Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Time's Top 100, where is the UMC?

I know it was a couple of weeks ago that Time magazine came out with the 100 most influential people in all the world. I find this issue always interesting but once again I am shocked by the lack of religious leaders in the list.

The only Christian minister in this list was Rick Warren. The other ministers are ones that hold government offices. This makes me ponder, where is the Christian voice? Does it only come from Rick Warren? Are there any voices within the UMC that has any type of influence in the world? We have a bishop for every conference but do any of them affect dramatic change in our world? Or is the most influential United Methodist Hillary Clinton? (now that Bush is out of office)

Are we not influential because we are too busy arguing with ourselves? Are we so busy having the same debates over and over again that we don't really make a difference. Is the UMC the parishioner you ignore during church social events because you know you are going to have the same conversation for the 121st time?

I know that when it comes to missions and ministry the UMC does a ton. UMCOR is fablous and I cannot speak more highly of it. There are tons of missionaries, mission projects, and other worthy ministries that are affecting huge changes in lives all over the world.

I'm not talking about that. I am talking about a denomination that when it speaks people listen. Not out of fear but out of respect. I don't think the UMC has that type of influence in the US. We may have at some point but not know. Have we been so worried about failing, declining, and debating that we have lost respect in our part of the world?


William Dunigan said...

Greetings to one and all:

I'm a full time writer and an ordained minister. My mother died when I was nine years old. We lived in Kenvir, KY. If anyone knows where that is. My dad was a coalminer.

He, his brother and father, left Ireland when both boys were within their late teen's. This was during the 18th Century potato famine.

My grandfather had sold his farm and left by ship to America. My grandfather bought a farm in Kentucky. So both my dad and his brother told their father that they no longer wanted to be farmers and left the farm to find employment elsewhere.

My dad went further into Kentucky and ended up as a coalminer. His brother went to Indiana and found a good job and did very well.

Needless to say: my dad found the coalmining occupation to be most difficult and extremely dangerous.

My mother was a most devout Christian woman. She too, would take me to various church services.

She would also keep me under constant prayer. After she passed away at my age of dad being in the coalmines most of the daylight hours...I began to play with kids that used all kinds of foul language...also did many things that was not according to the way I had been raised. To make a long story short...I drifted far from my Christian upbringing.

Just as I turned ten years old, an evangelist by the name of Jimmie Jones came to Kenvir (which was nicknamed: Black mountain. He was a Holiness minister. He looked their Holiness church over and found it far to small to accommodate he kind of crowd's of people that his ministry would draw.

He went up (as the huge Methodist church sit on top of a hill.) and asked the Methodist pastor(after telling him of the problem he would have trying to hold a revival within that small holiness church) if he could possibly hold a revival in his church. He was given the permission to do so.

Some kid's came by trying to get me to go to the revival with them. I would only tell them: thanks but no thinks. I did go to church before my mother died, now since she has died...I'm never going to go to church any more.

Kid's would keep coming by asking if I'd consider going to church with them...them telling me what an awfully good revival they were having up at that Methodist Church.

I'd always tell them the same thing...thanks but no thanks.

Then over somewhere close to the middle of the second week the pastor asked one of my friends if he would be willing to coal the furnace for about three to four nights.

He agreed to do so and stopped by and asked me if I would help him. I agreed.

I'd gone to church all of my life up until my mother died, but had never been in a revival like that one in my entire lifetime.

This is too long of a story to give all of the details...even so, I can say life was never the same after that experience.
That experience was just horrific.

Warm regards

William Dunigan

I'll also leave a link to my most recent published book.

Jimmy said...

Methodists would never be satisfied with someone (definitely not a bishop!) being on the Time 100 list unless it was the members of the General Conference. After all, they're the only ones who can speak for the church blah blah blah.

Face it, our church has UMCOR, some big suburban churches, a few urban churches and a bunch of duds, surrounded by a metastasized bureaucracy.

Matt Lipan said...

Jimmy: that one stings a little bit...not saying i disagree much, just kind of a bummer to think about.

William Dunigan said...

Once again and sometime later (as I've posted on here before)matter of fact, that's why I'm posting again...I made a mistake on the other comment that I previously made.

Telling this story I gave the evangelist’s name wrong. This was not Jimmy Jones, the name I'd was Thea Jones.

I did also attend a revival conducted by Jimmy Jones, however, this was many years later. This was the Jimmy Jones of Guyana. Better know for his cool aid episode. I was in one of his revivals in Cinn. Ohio. It was twenty years later I heard on the news about him taking this horrible fall. Also him taking so many lives with him. If you've never heard about sure haven't missed anything. If it was faith building and news worthy I'd tell about it, but if you don't know the details, it's just as well that you don't. That is, as for as I'm concerned anyway.

Warm Regards

William Dunigan