From the bishop’s blog, The Launch of The Vine, 4/16/23)
The Vine is a new hybrid (online and in-person) community of faith of the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference of The United Methodist Church. Like the season of spring that brings new life and color to what was once made bare by the winter season, The Vine seeks to bring healing and connection to those who desire to be part of a faith community that actively pursues new ways to follow Christ with others in the United Methodist Church.
The Vine is not a novel experiment or a simple reaction to the present challenges, but rather a new avenue for faithful discipleship grounded in the one who unites our hearts and minds – Jesus Christ, the True Vine.
The people called United Methodists have long understood that each generation has a responsibility to discern anew how to live out God’s gracious invitation of love and service in the here and now.
In these times of social polarization, misinformation, division, and displacement, the people of the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference of The United Methodist Church have sought to answer this call by planting ourselves firmly in the words of Jesus, who said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything” (John 15:5, CEB).
I am pleased to announce that guiding the work of The Vine will be the Reverend Jefferson Furtado. He will be joined by a team of pastors who will share the leadership and discipleship formation of those who choose The Vine as their spiritual community. In addition to his work in The Vine, Rev. Furtado will remain as a Ministry Associate serving on the TWK Connectional Ministries Staff in an adapted capacity.
The team of pastors who will be working with Rev. Furtado includes Reverend Doctor Erin Beasley, Reverend Erin Racine, and Reverend Sean Stanfield.
To learn more, visit our website @www.thevineumc.church.