I did it. I finally read through the Indianapolis Plan. Kudos to the church leaders who got together to work on this plan. It is impossible to imagine the flack and the encouragement these men and women have received from various levels of the UMC. At least this plan allows the General Conference delegates a means to continue the conversation about the future of the UMC.
As I stated in the “Grimm Plan,” I agree that we need a dissolution of the UMC. However, I think propping up the name of the denomination will cause too much anxiety and problems for the Centrist UMC. Allowing the traditional/conservative clergy, local churches, and Annual/Central Conferences to form their own denomination is a wise idea. Allowing the progressive/liberal clergy, local churches, and Annual/Central Conferences to form their own denomination is a wise idea.
Looking at a shell of a denomination is like looking at a shell of a corporation. Over the years we have witnessed the demise of Sears. Through many and various decisions, major brands of Sears were sold off. Those brands can stand on their own, I am specifically thinking of Craftsman. However, without Craftsman and the other Sears brands, the corporation is practically dead. With nearly 400 stores with the Sears name across the country, Sears is not what it once was. The interesting note about these stores is that some are open under different names, rather than being called “Sears.”
I want to be part of a lively, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-loving church. I want to be part of a church that inspires disciples to make disciples. I want to be part of a church that is used by God to heal wounds in relationships, families, and communities. I believe most United Methodists also want the same of the church, of the denomination, for which they have been a part of and will be part of in the future.
It will be alright for the name “United Methodist” to die. We can thank God for the time we had a “United Methodist Church.” The lessons we have learned from being part of the United Methodist Church can be valuable as we start anew. God is doing a new thing in this world. We who are currently called “United Methodist” can join God in doing a new thing in this world.