A recent commentary for UMNS by Rev. Lloyd Narota entitled "Sexuality debate overshadows real issues in Africa" is one of the most highly recommended articles I have ever linked to form this blog. In it, Rev. Narota describes the contrast between American and African views of the church, stating bluntly, "Our worlds are different and we are likely to have different pressing issues and different sets of values."
Rev. Narota explains that the sexuality debates that so preoccupy Americans are not the most pressing topic in Africa. He instead articulates what many Africans see as the most important issues facing the church in Africa, including poverty, divorce, "tribalism, regionalism, and polygamy and, at times, nepotism."
Rev. Narota also calls the American UMC to task, arguing that Americans, including American conservatives presenting themselves as allies to Africans, have not treated Africans with equality, respect, and understanding, instead opting for one-sided and colonial relationships.
Rev. Narota's piece is essential reading for American United Methodists because of the forthright way in which he explains critical issues in the UMC from an African perspective. Certainly, his voice is but one from Africa, but it's rare for most Americans to encounter such as strong and direct African United Methodist voice. We must all listen.