General Conference Could Be Our 'Facebook'

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And what if...

Mr. Wesley, While I am indeed honored that you have commented on my humble blog, allow me to ask you to go ahead and answer your own question. What if a congregation doesn't pay apportionments? What if a congregation or a pastor discriminates? (My answer - the GC responds to a congregation acting thusly in the same manner a congregation responds to a church member who is.)
But then answer mine - What if they don't? What if UM congregations are so excited by what is happening in the denomination they simply can't wait to pay 110% of their apportionment? What if UM congregations are so fired up by the ethos of grace that they begin to truly welcome all people fully?
If you'll forgive me, since I know you only by reading your sermons and a few of your journal entries, Mr. Wesley, thinking "What if something goes wrong?" is exactly the kind of thinking that is stifling our denomination.
We need to start asking, "What if everything exceeds our wildest imagination?"

Andy Bryan more than 4 years ago

GC as Facebook

I agree that something has to be done about the way that the UMC is heading. I don't think that this is the way to do it. What if what a local church wants is to not pay apportionments and be free to discriminate? (Perhaps that is what some want now.) The question is how do we retain the ability to act and speak as a denomination and yet have a lot less "top down" governance. How do we give more authority to the local church without becoming the "rope of sand" bemoned by Whitfield? And if the real thrust of what we are doing is to give more power to the local church what does that say about the episcopacy and the superintendency? What did the study commissioned by the Council of Bishops say about the effect of apportionments on the local church? Is the general church here to serve the local church or is it the other way round? Not having been at GC I can only ask questions as someone outside looking in. All I can say is, we are better than this. Rather than scapegoating some while holding others sacred we need to continue to do the work of the Great Commission while working together on solutions.

John Wesley more than 4 years ago

Facebook for General Conference

Andy,
I applaud your ideas and your courage to speak boldly about them on your blog. I echo your sentiments and support the notion of sharing our ideas for programs, creating groups for mutual work and support, and sharing our resources constantly on facebook or some other social media network.

In fact, isn't Jesus' kingdom really a network of believers empowered by the Holy Spirit who encourage each other to grow in our faith and to take action on behalf of God and the world?

We UMs spend way too much time and money on things that ultimately don't really make a difference in the long run. I hope and pray that local churches and annual conferences will catch your vision for our church because we can do more to change ourselves, and we should and ought to do this for Christ's sake and the sake of the world!

My two cents,
Michael

Michael Pope more than 4 years ago

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