No Large Southern Church Left Behind



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The Southern Hegemony

Having served in Wisconsin, and having associates in many parts of the country, I have seen for many years that the southern jurisdictions were more interested in politics and the other three jurisdictions were more oriented around program. Just look at the difference in organizational complexities and property holdings of the jurisdictions.

The temptation for those analyzing the potential split in the UMC is to look at the theological issues that divide us. But I agree with Rev. Smith. The real dynamics are over power and not theology. Despite the talk of separation, the hegemony cannot afford to have the denomination split because then they would lose resources and properties they want to control. Their best bet to become more powerful is to politicize the burgeoning African conferences.

What the hegemony does not realize is the sophistication of understanding power in some African conferences which may very well supercede that of the southern jurisdictions. It is no small matter that the Episcopaleons have a segment of their conservative congregations recognizing an African as their bishop.

Just think..., what if Call to Action passes and the bishops get their cherished "set aside" bishop, and that bishop is from Africa?

One further question: Can someone follow the money trail that provides the resources for these efforts?

Thanks to Rev. Smith for emphasizing the power issues with his article. That advances this line of analysis.

Jerry Eckert more than 10 years ago