Friday, February 26, 2021

Recommended Reading: Out of Chaos: Creation Statement

Last Friday, the "Out of Chaos: Creation" group released a new "vision map," a statement outlining a vision for the future of The United Methodist Church. This vision emerges not only from the ideas of the steering group members, but from feedback submitted by United Methodists around the world through surveys and two webinars. The statement situates itself within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It presents a series of affirmations about who the UMC is/should be, a set of "table manners" that should characterize United Methodists' interactions with one another, and five areas for action.

Major emphases of the statement include a call for continued unity, combined with a call for the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ individuals in the church and a call for reform of neo-colonialist structures within The United Methodist Church. In its call for continued unity with greater regionalization, it shares something with the Christmas Covenant's recent press release or the Statement of Church Unity from the Africa Voice of Unity, though both of these statements do not call for full inclusion. (The Africa Voice of Unity statement is explicit about this point.) In this regard, the European bishops' "Our Commitment" statement, which was released yesterday, is perhaps closer in spirit, though the Out of Chaos: Creation statement is stronger on the point of LGBTQIA+ inclusion.

Like the Africa Voices of Unity statement, the Out of Choas: Creation statement explicitly condemns racism. The Out of Chaos: Creation statement is also concerned with ecclesiology and how members of the church relate to each other, including through the process of Christian conferencing. These foci also distinguish the Out of Chaos: Creation statement from other recent statements in the church.

For further information about the statement, see this UMNS article and this EmK article.

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