Many worry United Methodist Church consolidation will isolate members

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Changes will soon be coming to 10 United Methodist Church in Harrisburg, as the Susquehanna United Methodist Conference announced consolidations. But now, there are concerns among members about what that means for them.

Derry Street UMC is one of the ten churches in Harrisburg The Susquehanna United Methodist Conference announced will be consolidated.

"The lights will be out. It will be dark," said Bill Jamison, Allison Hill Ministry Pantry. "It's been on this corner since 1860's. This is a landmark. This is the center, the heart of Allison Hill."

The conference says, churches will be able to vote in March to come along with the plan. Their last service will be April 14th and on Easter Sunday a new combined worship community would come together at a place not yet announced.

"With much prayer, steady discernment, we feel like this is the most faithful way forward," said Kay Kotan, Equipping Vital Congregations Director.  so that the existing people come along with the plan and we have the opportunity to reach new people."

With the announcement of consolidation, Jamison is left with many questions and isn't a fan of the plan moving forward.

"You should come up with an answer before you destroy what you have," said Jamison.

Jamison is concerned with what this means for the members of the church, those who walk and won't be able to get to a new location if it's not within walking distance.

"Are they invited sure? Sure, but can they get there? Then what is your invitation worth," said Jamison. "If you're going to feed people, you be where the people are at. You don't tell the people to come find you because that's your gospel."

More solid plans about the consolidation will come in July once a leadership team is named.

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