FAQS FROM THE TEXAS CONFERENCE ABOUT WINDSOR VILLAGE UMC’S TIME OF PRAYER & DISCERNMENT
The following questions were posed and answered on the Windsor Village UMC website. Answers from the Texas Annual Conference are offered from its perspective on the same questions. We continue to be in dialogue with the Prayer and Discernment Committee of Windsor Village and are grateful that our first conversation resulted in a revision of the answers to these questions on the church’s website. Future conversations are planned and we hope that God will lead all of us to an improved and closer connection.
WVUMC’s Question: Since the United Methodist Church is splitting, why are we praying about our future now? Why not wait until the Church actually splits?
TEXAS CONFERENCE says: There is no good reason to be talking about leaving the United Methodist Church at this time. The denomination is talking about a way forward, but it is not likely to separate and no decision has been made about the way forward. This discernment is premature. Part of the Windsor Village conversation has focused on apportionments and gaining budget relief by not having that obligation if they leave. WVUMC paid its apportionments in full for 20 years, and for the last 10 has paid between 1% and 59% with 7% in 2017.
WVUMC’s Question: If we were to leave the United Methodist Church, how would the ministries and worship celebrations of Windsor Village be impacted?
TEXAS CONFERENCE says: No United Methodist clergy would serve in any capacity at a continuing Kingdom Builders Center congregation. Windsor Village United Methodist Church would continue to worship and serve Christ at the 6000 Heatherbrook building.
WVUMC’s Question: How would the exit impact the internal structure of Windsor Village?
TEXAS CONFERENCE says: As an independent, non-denominational congregation the Kingdom Builders Center church would be free to set its own structure with no accountability to anyone outside the congregation. The continuing Windsor Village United Methodist Church would maintain United Methodist organization and structure.
WVUMC’s Question: If we were to leave the denomination, would the name of our Church change?
TEXAS CONFERENCE says: The name of the church which meets at the Kingdom Builders Center would be decided by those who choose to leave WVUMC. The new congregation could not use “Windsor Village United Methodist Church” or “United Methodist” but could call itself “Methodist”. Windsor Village United Methodist Church would continue to worship, evangelize and serve the community at 6000 Heatherbrook Drive.
WVUMC’s Question: Is the consideration to leave the denomination influenced by the Senior Pastor‘s current legal situation?
TEXAS CONFERENCE says: We presume that Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell is innocent unless proven guilty. He has been a significant Christian leader in the UMC and in the greater Houston area and we hope his legal issues are resolved favorably. However, he is under federal indictment and faces a trial. We do not know when the trial will be held. Leaving the United Methodist Church gives him greater freedom in resolving his legal issues without any accountability to the Texas Annual Conference.
WVUMC’s Question: What would Windsor Village lose, should we leave the denomination?
TEXAS CONFERENCE says: The Kingdom Builders Center congregation would lose its influence through the United Methodist connection and the services of any United Methodist clergy. It loses its relationship to the other congregations and mission agencies of the United Methodist Church.
WVUMC’s Question: Should we leave, what denomination would we join?
TEXAS CONFERENCE says: While occasionally congregations close and clergy leave the United Methodist Church for various reasons, we know of only 3 congregations that have left in a dispute over human sexuality. They became independent non-denominational churches. They all objected to violations of our discipline in the Western Jurisdiction but their leaving was pre-mature as well. We should all wait until decisions are made at General Conference in February of 2019.
WVUMC’s Question: What does the United Methodist Church provide for us now that we would not have going forward?
TEXAS CONFERENCE says: The United Methodist Church has provided significant support to Windsor Village over the decades and its connection has enabled the congregation to extend its influence worldwide. Our system of educating pastors has helped many Windsor Village members obtain the theological education in preparation for full-time ministry.
WVUMC’s Question: How would this move impact The Kingdom Builders’ Center, in particular, and Pointe 2.3.4, in general? And, how would this move impact The Power Center?
TEXAS CONFERENCE says: Kingdom Builders Center, Inc. and The Power Center are non-profit corporations with their own directors and thus are separate legal entities from Windsor Village United Methodist Church. Because Pastor Caldwell is a director of these entities, there is a close working relationship between them and the church.
WVUMC’s Question: As a member of The Windsor Church Family, what is my role in this process?
TEXAS CONFERENCE says: Members are encouraged to pray, fast, attend the July events and become fully informed about all of the facts. As always, members will have the choice to remain as a United Methodist Christian or join a non-denominational congregation. You are encouraged to be fully informed about the significant value of Windsor’s continuing as an important part of The United Methodist Church.