Can a Book Help the UMC Stay Together?

Way Forward Commission Commends Book on Peace



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The Book of Joy

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World is a book by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu published in 2016 by Cornerstone Publishers. In this nonfiction, the authors discuss the challenges of living a joyful life.[1][2][3] One commentator noted that both of the authors faced oppression and exile and yet have been able to maintain their compassion and forgiveness despite this. The commentator also noted the theme of the book is that fear, anger, and hatred exist internally as much as externally. A joyous uncomplicated read.

Claudia 363 days ago

The Anatomy of Peace

I find Hannah Adair Bonner's response to be helpful.

Ellen Bachman 363 days ago

Love your enemy.

When I finished the book, my thought was that it was a lot of words and really just came down to "Love your enemy." But loving your enemy doesn't mean you necessarily win the argument and get what you want. Our current BoD allows for keeping people like Reese in the flock. Full on affirmation, which is what is being advocated, can not. I wouldn't tell my son that being gay is as good as being heterosexual. I don't believe that. If 15 years from now, he decides differently, he will still be my son and I will love him. So regardless of what happens, I intend to love my enemies as best as I can and continue at my current church.

Chad 363 days ago

C-mon! A book could settle it? Not even "Art of the Deal" could solve UMC conflicts!

To find something more cuddly and naive than this article, I would have to visit a children’s day-care at nap-time. Somewhere between boot-camp and earning a living in a tough world, I lost my appreciation of naivete. Ms. Hahn thinks that this book will reconcile the un-reconcilable, settle the non-negotiable, blend the mutually exclusive, erase the chiseled-in-stone? How sweet. How naïve. How wrong.
Trouble is, we live in the REAL world. Maybe a few Way Forward members can get all touchie-feelie over some conflict resolution hypotheses, but hype stumbles along the hard, rocky road of reality.
Reality: Many of us live within multiple sets of values. There are values associated with being a good Christian and there are values associated with our good citizen secular surroundings. For most of us, the values are congruous and conflict is rare. Now, the introduction of homosexuality as a normal, totally acceptable part of life might work its way into UMC values, but it is in real conflict with the secular values instilled in me by my parents, teachers, coaches, past preachers, old Navy rules and regs, and my own observations and understanding of how things work. The conflict is real, the values are mutually exclusive
This is not the only conflict nowadays. For example, my generation could not wait to get out of the house and on with life, making our way, finding happiness through success. I was working the floor of an far-away oil rig at 19. Millennials now, by contrast, are generally less focused on such values. In fact, over 40% still live with parents and one shocking report suggested that 75% of millennials would prefer a socialist or communist type government! Seriously? Those were, are and will always be anathema to me!
So, don’t take it personally. There is NO hate from me. Live your life as you like, but do not ask for my acceptance, support, or company. I have values, too, and they cannot be diluted with a little book.

Reese 363 days ago

Notable Quotes   

   "My wish is that, one day, formal education will pay attention to the education of the heart, teaching love, compassion, justice, forgiveness, mindfulness, tolerance and peace. This education is necessary, from kindergarten to secondary schools and universities. I mean social, emotional and ethical learning. We need a worldwide initiative for educating heart and mind in this modern age."

 – HH The Dalai Lama, interviewed in the Los Angeles Times

    "[Author Vincent Strudwick] reimagines church as catalyst, transfiguring an egoistic society back to an altruistic one, celebrating a God who is as weak as water, but as irresistible as a river. Decisions should be taken at the lowest possible grass-roots level, dialogue superseding proclamation, and embodiment replacing autocracy.

– The Rt. Rev. David Wilbourne, Assistant Bishop of Llandaff in the Church of England, reviewing Strudwick's book: "The Naked God: Wrestling for a Grace-ful Humanity" in Church Times.


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