The General Board of Discipleship, the United Methodist agency where I work, has been downsizing during this past year. Initially we did this with the idea of aligning the organization to address two new realities-- a) the Four Focus Areas and this agency's response to those and b) the reality that the 2008 General Conference left us with a budget that would not allow us to keep our current staff in their current roles at their current (much less increased) salaries. Then, by the end of the year, the elimination of an additional 15 positions was announced as a response to the economic downturn and its effects on our funding streams-- both church giving and interest income from our reserves (which make up a significant part of our revenue stream).
One of those whose positions was not continued was Dan Dick, former Director of Research here. His work was often posted on what is now the former GBOD Research blog (it's been taken down now) and was consistently raising good questions (often provocative ones!) based on solid research. I've linked to his former research blog here more than once. (Most recently, the post "When Christian Education Doesn't").
The good news is that Dan is still publishing the results of his research online-- at a new blog he calls "United Methodeviations." The title of this post links directly to his blog. It is absolutely worth reading and following.
I would like to invite all readers of this blog both to read his blog, AND to recommend other must-read blogs. I'll compile these into a larger "emergingumc must-reads" roll on this blog.
Peace in Christ,