Friday, May 3, 2019

Recommended Reading: Robert Harman on EUB vs. Methodist World Mission

Several years ago, Robert Harman, retired head of the World Division of Global Ministries and occasional contributor to and regular commenter on UM & Global, wrote a piece on the differences between EUB and Methodist traditions of world mission. The piece, entitled "Reflections on World Mission in the EUB, Methodist, and United Methodist Traditions," ran as the Summer 2012 issue of the Telescope-Messenger, the newsletter for the Center for the Evangelical United Brethren Heritage.

While the piece touches on several differences between the Methodist and EUB traditions, much of it describes the differences between how the two traditions thought about the relationship between their missions and the church in the US. This set of differences has implications for how autonomy, connection, and dependence played out in the former missions of each tradition. Harman also argues it has implications for how we think about The United Methodist Church as a global body. The piece is worth reading, even several years later, as the UMC reconsiders its global nature, especially if autonomy for some parts of the church becomes a part of the answer to current questions.

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