I am not commenting on this, because I have only been a member of a local UMC church since August of 2010. I simply do not have the foundation to do so. Besides, my opinions would be discounted becuase of my recent attachment to the UMC. And frankly, as a LAY MEMBER ONLY, what do I have to say about the UMC’s direction? However, the question is important:
The most important question asked today came from The Congo: “What is God’s vision for the UMC?” If we can’t answer that immediately and in detail when asked, then no commission or study will keep the UMC from dying.
But if I were to comment, I might would wonder why that question cannot be answered immediately. And, can you really discern the answer from a report filled with numbers, some good and some bad?
If I were to comment, I might tell of my own story and how the UMC is serving for me as a spiritual home in a world where things are consistently put in the realms of black and white. Everything must be black and white. Everything must be this or that. Yet, in the UMC, they find a lot of middle ground from which to grow. Maybe that’s because of the historical focus on the laity?
I might also, if I were to comment, suggest that in discerning God’s will for the UMC, that they shut off both sides – the Confessing Church Movement and the liberal extremes – and listen to God’s voice through Scripture, Reason, Tradition and Experience. The United Methodist Church brings together a focus on Scripture and doesn’t run from the fact that Tradition underlies much of our own understanding of it. They aren’t shy of Scholarship either.
I don’t know, but if I were to comment, I’d say that God’s vision for the UMC is to strengthen that which remains, to stop being so mellow, grapple with the issues which the august body faces, become a prophetic voice for the people of God, and to stop worrying about numbers. Focus on discipleship. Don’t grow numbers, grow people.
- Call to Action Twitter Report #umclead – Responses from the digital diaspora (hackingchristianity.net)
- Don’t ask me about survival (johnmeunier.wordpress.com)
- UM Leadership Summit: The View from Table 9 – Part 1 (onlywonder.com)
- What is this question doing in that survey? (johnmeunier.wordpress.com)
- The UMC is at work in Japan (cantleaveunsaid.wordpress.com)