The United Methodist Church will be struggling with the implementation of the “Call to Action” for years to come. The CTA Manifesto is actually divided into two sections. The most radical section is found in the dense, hard-to-read Apex Report. Here are some initial responses to the Call to Action.
- UMC Call to Action: Two Separate Reports, Two Separate
- CTA says Rule Suspension is “A Key Responsibility of
- CTA Philosophy: “There is only power–and those too weak to seek it.”
- CTA Response: “So Where do We Begin?”
- UMC’s Democratic Processes Dismissed as “Rigamarole”
- The Likelihood of UMC Structural Reforms
- The CTA Manifesto: Blueprint for the Takeover of the UMC
- CTA: Experience Talks Back to Power
- CTA Report: The Meaning of Trust
- CTA Report: Underperforming Congregations and Clergy
- CTA Report: Acknowledging Decades of Decline
These are the sixteen members of the Call to Action Steering Team.
Jorge Acevedo — Lead Pastor, Grace United Methodist Church, Cape Coral, FL
John Hopkins — Resident Bishop, Ohio East Area and Chairperson, Connectional Table, North Canton, OH
Neil Alexander — President and Publisher, United Methodist Publishing House, Nashville, TN
John Innis — Resident Bishop, Liberia Area, Monrovia Liberia West Africa
Amy Valdez Barker — Associate Minister of Families with Youth, First United Methodist Church, Athens, GA
Scott Johnson — President, Association of Annual Conference, Lay Leaders, Buffalo, NY
Judy Benson — Member of Connectional Table, Frederick, OK
Kent Millard — Lead Pastor, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Indianapolis, IN
Ben Boruff — Member of Connectional Table, Indianapolis, IN
Fred Miller — President, The Chatham Group, Inc., Chatham, MA
Judy Chung — Pastor, Placentia United Methodist Church, Placentia, CA
Gregory Palmer — Resident Bishop, Illinois Area and Past President, Council of Bishops, Springfield, IL
Larry Goodpaster — Resident Bishop, Charlotte Area and President, Council of Bishops, Charlotte, NC
Abel Vega — Director of Connectional Ministries and Congregational Development, Rio Grande Conference, San Antonio, TX
Erin Hawkins — General Secretary, General Commission on Religion and Race, Washington, DC
Rosemarie Wenner — Resident Bishop, Germany Area and President Designate, Council
Institutions of any type exist to keep the institution alive. That translates into money. Let’s follow the money. If the UMC pension program is in trouble, what better way to reduce future obligations than to reduce future retirees? What better way to reduce future retirees, or discourage pastors from long term ministry, than to take away guarenteed appointments by declaring a pastor to be “ineffective?” That would leave pensions available for bishops and district superintendents who aren’t under the scrutiny of “effectiveness.” True? False? or Paranoid?
One thing that is very clear, is that all too often, we as people, seek to solve complex problems with simple solutions. However, this may be because many folks seem to not understand that all problems stem in part from three things: 1) inflexibility in the development of the rules, 2) that people as a rule, refuse to learn new and different ways of living, because the old ways are more comfortable, and safe, 3) if we do not learn new ways of living and dealing with our internal and external problems we will be doomed to live them out over and over again until we become consumed by them.
Yet, with the amount of Deism found within many of our churches, there needs to be a solution. That soluton involves a shakeup out of the rigor of the “way that things are.” Of course, things will change. For example, this blog would not need to exist, for all of God’s people would be accepted.
This can be accomplished, provided people accept the need for growing devotion to God and an acceptance of other people, all in the name of the Great Commission. At the same time getting over the idea that God merely sits upon God’s hands and does nothing.