We're Not in Kansas Anymore

Lessons from the Leadership Institute's "Futuring" Session



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Behold, A Dead Horse... Who Beateth It Still?

The man on the end, checking stuff on his smarty phone, is the perfect metaphor for the continuing beating of a horse long dead. He is one of five on the stage debating the future of the UMC, but his mind and fingers have moved on. Is he checking in with his wife, his broker, his bookie, his boss? Inquiring minds want to know!

Reese more than 1 year ago

What an outside observer concludes

Posted in the comments section of "Nine Plans and What to Think About Them" https://peopleneedjesus.net/2019/09/26/gc2020-nine-plans-and-what-to-think-about-them/

"I say all of this as an outsider looking in. I am not a Methodist, but I do have an interest in how institutions function and govern themselves and I have followed these debates within the UMC for some time. My advice, just dissolve the UMC. It is not united any more and let every congregation sort themselves out regardless of conferences or regions. There cannot be centralized agencies where theological differences run so deep. Don’t try to preserve them The agencies will inevitably become a tool of one faction or the other and the fighting will go on indefinitely. Once one or the other faction rejects majoritarianism the only options are split or elect a pope – or as half these plans propose a council or committee of “technocratic experts.” Somebody always needs to be in charge of a centralized bureaucracy and rule is always either top down or bottom up. It is either democracy or autocracy of some kind. Right now both sides are claiming their authority comes from God. He either hates the practice of homosexuality or He doesn’t give a fig. Both sides cannot be right. Stop trying to shoe horn them together and love thy neighbor. If you really love the UMC then let it go. Turn the respirator off the patient is dead."

The whole comment is worth the read.

I can also recommend this article: "Can There Be Real Methodism Without Class Meetings?"

betsy more than 1 year ago

Finite Thought

And YOU conclude..., from what YOU know... God's choices? Whoa! "[God] either hates the practice of homosexuality or He doesn’t give a fig[?]" Thanks for your opinion, but perhaps the "trickle-down" authoritarian nature of the UMC has to be considered more than how God looks upon homosexuality in all of it's states. "Can't we all just get along...(?) means that we all have the same world view, the same goals, the same needs of leadership? We can work together on tasks that divert our attention, but what "we" have failed at is wanting to understanding each other. Currently I don't see either the desire or the capacity! The role of sexuality in the church is beyond our desire for WISDOM to figure it out. We are missing some "pencils in the pack" and "color in our rainbows!"

David more than 1 year ago

Please reread...

You say, "And YOU conclude..., from what YOU know..." Except those weren't her words at all. They belong to the person commenting on another site. It's always good to take a deep breath, slow down, and take careful note of pertinent information before reacting. And it's also wise to assess (to the best of our limited capacity) what God's desire for us is; some things God loves, some things God hates, and some are neutral. But God cannot hate what he loves, nor love what he hates. As UMs, we profess that God loves all persons, without exception, but God there are also things that his beloved do that he hates.

John more than 1 year ago

Use Al’s sword

When faced with the Gordian Knot Alexander took his sword and whacked it right down the middle

The knot of untied

Each piece could go it’s happy way free to hitch up with whomever

Richard F Hicks more than 1 year ago

Welcome to OZ

We are all a product of a system that has quietly been coming unhinged for a long time!

The church is hopelessly broken and dysfunctional. There is nothing to reform, it has become too fractured. The Bishops blew the one hope of resolving this in anywhere close to a reasonable manner when they did not allow/trust the Way Forward Commission to do its own thing. And now, in true United Methodist fashion, the only way out of the mess is to throw a handful of different colored jell-o at the wall and see what sticks. Millions of lives will be impacted by that decision.

betsy more than 1 year ago

Here's a thought

If it is the institution that keeps you from following your heart, you could always leave the institution. Why must you try to reform it?

Dave more than 1 year ago

legislating the heart

The problem seems to be that the idea of methodist connection has moved from the people and the heart to a bureaucracy. we are working on two different set of terms. one for the people in pews and pulpits and another for agencies and conference staff.

Josh more than 1 year ago

Here is an answer

Because the institution is not working justly for all involved.

Wanda Greaves more than 1 year ago


I don’t want to leave because this is my church family. I have been loved and nurtured in this space.

Forrest Oliver more than 1 year ago

Well Then

It sounds as though the church is serving you well, Forrest. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Dave more than 1 year ago

Reformation from reformation

Diversity. Pluralism. Contextual differentiation. All have their appropriate places in multiple human endeavors. But in the venue of theological constructs/beliefs that represent the core credo of a defined religious community, they sow the seeds of inevitable division.

The sustained aggressiveness of the LGBTQ movement – which focuses solely on UMC clergy – will not cease until and unless there is a split. The division need not be acrimonious nor vindictive. It just needs to be. Irreconcilable differences can divide couples and denominations without recriminations or fault.

The institutional integrity of the UMC has been eroded by decades of disregard for the church’s Book of Discipline and the leadership’s failure to enforce sanctions on those who have claimed the right to disregard the church’s human-sexuality provisions. No one in particular decided to do it – it just evolved through neglect.

A plan that would dissolve the UMC in 2024 assumes that the bulk of the laity will hang around through four more years of debate. That is a thoroughly unreasonable expectation. The exodus is already underway.
Stretching a resolution out to May 2020 is even dicey. Laity have other choices where they may render faithful service to Christ and His Church, beyond allegiance to a floundering UMC, uncertain of its beliefs, and unsure of its future.

For those, mostly clergy, who have been wrapped up in the various plans to resolve this debate, this mind game has become the existential raison d’etre for their daily lives. For health and welfare, it’s time to bring it to a close – indeed, past time.

Rev. Dr. Lee D. Cary (ret.) more than 1 year ago

I assumed you've cashed out any pension you have

Advocating for dissolution would eliminate any defined benefit plan that you have, as a retired pastor.

That's probably good for the church in general, but not so good for the retirees.

[Not that such an item should stop us, only that it needs to be considered]

JR more than 1 year ago