UMC Connectional Table Holds Second Meeting

The staff executives and officers of the United Methodist Church’s churchwide ministries gathered for the second Connectional Table meeting on May 17-19 in Chicago.

The Connectional Table, which was created in 2004 to develop and interpret a global vision for the denomination, reviewed its relationship with bishops, annual conferences and churchwide agencies, according to the United Methodist News Service.

“We are trying to understand how annual conference and churchwide agencies work to get results in making disciples for the transformation of the world,” said Bishop John Hopkins, chairman of the table and head of the UMC’s Ohio East Area.

According to Hopkins, the Connectional Table strives to find ways to bring together the members of the denomination through action and collaboration.

“The Connectional Table is saying rather than us trying to design a way to unify the church, how can we find a way to call forth that kind of passionate exuberance and thanksgiving that comes when one has been in a community of love and acceptance,” Hopkins said.

“A lot of people want to fix the church, repair it, problem-solve,” he said. “We’ve pointed out that whenever you try to problem-solve, you impose your idea on the church rather than appreciating what God gives you.” The table is engaged in a process called “appreciative inquiry,” which uses phases of discovery, dreaming, designing and destiny to figure out how the make disciples for the transformation of the world.