Time to tell the Good News, says Bishop Swanson
Following a catalog of ways in which church members are complaining about actions in the United Methodist Church, Mississippi Bishop James Swanson told some 30 leaders of Scouting and men’s ministry on a May 6 Zoom call, that like the Bad News Bears we’ve become the Bad News Church.
He noted that some people just want to get out of Dodge and leave the denomination.
“I wish we could just get on with telling the Good News,” said the bishop who serves as president of the General Commission on United Methodist Men.
Instead of focusing on what’s wrong in the denomination, the bishop suggested we focus on actions in local churches and units of United Methodist Men where “so many good things are going on.”
Arkansas Bishop Gary Mueller, vice-president of the commission, supported Bishop Swanson’s appeal to focus on all the good things going on in the denomination and making disciples. He urged commission members to remember three things: 1) God is still God; 2) Jesus is still Lord; and 3) The Holy Spirit is still at work.
In other business, the group:
- Supported an inter-agency effort to reduce greenhouse gasses.
- Thanked six board members leaving the commission following eight years of service.
- Welcomed six new board members.
- Learned about a July 11-17 meeting of United Methodist Scout leaders at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
- Learned of plans for an on-line August 28 National Gathering of United Methodist Men; that meeting will focus on dismantling racism and underscoring the importance of evangelism
- Learned that, because of reduced World Service Funds, the commission will have to raise 85 percent of its operating budget and set oct 18 as Give Day, an opportunity to support men’s ministry and Scouting ministry. In previous years, the commission raised 7i5 percent of its budget.
- Learned Bishop Swanson, president of the commission since 2012, will continue as a member of the commission until General Conference in 2022.
- Approved links with 22 organizations with various levels of cooperation.