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SEJ Evangelicals Forum Met in Simpsonwood, GA

Allan and Senie Burns convened evangelicals in the Southeastern Jurisdiction in preparation for the 2000 General Conference in Cleveland as well as other issues facing the UMC. During the first half of 1998 they have been visiting renewal groups and evangelical leaders in each of the conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction to discuss issues before us. Information and resource materials were provided as background for developing any petitions, proposals, or position statements felt desirable. Guidance was also provided for electing delegates to the 2000 General Conference. In this effort, Good News is serving as a resource organization.

As a result of these meetings with evangelicals across the Southeastern Jurisdiction, there has been a general consensus that there would be great value in gathering for worship and prayer, fellowship, networking, and mutual support, as well as directing attention to issues of mutual concern, some of which relate to the 2000 General Conference.

On September 1-2, 1998 about 140 Evangelicals from the South East Jurisdiction of the UMC gathered for worship, encouragement, networking, and formation of future strategies. Groups making presentations included:

Consensus was reached on the key issues facing the UMC and appropriate strategies began.

One of the key decisions made was to form a tight network of all renewal groups represented at the SEJ Forum to communicate and coordinate future events and strategies in order to bring about more effective renewal and reform to the UMC.  The groups represented also agreed to meet semi-annually to fellowship, pray and strategize.

Concurrent with the SEJ Forum, members of the pro-homosexuality Reconciling Church Program met in New York to similarly form their own strategies to promote the cause of homosexual activity as acceptable Christian practice and the ordination of practicing homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgendered person.

The most discernable difference this meeting had on the participants was the mutual encouragement which inspired the groups' members to stand up more boldly for the traditional Christian faith and adopt a more courageous strategy for reform in the future.

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