Saturday, May 30, 2015

When You Come to the Fork in the Road...

Friday and today I have been attending the annual meeting of Bay of Quinte Conference, one of the courts of the United Church since the formation of our denomination in 1925. This may be one of the final two or three meetings of this Conference and twelve others across the country because of significant proposals to change the structure of the United Church.

The General Council will meet in Newfoundland this summer and decide how to streamline a system that was designed for close to a million members and adherents, not the few hundred thousand left. The United Church is aging and shrinking and we are running out of money, fast.

Do you remember that I found a United Church Observer article in an issue my mother kept from the year of my ordination, 1980? A report to the General Council of that year recommended moving from four levels of governance to three at a time when there was still vitality in the UCC. These decisions will be a matter of necessity and so carry an bitter aroma of defeat.

The United Church has found its way through other challenges and even crises, so we aren't throwing in the towel. We already are a different church from that of the past.

It was supposedly Yogi Berra who said "when you come to the fork in the road, take it!" Now we are at the fork we have to figure out how Christ is present in both our deliberations and new realities.



Judy McKnight said...

When you consider that the early Church started out with no buildings, no musical instruments, etc., and no debts or deficits.... just a lot of enthusiasm and Spirit filled activity... it can't hurt us to downsize, and change, and recapture that original Spirit

Judy McKnight said...

I just realized my previous comments sounds like relishing the "good old days" .... which we were told not to do, on Sunday !

David Mundy said...

I don't see your first comments as nostalgia Judy. Rather, a reminder of our origins, which is always worthwhile. The same is true of our 200th anniversary at Bridge St. Those first Methodists in Belleville met in someone's home.