Trans-UM and Trans-Missional and Trans-Continental Convergence: PRACTICES make perfect


There's a CONVERGENCE happening in the emerging missional conversation this week-- unintended, I'm sure-- but a convergence nonetheless.

Down Under, Alan Hirsch started a thread on acting our way into a new way of thinking. Nothing startling. Nothing new for most of us, I would think. But a good reminder of what missional is all about (not ONLY thinking, but PRIMARILY action). And a good reminder as well of who we were as Methodists, at least during the height of the movement in England. AND it has a "really helpful chart" (Jim Walker would be proud!).

At the same time, Down South in Lake Junaluska, ALL UM Bishops and their cabinets and extended cabinets (DCMs, Lay Leaders, etc) are meeting for the first time ever, and a significant part of their conversation together is around what the bishops are calling "The United Methodist Way"-- which is a kind of paraphrase of the General Rules. What they're seeing and saying is that Wesleyan studies have essentially gotten us nowhere-- except to make a museum piece of Wesley. What we NEED, and CAN get back to, is the community that PRACTICES this stuff-- that actually works to do no harm, to do all the good to others possible, and to engage spiritual practices, individually and corporately, that sustain and express our connection with God. Susan Cox-Johnson is doing some blogging from there at her place--

How transforming these conversations or this convergence can be for us, I don't know. But maybe, just maybe, it begins to signal a way forward-- or, in the language of the scriptures we explored at our gathering, perhaps it means the soil is being tilled so that our missional mustard weed seed can begin to find a place to land, grow, and spread.

Pray for all this-- but above all, keep tilling. The seed is there. This convergence is a sign of that.

Peace in Christ,

Taylor Burton-Edwards