To Fight or Not To Fight, That Is the Question

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Try ascribing to scripture for your authority.

Its as simple as that. WCA answers the question that congregations want which is a Christian experience, not a christian experience. If the bible is our authority then the Church needs to make it a priority. I have gone to multiple meetings led by Bishops and DSs and most of their instruction is not God focused but bureacratic gobbildy gook. If you want to be a rotary club, don't call yourself a church. WCA wants to be a Church which is what Christ wanted us to be.

Brian Evers 40 days ago

to fight

Pete's posting on INSIGHT reflects the challenges facing the church. He has confused some initial dates, for the gathering at Frazer that he says will be held shortly in fact was held some time ago. He paints a picture of the WCA and the proposed Global MC as offering themselves as the saviors of a dead denomination, ready to right all the wrongs and bring on a golden age. Pete and I (chair of the WCA for my conference and convenor for WCA presidents for this jurisdiction) must be attending different meetings. There is a keen self-awareness, self-criticism, and sensitivity to beware false hopes, easy answers, or slogan-based appeals to the future within the WCA. Pete is a layman in Duluth, GA, though does not list his church. Fair enough. Duluth has 3 dynamic, growing Korean congregations and 3 white congregations that have lost at least 50% of their attendance in the previous 15 years. The Korean churches have a virtual 100% member to worship attendance ratio; the white churches range from 25% to 35% attendance as a portion of membership. The sustained decline in the white churches is not because of sexuality fights. A huge reboot-reformation will be required for any and all Methodist churches, whatever their specific name, after GC2022. Dysfunctional structures, trust issues, contradictory theology, miscommunication, failure to address demographics, are just some of what is eating us alive. To that add denial, as we have become the SEARS of the religious world, proudly restating confidence in Kenmore (Church and Society) and Craftsman (UMCOR) products (which were and are quality products) while the parent organization itself is shifting to free fall. Sears closes its last Illinois store in November. IGRC (my conference) has lost 64% of its membership and 71% of its Illinois population presence since I was ordained deacon in 1972 (hopefully not because I was ordained deacon!!) UM losses increase with or without COVID. A fresh reboot can allow more 'center/left' and 'center/right' expressions of the Wesleyan way to tackle the future with confidence, but not kidding themselves of the real challenges. Strategically-driven and mission-focused profound change are the doors to a healthy future. Dissing the integrity or the need for a GMC vision OR dissing the need for a revived progressive/centrist vision is the way down but not the way forward.

Bob 41 days ago

AMEN, Pete!

Thomas Paine said; "What we achieve too easily we esteem too lightly, it is dearness only that give value". In the face of strident negativity, we have an opportunity to, as you note, "be pro-active in advocating for the UMC that we love and cherish, in describing the actual history of the various conflicts over the past". COmmunication and education will offer great opportunities to get far beyond the approach that 'we have to destroy the church in order to save it'. The UMC is not perfect because it is a human-made endeavor but can, and should, continue to find edifying ways to 'make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world' without trying to do it from a steaming pile of rubble.

w.f. meiklejohn 44 days ago

Being the church...

The article mentions being the church as providing help around the world, speaking about social justice, and fighting racism in all it's forms. What about spreading the gospel of Jesus the Christ that all who believe in Him shall have forgiveness of sins and eternal life? Perhaps missing this focus is why so many people want to leave.

Bill Kelley 43 days ago