Pastor’s Corner May 2

Written on 05/02/2024
Megan Hopkins

Members and Friends of Pittman Park,

Thank you for your prayers lifting up the delegates at General Conference in Charlotte. As I mentioned in last week’s Pastor’s Corner, the group had a lot of work to do, and this week several amendments to The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church were considered.

Yesterday marked a significant milestone as several pieces of legislation were ratified. Notably, after an extensive eight-year process involving input from over 4,000 contributors worldwide, a new set of Social Principles has been adopted. Additionally, the approval of new regional bodies empowered to contextualize The Book of Discipline reflects a commitment to ensuring that mission and ministry are attuned to the diverse contexts of our global denomination.

One of the most notable decisions made during the General Conference was the removal of restrictive language concerning same-gender weddings and the ordination of LGBTQ individuals, along with the elimination of all harmful language pertaining to LGBTQ matters. Bishop David Graves observed, “This legislation returns our Book of Discipline to a neutral position, akin to its state prior to 1972 when the phrase ‘Incompatible with Christian teaching’ was first included.” It is important to recognize that this legislation respects the autonomy of local churches to determine their stance on hosting weddings, while affirming pastors’ discretion to officiate marriages according to their conscience. You can hear more about the General Conference and this legislation from our Bishop by clicking here.

The Church Council will convene on May 13 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss this legislation and the outcome of the General Conference. Let’s take time to read and understand the upcoming changes in the meantime. I will be attending clergy meetings on May 8 and May 13 to gain further insight into the legislation that was adopted. Additionally, I encourage you to participate in the Laity Webinar on May 14 to hear from our Bishop and General Conference Delegates about the impact of this legislation. You can register for the Laity Webinar here.

How am I feeling about these changes? I believe that God is moving powerfully at Pittman Park and is guiding us into a new and hope-filled future. Every week, we have new guests joining us in worship, new faces at Open Table, and new members to welcome into our community. I am committed to Pittman Park’s health and future vitality and to seeing God move among us in new and powerful ways.

I want you to know that my office is open, and I am available to meet with you to talk through these legislative changes and what they may mean for our church. If you have any questions or would like to set up a time to meet, you can contact me via phone or text message at 912-678-5631 or via email at

God bless,
Jonathan Smith
For Jesus. For People. For Community.