Forbes Matonga Gives Central Conference View on Restructure

Comments (2)

Comment Feed

Forbes Matonga Gives Central Conference View on Restructure


JBBarham more than 9 years ago

Rough transcript of video

I typed out a very rough transcript of this video to use as a resource for my sermon last week. Knowing that this transcript is not completely accurate, here it is for those who are interested:

“But I think the issue is what the proposal is suggesting will take us to where we want to be…. [The first issue] is the issue of power: who has power in the United Methodist? If we are not very careful, we will end up involving ourselves in power angles and try to fix that at General Conference. So, as a person who is a little bit distant from where the debate really is, my question is: is it really true that a reformation starts from the top? When we hear of people in the corridors of power pushing for reform, then you should know that it is not reform but power consolidation… So when you hear it is about the general secretaries, the council of bishops… Is this really about reform but about power? Who has to have power?
The second thing is that the process—the people who are driving the process—how this is assembled, you begin to agree with me that this is about power. For example, 2004-2008 quadrennium a consultant was hired (a lot of you remember Mattock) to do a study but that study was never done outside of the U.S. Then on the basis of this study done in the U.S., general decisions were made that should fit everybody—a kind of one size fits all. And then a second thing is happening: if you look at the Call to Action, if ever there is anybody from the Central Conference who was involved, it was cosmetic. But the real issues that informed this were all done in the U.S.
Now the most serious one, which I even tried to raise, was the assembly of the… Interim Operations Team. It has 8 people and all of them are again from the U.S. (background: mmmm).
So I raised the question, ‘Why is it you don’t have anybody from Africa, Asia, and Europe?’
And the answer was: ‘Because we are looking for capacity and competence.”
(in the background: My, my…. mmmm….)
“Okay. So you tell me that Africa, that raised Kofi Annan---Africa, that raised a person like the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (Samuel Kobia, that is)—cannot identify a person to serve on the Interim Operations Team of the United Methodist?”
They told me that wasn’t correct. So that raises the question: What is the view of our colleagues on us?
Because of that, I doubt that the intentions have anything to do with the growth of the church where it is growing.”

When I shared how the IOT was assembled and the response that was given, the all-white, all-U.S., Appalachian congregation that I serve began talking back in exactly the same way as in the video --- "my, my... for shame... ooo."

Diane Kenaston more than 9 years ago