Cancel Your Trip To Germany, Save Money, Use Skype

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Money

Revenue neutral or not. The streets of this hemisphere are littered with the debris from major hurricanes. Two more hurricanes are bearing down on the Caribbean and the US as I write. Live have been lost and more lives are in danger. We're past having the time and luxury to get to know one another about an issue which should have never been kicked down the road. Now we need our dollars and our focus on what's happening right before our eyes, not the debates we postponed a year an a half ago. People are dead, more will die, and the church leadership is doing what? Jetting off to Europe for closed door meetings, that's what average congregations see, and that's who funds hurricane relief efforts, both in volunteers and financially. Optics matter. Lives are at stake. Yes person to person contact is better. But when your house is destroyed and your streets are flooded, what matters most? How much rapport "Bishop A" has with "Colleague B" or the funds to have food and shelter?

Richard Bryant 4 days ago

What is happening in Berlin?

I would like to read about the critical meeting in Berlin. Your blog doesn't make it clear the reason individuals are going to Germany.

Sharon Dunten 5 days ago

Response

The Commission on A Way Forward is meeting in Berlin, but it hasn't specified a reason for meeting there rather than at any other site. Presumably the site was chosen to reduce travel time and expenses for the one-third of commissioners who live outside the United States.

Because the Commission has closed its meetings, we have no way of knowing what will go on there until it provides what will be an abridged report of its results. Please see the subsection on A Way Forward as part of our "In the Church" section on the top navigation bar.

cynthiaadmin (United Methodist Insight) 4 days ago

Cost of meetings in U. S.

First, unless individual members are bearing all but travel costs, the expenses of the commission are high regardless of where they meet. I was at GC 2016 and I seem to remember that part of the proposal for the commission somehow (I never understood it) made its expenses "revenue neutral." Second, I agree there is some value to face-to-face that is not met by Skype, just as face-to-face communication is highly preferable to FB, where intonation, etc., is lacking. But the commission spent at least the first few of its meetings in a "getting to know you" setting. Third, if they haven't established some sort of rapport by now, will being together in Europe facilitate that. Fourth, what is the rationale for this? Is it to allow home turf advantage to some who have previously had to come to U.S.? Does that mean there will be other trips to other parts of the globe and extended travel costs? I see both values and disvalues.

Richard Best 5 days ago

Commission not meeting in person

Creating policy requires far more interaction than can be accomplished by Skype. It is best that the Commission members see each other face to face; eat their meals together and learn to respect everyone even those with whom they may disagree.

Bette T. Trumble 8 days ago