I confess my heart aches and grieves where we find ourselves. Our beloved church holds a diversity of opinions, and I understand that some sisters and brothers feel they must leave our Connection for the sake of their conscience concerning issues of human sexuality.
As a believer facing hard realities, I draw strength from the Holy Spirit’s gift of hope for us all. I pray that any disaffiliation will occur graciously while we in the NC Conference continue to take our stewardship responsibilities seriously. I pray that we will each work throughout this process to neither disparage nor judge anyone.
I want to thank each of you for your patience and, more importantly, for your prayers through this process. Our Conference Trustees, Chancellor, Treasurer, Cabinet, and Office of Church Transformation Ministries are finalizing a plan for any church wishing to disaffiliate. We will release this plan on May 17.
I will call a special session of Annual Conference in the fall of 2022 to address any requests of disaffiliation so as not to impede any churches desiring to separate. We will focus on any subsequent requests for disaffiliation at the June 2023 Annual Conference.
May the love of Christ inspire us, guide us, and give us peace.
Bishop Leonard E. Fairley