From an email sent to Kansas Area clergy in the United Methodist Church. How do you respond?
CONFERENCE STILL COMMITTED TO NORTHWEST SEDGWICK COUNTY WICHITA, Kan.—GracePoint United Methodist Church will have its final worship service on Easter Sunday, but the United Methodist Church remains committed to having a presence in northwest Sedgwick County.
“We would have liked to continue the GracePoint United Methodist congregation. Unfortunately, there were not enough remaining members to continue the congregation,” said Kansas United Methodist Bishop Scott Jones. “We are disappointed that things worked out this way.”
The bishop and conference leaders decided that closing GracePoint and regrouping was the best option in consultation with new pastor Rev. Steve Spencer and the 17 remaining church members. Spencer, who was appointed to GracePoint UMC on March 6, will continue as its pastor until the church is formally closed. Remaining church members are being assisted with finding other United Methodist churches in the area to meet their needs.
“The United Methodist Church is still committed to a new and evangelistic presence in northwest Sedgwick County,” Jones said. The land and assets of GracePoint United Methodist Church will remain with the denomination and will be used for the future United Methodist new church in the area. An exact timetable for starting the new congregation has not yet been determined, he said.
GracePoint United Methodist Church was started five years ago by the Kansas West Annual (regional) Conference of the United Methodist Church. On March 1, the pastor and leadership team announced plans to leave the United Methodist Church and form a new community church of the same name. Over the course of the past month, GracePoint UMC has continued to meet weekly for worship at Maize South Middle School while the conference and church leaders assessed the congregation’s future.