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A CALL FOR UNITY AS WE MOVE FORWARD

We, the National Association of Filipino American United Methodists, are committed to the mission and unity of The United Methodist Church. The basis of our primary commitment to unity is Jesus Christ who prayed for the unity of His Church in the Gospel of John 17.

We join with the Council of Bishops in affirming that “Christ’s prayer for our unity and command to gather all to the table, to make space for one another, appreciate one another, and look for Christ in each other, prohibit us from creating individual tables only for those who think, act, look, and perceive the world like we do. We cannot be a church that fractures its identity and commitment to Christ by aligning itself with political parties. We cannot be a traditional church or a progressive church or a centrist church. We cannot be a gay or straight church….”

Instead, “we must be one people, rooted in Scripture, centered in Christ, serving in love and united in the essentials.” Those who claimed exclusivity that their theology is the only correct theology and push the rest to the margins or even silence those who disagree, is the way of the world.

We are saddened by the decision of some of our Filipino-American colleagues and friends to leave The United Methodist Church to join the Global Methodist Church (GMC). We all know that even before the GMC was launched as a new denomination, the NAFAUM already gave birth and organized the Global Filipino United Methodist Movement (GFUMM). We still have our leaders of the GFUMM all over the world.

Therefore, we encourage our NAFAUM community including our Filipino churches in diaspora not to join the GMC. For while they are still sisters and brothers in Christ, the GMC is no longer part of The United Methodist Church connection. We wish them well, but we will continue to strengthen the NAFAUM and the GFUMM all over the world.

As we move forward, we are committed to keep the main thing the main thing– the centrality of our faith in Jesus Christ who draws us into profound community with one another in love and unity to make disciples of Jesus Christ and to participate in God’s on-going mission to redeem and restore a broken and a hurting world.

We are “committed to strengthening every local church, where the Word is preached and Christ is offered, and where the table is set before all who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”

As Pentecost people, may the power of the Holy Spirit unleash into us as we commit to remain together in “one big tent” called The United Methodist Church as we embody the radical love of God in Christ Jesus where everyone including “traditionalists, progressives, centrists and LGBTQ persons will find a home.”

Rev. Edgar De Jesus

President, NAFAUM