Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Recommended Reading: European bishops on A Way Forward

The Council of Bishops is just over a week away from announcing the membership of the Commission on a Way Forward, as we've previously reported. Thus, by now most of the content of this news article about A Way Forward from the UMC in Germany will not be news to most readers.

Yet the article is worth noting for the last two paragraphs, which give perspectives on the Commission on a Way Forward by Bishops Alsted and Wenner. American audiences have no doubt read perspectives from a variety of American bishops, but in the interests of adding global voices to the discussion, I have translated (with some help from Google) the last two paragraphs below:

"Christian Alsted, the chairperson of the Connectional Table, a type of international church council for the UMC, supports the opinion of the president of the Council of Bishops [Bruce Ough]. The bishop of the Central Conference of Northern Europe asked it to 'respect the decision of the General Conference as the highest body of the church.' The special commission should be granted time and space for their work, 'while we pray that the Holy Spirit gives them the necessary wisdom and insight.' At the same time, 'we should use the opportunity to focus our resources and our attention on the needs of this world, in which God is at work.'

"'Great tasks lie before us,' commented Rosemarie Wenner, bishop of the UMC in Germany, on the current situation. It is, however, possible to give one another room for diversity, 'so long as we are united in the main task: to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.' She prays 'that we remain together to set an example that different opinions do not hinder us from listening together to Christ and witnessing to him as the one that reconciles us and the world with God.'"

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