Reconciling Church Conference, September 27, 2020

Onalaska UMC members and friends have engaged in over a year of discernment, preaching, small group and bible studies, prayer, and personal witness regarding the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of our congregation. See our Reconciling page for information and resources.

We will hold the vote to approve our Reconciling Statement September 27, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and requirements in The United Methodist Book of Discipline, our District Superintendent has approved a hybrid two-part conference.

2:00-3:00pm Discussion

The discussion portion of the Church Conference will take place primarily on Zoom and by conference call, with a limited number of members allowed in the sanctuary. The Reconciling Team will present the history of the process and explain the language of the Reconciling Statement. The floor will be open for members and friends to speak for or against the statement, with a two-minute time limit per speaker. Because the statement is the result of several months of public development, no amendments or changes will be accepted at the conference.

Join by Zoom online: CLICK HERE

    • Please raise your hand onscreen to be recognized by the presiding elder.
    • Keep your microphone muted when you are not speaking.

Join by telephone call: dial 312-626-6799

    • Enter the meeting ID (870 4598 3438) and passcode (164237).
    • The presiding elder will invite feedback from telephone participants at multiple times during the meeting.
    • Press *6  (star-six) to mute or unmute your microphone.

3:00-5:00pm In-Person Vote

This vote will take place by written ballot. Ballots will be distributed Sunday, or you can download the ballot (PDF) in advance.

The Book of Discipline requires that all votes must be cast in-person during the 3:00-5:00pm voting window. Only full members of Onalaska UMC can vote. No absentee voting is allowed. There are two ways to vote…

Drive-Through Voting

    • Drive under the covered drop-off 3:00-5:00pm
    • Volunteers will check your name against the roster of full church members and give you a ballot.
    • Mark the box at the top of the ballot to confirm that you are a full member of the church; mark either YES or NO at the bottom of the ballot to indicate your approval (or not) of the statement.
    • Return the ballot to the volunteers under the covered drop-off.

Home Pick-Up Voting

    • If you are unable to drive to church during the 3:00-5:00pm window, we have volunteers who will pick up your vote in the greater La Crosse/Onalaska/Holmen/West Salem area.
    • Call the church cell phone (608-304-7214) before 4:00pm Sunday to arrange service.
    • We will check you name against the roster of full church members.
    • A volunteer will bring you a ballot and wait while you fill it out.

Tallying and Results

The Church Council and Reconciling Team have set a 75% threshold for the Reconciling Statement to be adopted. Our church council chair and charge conference secretary will tally the votes.

Results will be announced on our website, Facebook page, in the eNews, and at the October 4 Sunday services.