Will the #UMC Take the Bait or Seize the Moment?



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Putting our money where our mouth is...

Thinking about proposals for the future beyond our immediate reactiveness, I'd propose finding ways to fund the theological education of LGBTQ Methodist students--even those hiding 'underground' in Africa--with designated scholarship funds we decide to intentionally divert from undesignated giving within the United Methodist system.
This move would be just a tiny start toward recovering and developing the wisdom, energy, and spiritual resources in the LGBTQ community that have been denied and suppressed under our 'heteronormative' Discipline.
This could be done simply by providing one LGBTQ scholarship in each local church.
The other targeted move to crack the 'heteronormative' shell in our Methodist-related seminaries would be to fund named 'chairs' for full professors of Queer/Womanist/Liberation Theology.
Bottom line: if they don't want to teach this, they don't get the money!
There are at least a dozen E. Stanley Jones professors of Evangelism. So why not fund a dozen Bishop Karen Oliveto professors of Queer Theology?
Folks, it's time to stop whining and sobbing and put our money where our mouth is to change/undermine the system from within!
If you want to do ANYTHING about the state of Methodist theological teaching in Africa, look to the examples of African scholars who were trained at our seminaries like BUST.
Fr. Kapya John Kaoma from Zambia has done extensive research and publications on exactly what we're screaming about in Africa.
For example: “The Marriage of Convenience: The U.S. Christian Right, African Christianity and Post-Colonial Politics of Sexual Identity,” Global Homophobia: States, Movements, and the Politics of Oppression, Michael J. Bosia and Meredith L. Weiss eds., Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2013:75-102.
Fr. Kaoma is an Episcopal priest, but he should be teaching in a Methodist-related seminary. Asbury, of course, won't have him. And it may not be SAFE for him to teach in Africa!

Wayne more than 2 years ago

Progressives helped create this mess

with their disobedience. And now you cry foul when those of us who disagree with your perception of things simply ask you to abide by the very rules you agreed to abide by when you became an Elder in the United Methodist Church. Quit playing the victim and start owning up to your role in this mess so we can start having rational conversations about what needs to happen to put an end to this theological impasse. because that is all this is. John Wesley did not stay with the Fetter's Lane Society complaining about what he saw as erroneous theology, he picked up and moved on. Which rank and file laity have been doing for 50+ years and are still continuing to do. It is the reason the budget for the next quadrennium has a whopping 18% cut from the previous one; it is the lowest the budget has been since the 1990's. Stop spending your time trying to read between the lines of traditionalists and look at the church the way we look at it: It is floundering and dying a slow and agonizing death because it has become a house divided against itself.

betsy more than 2 years ago

Traditionalists and contraction

The Traditionalist camp is really hankering for the Progressives and Moderates to leave. Leave them the brand. Leave with the excess property they can't get rid of without massive cost. And take that pension and health liability and university connections as well. The goal is to shrink the US Church's power without losing that 99% of the funding that keeps the Central Conferences in camp. They need them around to keep their core ministries viable. And don't go too far as to make the brand unviable across much of the US outside of the SE US. So there is a need for Moderates and Progressives to get out but not completely. This is why Traditionalists get nervous when there is a talk of a pure US based denomination. This puts a lot of pressure financially on the remnant that they cannot possibly live up to and that the Central Conferences cannot shoulder. So yes they want Progressives and Moderates gone but they would kindly like us to pay them for the privilege.

eric more than 2 years ago

You have not read the traditionalist plan

It does not require anybody to leave, it does not even require everybody to think/believe alike. All it requires is that everybody abide by the will of GC and the Discipline. The only reason anybody is asked to leave, is if, in good conscience you decide you cannot live by the Discipline. And my latest understanding was that exit plans provided seed money for departing churches.

betsy more than 2 years ago

Still passing untruths....

Once again a progressive is spreading untruths about what really happened at conference and what traditionalists want. We grieve for our brothers and sisters who are hurting, but this could have been avoided if our leadership had actually done their job years ago when they decided to ignore broken vows and our discipline. Instead they decided to let progressives believe that traditional believers would "come around sometime" to the world's way of thinking and believing, in order to save their paychecks and power. Now, I dare say they should have neither. Traditionalists were already prepared to leave, and we were not the ones who wanted to rewrite the discipline. Nobody that I know is gloating or happy, we are sadden by the state of our society and pray for everyone. Since you obviously look down upon us with disdain why would you want to stay in ministry together. I hope a split will occur for everyone's sake and all be allowed to take property with them. I have no wish to have one or the other side retain all, that would be unfair and hinder any future ministry. Within a few miles of my home, there are at least 6 different branches of Baptist Churches. Why can't the Methodist Church come to some consensus and separate in a fair and civil manner. Things are only going to get uglier and more hurtful. It is past time to stop the madness! The writer proves it in every article he writes, with his perspective opinions.

Tracy more than 2 years ago

So Now What?.

The 2019 General Conference resulted in the Traditional Plan being paased. Culture should not set the guidelines for God's Kingdom. God's Word has been how churches set their theology and standards. Gods Kingdom is different than " a more inclusive secular world. " Homosexuality is a sin declared in God's Word. Sin is Sin! God does not rank sin. All sin is an affront to a Holy God. This means I must repent of my sin just as you must repent of your sin. Any clergy that does not identify sin as sin is negligent in my opinion. If we don't identify sin as sin why did Jesus go to the cross? The basic disagreement is those who call homosexuality sin, and those who do not. So what is a divided church body to do? There must be a separation if there can be no agreement on what is sin? Why should those supporting the Traditional Plan leave? Those who refuse to follow the guidelines of this denomination are the ones who should voluntarily resign. Maybe lifetime appointments are what those "leaders" don't want to surrender ? So what is more important your social principles, or your guarantee of a paycheck?

Kevin Wells more than 2 years ago