Embracing a New Future for the UMC through Regionalization

Today’s post is by Jefferson Knight. Knight is Program Director of the United Methodist Human Rights Monitor in Liberia and a delegate of the Liberia Annual Conference to the 2020 General Conference in 2024 of the United Methodist Church. From http://www.umglobal.org/

The passage of the regionalization petition signals a shift towards a more inclusive and diverse church that recognizes and values the unique needs and contexts of different regions around the world.

This decision allows for greater regional autonomy, enabling churches to address specific challenges and opportunities based on their local context. It promotes a more equitable distribution of power and resources within the church, ensuring that all regions have a voice and influence in decision-making processes.

Furthermore, the passage of the petition aligns with the principles of justice and love that the UMC holds dear. It acknowledges that different regions have different social, cultural, and theological perspectives, and allows for a more inclusive dialogue that respects and values these differences.

I believe that this decision will foster greater unity and collaboration within the UMC, as it encourages a more participatory and globally minded approach to church governance. It is an important step towards creating a church that truly reflects the diversity and richness of its membership, and I applaud us delegates for this overwhelming support of the regionalization petition.

For too long, the UMC has been US-centric, with dominance by the churches in the USA at General Conference. Regionalization will usher in equality everywhere and provide the opportunity to serve God in diverse contexts based on unique theological understandings. This move ensures that churches in different regions can practice their faith authentically without imposing their beliefs on others.

The future of the UMC shines brightly with this decision, signaling a new chapter in our journey. It is time to embrace change, move forward, and rebrand our church for the proclamation of the gospel in a more inclusive and globally conscious manner.

Below: Delegates to General Conference 2024 in Charlotte worshipping on Sunday morning at the Marriott.