Please join us at the Heart & Mind Listening Sessions from September 23-October 14, 2018 at the locations below. These sessions were approved by the body of the 2018 Annual Conference and are being presented to create opportunities for participants to engage in deep conversation with one another, particularly with our delegates to the February 2019 General Conference. 

The Heart & Mind Listening Sessions are very different from the recent Table Talks with Bishop Jones, conversations on A Way Forward. Table Talks with Bishop Jones presented information on the three plans that will be voted on by our delegates at the February General Conference. Participants at the Heart & Mind Listening Sessions will be invited to engage in the same topic, but in a "Holy Conferencing" atmosphere with guided discussions.

Recommended pre-session reading are listed below to help participants be fully informed and to inquire how to best to lead churches during this time.

Refreshments will be served, and childcare will be available by R.S.V.P. directly to the church telephone number provided below. Please provide the age of your child so that age appropriate childcare can be arranged.


September 23     First UMC-Westchase, 3663 Westcenter Dr, Houston, 77042

4:00 - 6:00 pm     For Childcare: Ashlee Darden:

                            Include: Parents information, Childs Name, Childs Age


September 30     Beaumont, Wesley UMC, 3810 N Major Dr, Beaumont, 77713

4:00 - 6:00 pm     For Childcare: (409) 892-7733


October 7            Longview, First UMC, 400 N Fredonia, Longview, 75601            

4:00 - 6:00 pm     For Childcare: (903) 753-4463


October 14          A & M UMC, 417 University Dr, College Station, 77840

4:00 - 6:00 pm     For Childcare: (979) 846-8731


General Conference Delegation 

Feel free to contact our delegates with questions and/or share information that you feel they need to be aware of:


Chap Temple     

Kenneth Levingston

Morris Matthis   

Laceye Warner 

Steve Wende    

Matt Idom         

Janice Gilbert   

Edward C. Jones

Keith Whitaker  



Reggie Clemons

Don House      

Gil Hanke        

Eddie Erwin     

Andy Hernandez

Tom Wussow  

Sue Sullivan    

Melba Wilson   

Oscar Garza    


Suggested Resources

Before coming to the Heart & Mind Listening Sessions, we recommend these resources as we prayerfully head toward the upcoming special called General Conference of the United Methodist Church in February 2019. We hope that you will give some time to the following videos and readings so that you might be able to participate fully in our Heart & Mind Listening Sessions.



Video one is helpful for everyone to understand the terms that are used. Videos two and three are similar presentations by different members of the Commission on a Way Forward and explain the three plans that came out of the Commission.


1. How We Talk About the Issue in the UMC, Rev. Tom Berlin (20 minutes). This first video has helped frame the terms we use. Tom defines what Traditionalist and Progressive means, along with Compatibilist and Non-Compatibilist. This helps us see why the issues around interpreting scripture and sexuality have been so difficult in the United Methodist Church.

2. Bishop Ken Carter (Florida) Explains the Commission’s Work (35 minutes). Bishop Ken Carter, one the moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward (the study commission appointed by the Council of Bishops), presents on the Commission on a Way Forward along with an explanation of the three plans. This was presented at the Western North Carolina Annual Conference in June 2018.

3. Rev. Tom Berlin (Virginia) Explains the Commission’s Work and the Three Plans (1 hour). Rev. Tom Berlin, member of the Commission on a Way Forward, presents the work of the Commission along with an explanation of the three plans. This was presented at the Virginia Annual Conference session in June 2018.

4. Albert Outler’s Sermon at the 1968 Uniting Conference of the birth of the United Methodist Church, found here. Outler was a Wesleyan scholar and well respected. It is helpful for us to see the message at our Uniting Conference in 1968 as we deal with this issue. Download Sermon (.PDF)



Abingdon Press has created a “Faultline’s Collection.” A variety of short books and resources by various authors with differing perspectives on this issue. They reflect both traditional and progressive understandings. There are many more you may find helpful both personally and in the church. The general webpage gives a link to each book with a synopsis. You may purchase online with Abingdon and they may also be found on Amazon and other book sites.

Lucas Ramirez, a United Methodist from St. Simons Island, Georgia, has recently written and amazing and inspiring book on unity that lifts the spirits and names the real enemy of division…the devil. It’s called “Designed for More: Unleashing Christ’s Vision for Unity in a Deeply Divided World.” It does not deal with specifics in the UMC, but is a helpful and inspiriting devotional read. His book can be found in our Chapelwood bookstore and at Amazon (kindle and audible).