “Seeing a Way Forward,” a video series featuring different perspectives of church leaders on the work of the Commission on a Way Forward.

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Discussing questions about the One Church Plan

The Rev. Tom Berlin, who submitted the One Church Plan legislation to General Conference, discusses various questions he’s been hearing about the plan and the commission’s process.

 

One Church Plan: “How does the local church handle LGBT inclusion now?”
The Rev. Tom Berlin shares the inspiration behind the creation of the plan.

 

One Church Plan could unite “our broad and diverse denomination.”
The Rev. Tom Berlin says the plan provides a place of unity for the variety of theological viewpoints present within today’s United Methodist Church.

 

One Church Plan submitter analyzes other Way Forward plans
Though he supports the One Church Plan, the Rev. Tom Berlin sees positive aspects of the Traditional and Connectional Conference plans as well.

 

Educating churches about Way Forward plans is important
The plans being considered by the 2019 General Conference are complicated and not every United Methodist is interested in reading hundreds of pages of legislative proposals. But that doesn’t mean pastors shouldn’t find ways to educate their members. The Rev. Tom Berlin suggests graduated ways to inform local churches — from the folks who only want the main points to those who don’t mind getting into the weeds. 

  

 

This is the tenth in a series of video interviews by United Methodist News Service. View all interviews.

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General Church
Attendees and guests of the Reconciling Ministries Network convocation pray together at the altar at Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn. LGBTQ United Methodists and their allies expressed hope that a proposal to separate the denomination might pave the way to end what they see as discrimination. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

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General Church
Zach Holder (center), with members of the Way Forward team, speaks during a special session of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference in October 2019. The United Methodist Judicial Council will review five rulings of law related to that session, which resulted in an overwhelming vote to let churches decide how to include and affirm LGBTQ people while still giving congregations the right to agree to disagree. Photo by Corbin Payne.

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General Church
The definition of abeyance as listed on dictionary.com. While the proposed “Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation” is not a done deal, negotiators are asking for a pause in certain church closings and complaints in the meantime. Graphic by Laurens Glass, UM News.

Negotiators urge hold on trials, closures

Part of the new proposal for the denomination’s separation calls for a pause in closing churches and processing complaints related to LGBTQ restrictions.