Sunday, December 12, 2004

UM and UCC Clergy Roundtable

My local newspaper had a very interesting roundtable discussion with four local pastors, two from United Methodist churches, and two from United Church of Christ churches. (Click here for summary article.)

I thought the paper's choice of UM pastors was interesting. One is from the most conservative Methodist church in town, while the other is from the only officially reconciling church in town. This offers a good microcosm, I think, of the split in the UM church.

Most churches, however, fall somewhere in between, with congregation members on both sides of the fence and pastors who don't make this a primary issue in the pulpit or who maybe even haven't made up their mind where they stand. My own church is one such church. We are very vocal about "Welcoming and including all people as creations of God. We will trust God to do the work in others as God sees fit," while "Understanding that there are a variety of opinions within a strong faith community. We can love one another and function as an organization without complete agreement on every issue."

Despite my absolute dedication to one side of this spiritual/political issue, I really like that as a church we let people make up their own minds. That's something I really love about the United Methodist church as a whole, that on most issues we don't try and interpret for others what God is saying to them. What I really want out of our denomination on the General Conference level is just that: don't get in the way of congregations' and individuals' unique relationships to God. Let both the conservative and the reconciling churches and all the churches in between each work that out for themselves.


At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I'm another "bad" Methodist. I'm posting my first comment here because it seems like an interesting article. My email is


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