What UMC Restructure Proposals Are Ignoring

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Look outside the church

The community is changing. Look outside and you will see people from differnt backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, languages. Until the church realizes that it must be relevant to its community, meaning truly welcoming of people different that the majority in the church, it will be then that the church will grow.

Nora more than 5 years ago

retiring pastors

The article states that 3,700 pastors will be retiring....so what? Many "retired" pastors I know are still serving on a charge as senior pastor? As soon as we require retired pastors to be truly retired we will have plenty of places to put the new seminarians.

Jabe Fincher more than 5 years ago

Perhaps decline is the strategy

To read this, please disengage the sarcasm filter.
I don't suppose that thoroughly confusing what Scripture teaches to the point that many leave the UM for other churches or for nothing at all thus creating the need to close churches at an amazing rate is the solution?
Sarcasm filter reengaged.

Pastor Mike more than 5 years ago

Part-time local pastors fill the gap

Jerry is right. Call to Action is the solution for the wrong problem. In Iowa we are on the edge of a wave of retirements. Already in 6 of our 8 districts we have more part-time local pastors than full-time elders. While GBHEM and General Conference fusses over rules for new Elders, more than half of our churches are served by pastors who don't fit that mold. We need better programs for recuitment, training, mentoring, and supervising part-time pastors.

Jim Davis more than 5 years ago

Fair Process

I believe our Book of Discipline already contains sufficient avenues for addressing clergy ineffectiveness. If we had the courage and took the time to utilize them, we would not need the "elimination of the guaranteed appointment" which is part of the CTA. Cabinets and Boards of Ordained Ministry know what they need to do: involuntary leave, retirement or location. All these have fair process components. Yes, they take time and they require honest conversation with a clergyperson whose record demonstrates ineffectiveness. The proposal before GC allows unilateral action by bishops and cabinets and it removes fair process. It may yet pass, and in that case, I believe that clergywomen may be especially vulnerable to set-aside status. I hope I will be proved wrong.

Jeanne Devine more than 5 years ago

Clergy Shortage

One way to deal with this crisis is to repeal the prohibition on gay and lesbian clergy.

In one congregation alone, there have been four members in recent years who would have been outstanding United Methodist pastors if not for the unconscionable ban on gay and lesbian clergy. One gave up those aspirations because of the ban; one voluntarily surrendered his orders; one was publicly defrocked; and one in seminary now has elected to be ordained in the UCC. Two of them were wonderful pastors, and the other two would have been strong and nurturing UMC pastors if allowed. Worldwide, how many thousands of good pastors and potential pastors have been driven away from the United Methodist Church by our misguided policy?

Bill Ewing more than 5 years ago

Elder pay scale

Our excess in the Northeast of ordained clergy is further exacerbated by the 'minimum compensation" package required. For the demographics in my area - an ordained clergy person now makes a 1/3 more than a two wage earner family. With the addition of a house that meets "parsonage standards" requiring handicap accessibility , etc.. - we now have placed clergy on a "pay and housing" pedestal that is not even attainable by most of our area's population or congregation members....I agree... things need to change.

Greg Forrester more than 5 years ago

Laity Shortage

My only comment, unfortunately, is that the sharp decline of congregants may match or even lap past the decline of clergy - so it may be a moot point.

I pray things change!

Sky McCracken more than 5 years ago

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Bishop Laurie Haller delivers the Episcopal Address at the 2017 session of the Iowa Annual Conference.“Are you modeling the love of Christ to everyone who walks through the doors of your churches? What are you doing outside your buildings for the people most in need in your communities, the state of Iowa, and this world? Are all of your many activities making a difference? Where’s your runway?”

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