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Riley Case says:...."1) The agencies of the church receive poor grades
on advancing the mission of the church; and 2) There is a pervasive
sense of distrust between the pew and the leadership." These point
relate directly to communications within the church.
My own approach would be somewhat different from Dr. Case probably because I ignorantly define "mission" differently than my respected, learned good and tolerant friend.
For lack of a better term, I would call the mission of the church "to bring individuals to resonate in the Christ experience". If that sounds a little new-age-ie it's because it is. I no longer quote church dogma in my message. I have no multi-step, must follow, doctrine(s) that my fundamentalist brother requires.
My sense of changes needed for the long run health of the church are respectfully posted here:http://tinyurl.com/85ugyqq and in the Mission Statement of my UMC-Unofficial Layman's Open Forum, here: http://tinyurl.com/22wowwz .
As for "a pervasive sense of distrust between the pew and the leadership" gosh sakes, I've been harping on how we can correct that for years now. Just give an open forum on the main website, with bold administrative privileges to the laity to comment instead of throttling laity papers, comments, and remarks, on every attempt to speak their mind as the church currently does. Enhanced access to laity will compete with "a pervasive sense of distruct between the pew and the leadership."
I work with the philosophy we may each task the church for the vision we each see for the church, without malice to those who see other visions..... a "be the change you want to see" philosophy. I just do what I can do and don't worry about churchianity syndromes and corporate malaise. Dr. Riley works with the same loving spirit from all my encounters with him. His training and experience defaults him to a conservative, multi-step specific set of dogma's, mine is loosey-goosey, re-incarnatable, we're all God-like, everything is one, we are here in this 3D dimension to gain soul experience over many lifetimes.
Maybe I'm passing through a phase, but I truely believe instead that our souls are all being washed down the river in a big flood that eventually empties into the ocean of pure consciousness. Whether we accept it or not, that's where the river is taking us.
I am a lay person in my local United Methodist church, Good Shepherd in Thornton, CO. I find daily information about the activities of the global church, and I pass the information on to local committees. I also serve on United Methodist Women District, as an officer, and I use the digital information (as well as the magazines Response and World Outlook) to keep my colleagues informed. I serve on Conference Committees for JFON, Hispanic Ministries and Native American ministries, and the communications from the global church are invaluable to me. The only piece I would add is local efforts to have other members subscribe to the digital email networks, so others could stay informed.