Friday, May 25, 2007
A Little Bit of Irony, A Whole Lot of Excitement
Our church is currently undergoing a drive to pay off its debt so it can focus more on the congregation and less on debt. Once the debt is paid off, a great deal of money will be freed up to focus on services and projects provided by the church to the congregation instead of constantly worrying about interest rates and banking fees.
First United Methodist Church has been providing Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University for almost 3 years. I even coordinated one of the classes, but we are still in debt.
While certain liberal congregations continue to reject of particular sections of the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, First United Methodist Church is making a point to follow through with what is a fairly difficult part of the Book of Discipline.
In order to pay down the debt, there has to be buy in from the congregation as a whole. According to paragraphs 248 to 250 of the Book of Discipline, a charge conference must be called. With in this charge conference, it must be announced from the pulpit and be at a single location at a specified date and time. You NEED be present to vote and there are no proxies. It must be conducted in the language of the majority, with translations provided.
This may not seem like much, but our church has 2 campuses on different sides town, with a great ethnic diversity and language diversity. So to have 2 campuses come together in a central location on a specific date and time and only those present can vote, is a daunting task. Instead of saying, "this is too hard," or "this does not jive with society today," or "we need to be more tolerant so the church grows," as many Methodist Congregations are doing today, they decided to follow the Book of Discipline and are taking the extra time to get the word out to the congregation so that all are informed and can have some energy toward making this happen.
That, to me, as simple as it may seem, is awesome!
Labels: church politics