C is for ... The Mediocre Commission

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Who IS the church?

It seems to me, from looking a bios, that the Connectional Table and the IOT are both made up in large part of members or pastors of very large churches. Those people appear to be quite contemptuous of pastors of small member churches, particularly those in old cities with declining populations and lost industrial bases. The pastors and churches that remain in these cities, at least the ones holding the line, are the true Wesleys of this generation. They accept and work both with and for the poor, the dispossessed, the peculiar, the grubby, the products of declining schools and ugly street cultures. IN aging buildings, they are creative about renting, renovating, and opening their churches to the TRUE needs of the community, not those projected upon them by a distant structure.

They preach a gospel of love and acceptance, of asking what is needed before they plan for the people they serve. Every day they reach out and learn new things, new needs, new ways that people think and relate to God.

That is where the church is, that is where Wesley is, that is where Jesus is.

Anne Ewing more than 5 years ago

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"Harsh and direct disagreement places thought under pressure. That’s its point. Pressure can be intellectually productive: being forced to look closely at arguments against a beloved position helps those who hold it to burnish and buttress it as often as it moves them to abandon it. But pressure also causes pain and fear; and when those under pressure find these things difficult to bear, they’ll sometimes use any means possible to make the pressure and the pain go away. They feel unsafe, threatened, put upon, and so they react by deploying the soft violence of the law or the harder violence of the aggressive and speech-denying protest. Both moves are common enough in our élite universities now, as is their support by the powers that be. Tolerance for intellectual pain is less than it was. So is tolerance for argument."

– Paul Griffiths, former professor of Catholic theology at United Methodist-related Duke University Divinity School, in an article for Commonweal magazine on why he resigned over a recent conflict with a colleague related to racism training.


   

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