Indianapolis Plan Values Amicable Separation (Part I)

By Tom Lambrecht – The conversation group working on the Indianapolis Plan has come to agreement and submitted the final version of a plan for an amicable separation in The United Methodist Church. As the document states, “We seek to move away from the caustic atmosphere which has often marked conversation in the United Methodist […]

As We Pray, So We Believe

By David F. Watson – Many have noted that what we call “contemporary” worship isn’t so contemporary anymore. It’s a feature of the “attractional” model of church growth, embodied so well in Willow Creek and like-minded megachurches that popped up in the 80’s and 90’s. The basic philosophy of the attractional model is that if […]

Top Priority

By Tom Lambrecht – As I participate in conversations around the church seeking a way to resolve the crisis facing The United Methodist Church, I have become aware that different people have different goals. A person’s top priority will affect how they evaluate a particular plan or strategy that is proposed to move our church […]

Dissolution or Separation?

By Thomas Lambrecht – The deadline for submitting petitions to General Conference 2020 is less than three weeks away. So far, three major plans for “separation” have been released. More are in the works. The UMC Next Plan proposes to remove all the restrictions in the Book of Discipline regarding clergy performing same-sex weddings and self-avowed practicing […]

Who Do You Love?

By Dr. David F. Watson – A long time ago I taught in a community college. One of the courses I taught was Major World Religions. One day I was giving a final exam — back in days when we used blue books — and as we were beginning one of the students asked me, […]

Annual Conferences, Statistics, and “Winner Take All”

By Chappell Temple – He attributed the phrase to Benjamin Disraeli, but you won’t actually find it in any of his works. But in speaking to the power of numbers to bolster an otherwise weak argument, Mark Twain was probably correct to say that there are three kinds of untruths: “lies, damn lies, and statistics.” […]

Centrists, progressives, and traditionalists work toward a fair plan of separation

Guest Commentary by Keith Boyette – In the aftermath of the 2019 Special General Conference, people across The United Methodist Church have wondered, “What now?” The General Conference decided. Some vehemently disagreed. Statements of defiance were issued. Acts of resistance continue to occur. And new groups have emerged (e.g., UM Next and UM Forward). Looming […]

A U.S.-Only Church

By Thomas Lambrecht – It has been intriguing to follow a series of blog posts from “Mainstream UMC,” a newly minted special interest caucus. The posts have been analyzing an unscientific, non-representative survey that they administered through the Internet. Over 13,000 people took the survey and self-identified as either Traditionalist, Centrist, or Progressive. Mainstream UMC provides […]

Several Bishops Uphold UM Discipline

By Tom Lambrecht – One would not think that bishops upholding the United Methodist Book of Discipline would be worthy of a headline, but such are the times in which we live. In the recent announcement of rulings on questions of law coming before this fall’s Judicial Council meeting, it was encouraging to see even some […]

Exclusionary Politics, Money, and Statistics

By Thomas Lambrecht – It’s all about the money. That could have been the title of the latest opinion piece from Mainstream UMC. And of course, beneath the issue of dollars is the issue of power and control. The central question is whether, in the name of including LGBTQ persons in marriage and ordained ministry, the church […]