United Methodists invited to conversation on future
2/24/2003 News media contact: Tim Tanton · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn.
By United Methodist News ServiceUnited
Methodists are encouraged to participate in an online "conversation
about the future" with church leaders Feb. 26 and March 25.
General Council on Ministries, in cooperation with the Inter-Agency
Research Task Force, is hosting the two webcasts, "What in the World Are
We Talking About? Strengthening Our Global Connection and Ecumenical
The first webcast will be at 8 p.m. Eastern
time, Wednesday, Feb. 26. It will be followed by a second webcast at 8
p.m. Eastern time, March 25.
"We are inviting the church into a
conversation about the future," said Clare Chapman, chairperson of the
Forum on the Future committee. "We are not looking for answers to
questions, a solution for the future, or to debate the pros and cons of
one program of action over another. Rather, we are inviting the church
to talk, to question, to think about what is going on around the world
and how that will impact the mission and ministry of the church in the
next 25 years."
Both webcasts will focus on the changing world
culture and its impact on religion. The first will deal with the changes
taking place in the United States, and the second will focus on changes
occurring around the world.
The Feb. 26 webcast will be hosted
from the studios of United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tenn.
The second will originate from the studios of the Far Eastern
Broadcasting Co. in Manila, the Republic of the Philippines.
General Council on Ministries was directed by the 2000 General
Conference, the denomination's top legislative assembly, to host a forum
on issues that might affect the future of the church. The General
Conference also mandated that the council study five transformational
directions for the church, outlined by a Connectional Process Team.
Those directions include "strengthening our global connection and
Panelists from across the United
Methodist Church and outside the denomination will be in dialogue with
each other and the listening audience about such questions as:
Â· How will the changing world culture in which United Methodists are called to do ministry shape the future of the church?
How are the unique needs and expressions of faith of the regions of the
world likely to influence the nature of United Methodism's mission in
Â· What are the essential points at which the United
Methodist membership can connect to the global mission and ministry of
The scheduled presenters include the Rev. William J.
Abraham, Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies, Perkins School
of Theology, Southern Methodist University; the Rev. Brandon Cho,
executive director of the United Methodist Council on Korean American
Ministries; Ernesto J. CortÃ©s Jr., Southwest regional director of the
Chicago-based Industrial Areas Foundation; Erin Hawkins, staff
executive, United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race; Bishop
Thomas L. Hoyt, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; Jan Love,
professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of South
Carolina; Bishop Edward Paup, leader of the denomination's Portland
(Ore.) Area and president of the General Council on Ministries; the Rev.
Bruce Robbins, top staff executive, United Methodist Commission on
Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns; and Jay Williams, Harvard
To participate in the webcasts, go to
www.gcom-umc.org/future. More details are available by contacting the
council's Office of Research & Planning, firstname.lastname@example.org, or
by calling Craig This, director of research and planning, at (937)
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