The previous UM & Global collection looked at the UMC as a global church. The newest collection of UM & Global articles on church autonomy and the Commission on the Structure of Methodism Overseas (COSMOS) looks at the flip side of that coin: churches that were at one point connected to The United Methodist Church or its predecessors but have chosen to become independent, autonomous denominations. Many of these denominations have, however, chosen to remain affiliated with the UMC. Most of these changes came about in the late 1960s and early 1970s through the work of the Commission on the Structure of Methodism Overseas (COSMOS), a General Conference-created body of The Methodist Church. This collection examines this history for the sake of drawing lessons for current mission practice, ecumenical relationships, and global polity conversations in the UMC.
The collection includes essays by Philip Wingeier-Rayo, Robert Harman, David W. Scott, Blair Trygstad Stowe, Daniel Bruno, and Kyle Tau, as well as documents from the Commission on the Structure of Methodism Overseas (COSMOS), including writings by D. T. Niles. As always, discussion questions help connect these writings to pressing contemporary questions for United Methodist leaders, General Conference delegates, and students.