We're Short-Circuiting Our Future

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Diana Butler Bass & Bishop John Hopkins

The article says:"The position of the Council of Bishops . . . is that the Call to Action and Vital Congregations will serve as the framework for the necessary discussions.
Didn't Bidhop Hopkins just say that the Call to Action is already in process and we are just voting on the mechanics?
Which is correct?

Anne Ewing more than 4 years ago

Church 'Federalism'

I have just read your excellent articles based on Diana Butler Bass' lectures at Perkins. I couldn't agree more.

One thought. Historians have written about the influence of Wesley and the Evangelical Revival on secular political structures. I think we need to learn from our American experience of political structures.

The U. S. Constitution creates a federal system of government. Some powers are relegated to the central government; others are relegated to the states. Many contentious issues are allowed to be tested by the states before the federal government gets involved. Each state is a laboratory which can try to find a workable solution. The national government can learn from the states' various experiments.

But the UMC has become like 'top-down' governments. There can be only one way.

It is time to develop trust by allowing the Churches, Annual Conferences, and Jurisdictions to try different patterns rather than continue to believe that only the General Conference can lead us into the future. Also, Wesley's gift to the Church concerning authority was in the adding of Experience to Anglican's Scripture, Tradition, and Reason. Let's trust the presence of the Holy Spirit in the experiences of the People Called Methodists.

Bud Tillinghast more than 5 years ago

Notable Quotes


Alt Jesus

"Christians in America are no longer people of faith, we’re people of fear. Instead of truly putting our trust, faith, and reliance upon the Way, teachings, and example of Jesus, we put our actual faith in guns, our obscenely over-funded military, and in strong-man  authoritarian leaders."

– Rev. Roger Wolsey, a United Methodist pastor and author, in his blog post, "O We of Little Faith," on Patheos.com


“For long-term sustained action [to counteract climate change threats], we need hope. We need love. We need encouragement. We need that sense of shared community of being in this together. And for many people … faith communities often provide exactly that.”

– Climate scientist and committed Christian Katharine Hayhoe, part of a panel at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, quoted by Lauren Markoe for Religion News Service.


“Religion is more than just a belief system; it’s also a community. Churches are among our most powerful, most  important engines for civic engagement and public participation.”

– Northeastern University professor Matthew Nisbet, part of panel on communicating climate change effective to people of faith at the recent conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciencequoted by Lauren Markoe for Religion News Service.

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