October 18, 2012

Call to Action: Is Anyone Listening?

Dear Friends, As you may know many dollars, hours, and a lot of ink has been split over the UM Call to Action. Recently the final report was issued. I urge you to read this closely. Do you agree? Is the report specific enough? Do you see this affecting you? What changes do you suggest? Does the report restate what you already know? What is new in the Call?

In my opinion, this report could have been written 30 years ago. In fact, much of it has been repeated for at least that long with no better results. I pray for the growth of the Kingdom, but there are still too many vested interests for real change in the UMC to occur. And as long as we look to our structure to solve problems or for the hierarchy to change, we will remain only issuing calls.

Here is an extended quote from the report:

We affirm:
That the local “charge” or congregation is the primary venue for making disciples. We believe there is an urgent need for redirecting significant leadership, time, and money toward the adaptive challenge of building and supporting United Methodist people and their witness on the ground and, in particular, working to increase and sustain the number of vital congregations.

This can be accomplished by:
1.Creating clear expectations and metrics for all leaders

2.Creating a non-residential bishop to lead the COB and build collaborative work on the adaptive challenge

3.Cultivating a new generation of young UM clergy with education and support systems that focus on the adaptive challenge

4.Creating a unified UM Center for Connectional Mission and Ministry constituted from 10 existing agencies with a new governance structure.

5.Redirecting apportionments in 2013–16 by up to $50 million for work on the adaptive challenge including:
Intentional and substantial focus on new faith communities for new people
Increased emphasis on recruiting and developing young clergy under age 30 who
are called by God and confirmed by the church for leadership
Fostering consensus about the personal and professional gifts, skills, and
practices needed for effective clergy
Fostering a "culture of call" in which congregations regularly invite and
encourage persons with the needed gifts to consider if they are being
Providing financial support through scholarships

6.Redirecting $5 million of general church receipts for theological education in the Central Conferences

7.Redirecting $5 million of general church receipts for focus on developing young laity as UM leaders

8.Reforming the clergy system
Making the recruitment of gifted young people to full-time ministry a
priority and devote resources to helping them complete their theological
Expecting and working with seminaries to train for the skills and practices
most needed to revitalize existing churches and start new ones
Continuing to purposefully avoid deploying clergy based primarily upon
seniority/salary and toward deploying persons where their gifts can have
the greatest impact
Improving ability and processes to more promptly exit low-performing clergy
from the system

9.Reforming the episcopal system
Greater consensus about leadership qualities needed for Bishops in the 21st
Bishops have public accountability for improving vital indicators in their
residential areas
One bishop dedicated and accountable for encouraging and supporting others on
the Council of Bishops
Align appropriate work of the general church more closely with annual
conference strategies for embracing the adaptive challenge

See see the Call to Action as proposed go to: http://umccalltoaction.org

Grace, Kathy

1 comment:

  1. If an organization keeps developing and writing 'new' goals there is never time to implement and evaluate the 'old, out-dated' ones. It seems to me the UMC is always in the process of trying to reinvent itself. Can we call this Process Theology?