UMC Connectional Table: Out of Kilter

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 7:00 AM 0 comments




I am re-echoing this article (which is originally found here) by Dr. Bill Bouknight of The Confessing Movement Within the UMC because I believe it deserves uppermost consideration.

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CONNECTIONAL TABLE OUT OF KILTER
By Dr. Bill Bouknight
March 1, 2013 Confessing Movement E-Newsletter

The central coordinating body of the United Methodist Church is known as the Connectional Table (CT). It consists of about 59 United Methodist leaders excluding staff). There are 47 voting members. It is the only group meeting regularly between general conferences that includes representatives of the major official denominational power structures.  The problem is that the CT’s make-up is not representative of the global UMC membership. Consider the following:

THE WESTERN JURISDICTION HAS LESS THAN 3 PERCENT OF THE UMC MEMBERSHIP, YET IT HAS 17 PERCENT OF THE SEATS ON THE CT. 
BY WAY OF CONTRAST, AFRICA HAS 35 PERCENT OF THE UMC MEMBERSHIP, YET ONLY 6.4 PERCENT OF THE SEATS ON THE CT.

In modern times, the Western Jurisdiction has been notorious for its liberal theology; no doubt, some of it flows from United Methodism’s Claremont Seminary in California. And, the Western Jurisdiction has consistently lagged far behind the other U.S. jurisdictions in how much of its assigned share of apportionments it pays.

Of the five active Western Jurisdiction bishops three (60%) are presidents of a denominational agency’s board of directors. One of the remaining two has been elected to become the next president of the Council of Bishops in 2014. No other region in the UMC comes close to having as large a portion of its bishops in such prominent leadership positions. One way to address this inbalance would be to discontinue electing bishops as presidents of boards and agencies.

The Western Jurisdiction is over-represented in the leadership ranks of the UMC, at the expense of United Methodism in Africa. This matter should have top priority for correction.

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