Cancel Your Trip To Germany, Save Money, Use Skype

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Waste of Time and Money: Why?

Another blogger began his report on the big Germany pow-wow with this: "As with its previous meetings, the group’s fifth gathering on Sept. 18-20 was open only to members, the three bishop moderators and invited guests." So, from all over the world, these elites went, at great expense, mostly to UMC lay givers, to get to know each other, respect each other, eat with each other and compare "feelings", but did not want any outside inter-action and certainly no press reports about what was discussed. How arrogant, how insulting, how expensive! Why go to Germany, or Chicago or anywhere if not to interact with the Methodists there, to ask, to listen, to learn?
In the Navy, we called this a "boondoggle". In business, we had other names I can't use here. But, for all the expenses, they surely ignored the main point: A SEPARATION HAS ALREADY STARTED. Some churches are already filing to leave. I am an average Methodist. I have stopped going and stopped giving - in other words, I have already separated. Looking at our sanctuary on Sunday, I am not alone. We see the way forward to be charade of attempts to find something that will never be there. Their mission is to find a way to trash the Book of Discipline, and the values we have accepted since childhood, but keep us old geezers giving. Too late. We're onto it!
Last year, UMC lost 100,000 members (even more, like me, just stopped going). If the average collection from us was $2,000 per year, that is a loss of $200,000,000 gross. When the Episcopal church caved to the cancer of liberalism, their annual member loss nearly tripled. They have closed hundreds of churches. Apply the same % to the UMC after all the fruits of all these secret meetings are made public, that will be serious money! Bye-bye big bucks for retirements, for cushy offices and retreats, for aid to Africa. Many UMC conferences will be DOA PDQ.
I suggest they stop spending big bucks trying to get to know and respect and love each other, and face the reality: The issues are non-negotiable! The split has started, deal with it! Let's have the "Traditional Methodist Church" for us and "The Methodist Church-of- What's-Happening-Now" for them. No shared clergy, conferences or anything. Remember: There are other churches to go to or simply no church for those of us who are happy to pray alone. Life without covered-dish dinners will be tough, but we will survive. Life without this constant vitriol will be much more enjoyable and certainly less expensive.

Reese Turner 57 days ago

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 62 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 63 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) 62 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 63 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 66 days ago