In the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, there lies Oakland United Methodist Church. This congregation, like many, had, and has, concerns over the state of the United Methodist Church. If you follow UMC news, you may be aware of the situation. I certainly have some thoughts and opinions on the situation,but those will come later. What will come out over the next several posts will be the story of Oakland UMC from some of those who were there. The story that they will tell is, in a very real way, the story of the current state of the UMC. This is also not an isolated story, several churches have tried to leave the UMC, with varying results, in the past little bit.
As this story comes out, I want you to read it setting aside your personal hopes for the UMC. I want you to set aside whatever theological stances that you may have as they do not apply here. Our theology, if correct, should never cause us to treat another poorly. I want you to read it knowing that the story is not over just yet, and will not be for some time. I want you to read it and understand the very real possibility that this is the future of the UMC. I want you to read it and realize that these are not questions about the institution of the church, but questions that have very real implications for average people like me, and like most of you who are reading this.
This is my teaser if you will. A brief introduction about the story to come. I want you to read it, and share it, no matter who you think is “right” or what theology you think is “correct”. No matter who is right or wrong, no matter whose theology prevails, our theology should never lead us to treat people poorly, and there is little doubt that many people in this have been treated poorly. This is the real story of real people. The only editing will be for punctuation and spelling, not for content. It will be the words of those who lived through, and are living through, the situation. Read their story, and imagine that it is your own. Maybe then we will all have a better understanding of what is at stake.
The story begins.
The story begins.