Chicago, Illinois – The Connectional Table’s Emerging Project is launching video segments about the future of the United Methodist Church. The Emerging Project is moving in a new direction by using Wesley’s historic questions that ask, what to teach, how to teach, and what to do. The first video, “Can General Conference be Virtual?” is a 4-part interview, where Thomas J. Bickerton, bishop of the New York Episcopal Area and president-elect of the Council of Bishops, discusses the possibilities for holding General Conference virtually in 2021.
The Connectional Table’s Emerging Project fosters reflections, through an open-ended conversation about what is emerging in Methodism. By creating a highly accessible, web-based dialogue, the CT hopes to engage United Methodists with a diversity of perspectives from across our worldwide connection in thinking deeply about what is emerging at this time in the life of our connection. Through this forum, the CT will curate and crowdsource the best thinking about theology, ecclesiology, missiology, polity, history and leadership.
In the first video Bishop Bickerton discusses a virtual General Conference and the future of the United Methodist Church. The video focuses on the limitations of our polity in the face of a pandemic. Bishop Bickerton states, “We had for a long time… propped up a system, a posture and a number of our franchises that’s now going to change. And we need to think seriously about our strategic present in places where Methodism may not survive the changes that we’re facing. That should give us a great opportunity to find freshness in our passion to make disciples. So while the real time changes are tough I look upon them pretty positively in terms of how God might be at work in our midst.”
The Connectional Table invites energetic conversations through the Emerging Project that will illumine our identity which is tied to what and how we teach, our preferred actions, what we do and our abiding hopes as we envision the future United Methodist Church. Rev. Kennetha Bigham-Tsai states, “The intent is to generate passion and energy for constructive conversations that help us walk forward together.”
The Connectional Table asks all United Methodists who want to respond to the Emerging Project videos to use the Contact Us form on the UMCCT website or join the conversation on social media by using #EmergingUMC and #EmergingMethodism and chiming in on the CT’s Facebook Dialogue Group- Connectional Table of the UMC.
About the Connectional Table: The Connectional Table works to steward the mission, vision and ministries of The United Methodist Church. For more information, please visit umcct.org.