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Showing posts from July, 2014

Bishop Ough: Covenant, Schism, and Unity

Brad Brady: Worldwide Nature of the Church

I can’t get the hymn, “In Christ There Is No East or West” out of my mind as I participate in our ongoing discussions around the Worldwide Nature of the United Methodist Church.
It is easy to sing and celebrate our unity in mission.Across the globe there are signs of spiritual transformation flowing out of the congregations and ministries of United Methodism. As the hymn states, our joining hands in the disciple-making mission of Christ is the “golden cord” that binds us together.
Like in so many areas of our Christian experience, there is a “present” and a “not yet” dimension to United Methodism’s pursuit of fully living as a worldwide church.
You do not have to look hard to find examples of this unrealized vision, especially when you begin talking about our organization, structure and governance. One can feel the struggle of the “not yet” whenever the inevitable power-shifting discussions unfold. As in any system, those with power naturally seek to protect their control and influen…

Why Be Part of a Worldwide UMC?

By: Bishop Patrick Streiff

Twice over the last month, regions in my Episcopal area have been flooded, first in Serbia, then in Bulgaria. In Serbia the UMC churches were not directly affected by the floods, in Bulgaria church property and houses of members were damaged or destroyed. In each case, Methodists from other regions called our office and asked: “What help do you need? What can we do?” In Bulgaria, a poor Roma (Gypsy) church collected money in the Sunday worship for the Roma church farther north which was directly affected. The Polish Annual Conference which met a few days after the devastating storms in Bulgaria made an offering for the UMC in Bulgaria. And in our office, we continue to link the support between the countries because the most difficult time for the people will come when there will be no harvesting in summer and fall. By that time, the headlines of the news will be directed to other topics. People will have forgotten about the floods, but Methodists remember. –…