55 Futures for the United Methodist Church

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And what nobody is talking about

The American UMC is approaching 50 years of uninterrupted numerical decline that has the capability to make the church disappear. A plan could be passed, Conferences could ratify it and individuals will still be choosing not to become part of The Unite Methodist Church in America. And after a lifetime of being a good church going Methodist then United Methodist who finally had to wander away from church before I could discover and encounter a God truly worth worshiping, the numerical decline is no longer a mystery to me. after decades of living in a non-descript gray area unable to find peace with either God or the world, I am finally standing right in the middle of God's amazing grace wishing somebody had been a lot clearer about who God is a long time ago. The sexuality question is not the problem. Absolutely no clear consensus of who God is, who we are individually and collectively as the church--God's kingdom breaking in right here and right now-- is most definitely The Problem.

Betsy 18 days ago

Betsy, you are correct

For a long time I have been almost ashamed to invite people to my local UM church. With new orthodox leadership dedicated to ALWAYS following the Bible, coupled with a warm church demeanor, that is no longer the case. Our church is growing numerically, and much more importantly, we are growing spiritually. God is moving, and I pray that our whole worldwide church experiences it. Betsy, I always enjoy your comments. They are spot on.

In Christ,

The enemy hates clarity

the enemy hates clarity 17 days ago

Future of The UMC

One option that does not seem to be open for consideration by any of the three Commission on A Way Forward sketches is the full inclusion of LGBTQ United Methodists in the life of the church. Why? Option 1 is continued exclusion. Option 2 is a compromise for a portion of the denomination. Option 3 is dissolving the entire denomination for new denominations with a central core. Where is Option 4 -- full inclusion of LGBTQ United Methodists in the life of the church?

Daniel Gangler 19 days ago

Its about the money and what a #4 would cost

Please accept my respectful reply. There would be your option 4 if a plurality of Commission members felt it was a viable alternative financially. It is not. Please google and read various accounts of the demise of the Episcopal church since that denomination essentially took option 4. Hundreds of thousands in lost members, $18 million in legal fees over real estate fights when local parish members wanted to leave and take their buildings and grounds with them. If you get a full understanding of what has happened in the Episcopal church, you will easily understand what our own Commission is trying to avoid. Churches and people like me would immediately leave UMC with an option like your #4. Now, this is not about hate. Don’t go there. I don’t eat raw fish and I don’t listen to rap music. I do not hate the people who like those things, but I will not go where those things are present. So it is with the UMC future; we old traditionalists have views and rules we think important and we simply do not want them changed and many of us will likely not stay if they are. I give the Commission some credit for trying to address our steadfastness along with the progressive wave that has come to our church. Finally, at the bottom line, is the bottom line. The Commission probably has spread sheets of projected INCOME LOSS, “cash flow analysis”, in each alternative. There will be dollar loss indeed. They should have figures on how much we old traditionalists vs you progressives contribute in each conference and an estimate of what will be lost per conference, per church under the various options. Retirements, staffing, even the ability to keep churches open take income in real dollars. Your option 4 would have the most immediate and deepest negative impact on the money and the Commission knows it. Seeing what is coming, for example, I have withdrawn my pledge of over $2,500/yr – not big, but if 20% of my traditional church leaves and assuming my pledge is about average, that would be around $170,000 – which would have a most negative impact on local staff, payments on the building expansion, outreach, missions, UMC fees. Mere Faith will not pay the bills…

Reese 18 days ago

"55" was a speedlimit we all ignored

There might be 55 future options, but I submit there are so many options being taken now, that the choices will pretty much be made before 2019. Entire churches are leaving now in the South. Homosexual marriages are allowed now in the Northeast and even Texas. A lesbian bishop is allowed in the West. Membership is sinking and attendance is sinking even more. By the time the big decision is made, there will be many pieces and no way to put them back together. Oh, well...

Reese 19 days ago