Newsletter: In The Know, Summer, 2017
- Category: News
A Year of Tragic Anniversaries
2017 is a highly notable year for the Palestinian people, for all the wrong reasons. This year marks four historic anniversaries that no one who cares about Palestinian human rights will be celebrating... [More]
Documented by Love
...is an Action Network working on issues related to documentation of immigrants, Sanctuary churches; educating ourselves, our churches, Annual Conferences and Jurisdiction on issues; providing resources...
Methodist, but not Methodist Enough
by Albert Lounge
One thing that we all take pride in as United Methodists is the global connection, where mutuality in mission and service is at the centre of our ministries. Embracing diversity is proving to be a difficult task, not because it’s impossible, but because we overlook the basics and focus on our limited understanding of the other. Political and cultural systems has taught us to be defensive of perceived commonalities, without necessarily questioning how it affects others.
Growth and vitality continue to be the most used terms in church bureaucracy, with the content and interpretation of the Book of Discipline being a center of attention to all, but few have raised the question, who is excluded? Why aren’t we able to find common ground? The answer is that there is a crucial element missing in our understanding of global connections: effective communication.
The United Methodist church is still an English church, at a time when areas experiencing significant growth within the denomination and being the deal breaker to the most contentious issues are non-english speakers. With the Book of Discipline only being available in English and serving as the only authoritative version, some Francophone and Lusophone members then question its relevance and application to them when they can’t read or understand it but are expected to contribute and implement it.
Language is vital to enhancing community life and has long been used as a colonisation technique. The call is to decolonize the church, at least starting with language, so that we can effectively communicate and undo misconceptions that lead to fear and mistrust. Your voice is needed in getting the United Methodist Church to regularly publish as a priority concern official documents and communications in all languages used by the denomination across the world and make it accessible to all.
If you’re interested in joining our conversation, how we can build in our mutuality in mission and learn more about our brothers and sisters who speak other language beyond English. contact our Colonialism/Imperialism Action Network conveners, Emily Rice and Joy Prim.