Page 1 - Volume 2 2016
Volume 2, 2016 AAMHC JournalA Journal of the African American Methodist Heritage Center AAMHC at a Glance The African American Methodist The Global Church: A New Reality Heritage Center is a ministry By Retired Bishop Forrest C. Stith related to the United Methodist Church. It views the church and its Bishop Stith is President Emeritus of the African American Methodist Heritage Center (AAMHC). ministry in retrospect and prospect. This article also appeared in the UM Connection of the Baltimore Washington Conference, Volume 27, Issue 10. (A full text of his comments can be found at www.aamhc-umc.org.) It envisions its work as gatherer and conserver of the vital history At the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore., for the first time, United Methodists and heritage of Black people in the experienced a new reality -- what it means to be a global church. Some people commented on successive Methodist bodies of the the presence of spontaneity, passion, evangelistic fervor and vitality offered by churches from Methodist Episcopal Church, to Africa and the Philippines. European delegates with their multiple language skills and unique being racially segregated in the perspectives of the church were helpful as well. Central Jurisdiction to the United Methodist Church in the American It was reported that this year 44% of the General Conference body came from the Central and global society. The AAMHC Conferences. My wife and I have spent much of our adult life working and praying for the reality of a global church. But beyond the euphoria of a great and diverse fellowship, I feel ministry is to help ensure that compelled to raise some questions. accurate representation of that story is preserved and examined. Can we afford the current model? Board of Trustees: Rev. David W. One of the primary escalator of costs for the denomination is the attempt to evolve from an Brown, Dr. Angella Current Felder, American church with global partners to a fully participatory global church. Major costs include Rev. Fred Day, Rev. Dr. James transportation. At General Conference, the average travel cost for participants outside the U.S. Ferree, Rev. Dr. Hilly Hicks, Dr. was $3,000/person. Ten languages were spoken. Almost 200 interpreters were needed, along Cynthia Bond Hopson , Ms. Ruth with support staff, and every delegate and bishop was required to use equipment for Lawson, Ms. Cecelia Long, Mr. simultaneous translation. The cost was an astronomical $2.3 million. Donald Lusk, Rev. Dr. Walter How do logistics relate to cost factors? McKelvey, Dr. Arnold Parks, Dr. There is an underlying assumption that to be a global church, all of the continents should mimic what happens in the church in the U.S. This leads to challenges. For instance, while Americans James M. Shopshire, Sr., Ms. take travel for granted, in much of Africa public transportation is limited and erratic. Mollie M. Stewart, Bishop Forrest Communication systems are also often nonexistent or fragile. It is therefore difficult for C. Stith, President Emeritus, Dr. Central conferences to operate committee meetings, such as a College of Bishops, episcopacy committees or executive committees. There is also the practical reality of periodic threats of Barbara Ricks Thompson, Dr. violence or international diplomatic issues that limit visas and travel. …Continued page 2 Cheryl Walker, Ms. Anne Fleming Williams, Member Emeritus, Dr. John Wright, and Carol L. Travis, Executive Assistant. The AAMHC Journal is published several times a year by the African American Methodist Heritage Center; AAMHC, 36 Madison Avenue, P. O. Box 127; Madison, NJ 07940. E- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.AAMHC-UMC.org; (973) 408- 3862. Advance #3020514.The AAMHC Journal is published several times a year by the African American Methodist Heritage Center; AAMHC, 36 Madison Avenue, P O. Box 127; Madison, NJ 07940. email@example.com, www.AAMHC-UMC.org; (973) 408-3862. Advance #3020514.