Separation and Self-Determination

One of the values promoted by U.S. foreign policy over the years (and imperfectly adhered to) is the value of self-determination. This is the idea that people ought to be able to determine for themselves their own government and national policies, rather than having...

Understanding the Christmas Covenant

The Connectional Table, our denominational equivalent of a church council for the whole church, recently endorsed the Christmas Covenant, a proposal submitted to the 2020 (now 2021) General Conference by an annual conference in the Philippines. It was written by a...

Options for General Conference

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ramp up across the U.S. and around the world, church leaders are thinking once again of General Conference, scheduled for August 29-September 7, 2021, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There are rumors floating around that General...

Traditionalist Apprehension about a Post-Separation UMC

Last week, I reported that the Western Jurisdiction was beginning a yearlong campaign to prepare for General Conference and the ensuing separation provided by the “Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation.” This very appropriate work by the Western...

Western Jurisdiction Prepares for Separation

Last week, the Western Jurisdiction announced that it “is beginning preparations for the next General Conference by recommitting itself to be a faithful, inviting, open, safe and loving place for all people.” Its nearly year-long campaign, called “Where Love Lives,”...