“… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give
you hope and a future.”
This is a familiar passage of Scripture where Christians can take comfort in knowing that God has a plan for our lives regardless of our current situation. Also, Jeremiah 29:11 points out that God can work through any hardship to prosper
and give us hope as believers.
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis, in recognizing the uncertainty surrounding issues of LGBTQ inclusion in The United Methodist Church, the challenges of a global pandemic and a further postponed General Conference, wanted to focus on the
future of churches in the Virginia Conference by forming Team Jeremiah.
The goal of this group is to meet monthly to discuss proactive strategies and effects upon the Virginia Annual Conference in light of a postponed General Conference. The group began meeting on a monthly basis beginning in January 2022.
Team Jeremiah is composed of a total of 15 theologically and ethnically diverse clergy and laity within the annual conference. In addition, there are three resource members who will resource on an as needed basis.
Members of Team Jeremiah
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
The Rev. Denise Bates
The Rev. Tom Berlin
The Rev. David Bonney
The Rev. Kyungsuk Cho
Mr. David Dommisse
Ms. Jill Gaynor
The Rev. Dr. Victor Gomez
Mr. Barry Hewett
The Rev. Sarah Locke
The Rev. Derrick Parson
Ms. Madeline Pillow White
The Rev. Dr. Steve Summers
Ms. Martha Stokes
Ms. Josefa Bethea Wall
Resource Team members:
Mr. Bo Bowden, President, Virginia UM Foundation; Mr. Steven D. Brown, Esq, Virginia Conference Chancellor; Mr. Andrew White, Attorney for Virginia Conference Trustees.
News from Team Jeremiah
Judicial Council Issues Important Disaffiliation Ruling
On August 23, 2022, the Judicial Council, The United Methodist Church’s top court, issued a strong and clear ruling that churches seeking to disaffiliate over matters of human sexuality must do so under Paragraph ¶ 2553 of the Book of Discipline. The 2019 General...
Watch webinar, view resources from July 12 Q&A webinar
Find resources below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F1-vK5qpIo Resources • Book of Discipline • 2016 Book of Discipline Errata (changes made at the 2019 General Conference, including ¶2553 which is on pages 4 - 5), free online version • United Methodist beliefs •...
Team Jeremiah will host Q&A session on July 12
You are invited to a conference-wide Q&A session on topics including General Conference and disaffiliation from the denomination on Tuesday, July 12 at 7 p.m. Due to time constraints during the 2022 Annual Conference session, the Team Jeremiah Q&A session was...
Watch Team Jeremiah May 31 Zoom webinar
View recording from May 31 event below. Slides from event are available in PDF and Powerpoint. https://youtu.be/hGAk4okLj7o?t=480 With the further postponement of the General Conference session to 2024, Virginia Conference clergy and lay members have questions. What...