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A Response to Last Sunday’s “Beyond Buildings, Budgets, and Bylaws”

September 16, 2018

QUICK REVIEW: One week ago today in this space I shared a piece from a Baptist site [] and invited your response.

One response came from a long-time friend in real life, Mary Anna Elliot Deforest-Pierce. It is with her gracious permission that I share what she wrote with you —

It is heartbreaking the way God’s people are tearing at one another, defaming the name of Christ, when all around us the number of people in need has mushroomed.

We cut back on outreach to squirrel away funds for “a rainy day.” It is pouring out there!

To paraphrase St. Paul, what good is it if you have a new roof and tuck pointing but have not love?

What good is it if you have a new sanctuary or sound system and don’t pay your apportionments?

What good is it if you paint the church doors and don’t look beyond them to the homeless people on your street?

What good is it if you move to a wonderful new campus in the suburbs so you can leave behind you the needy of downtown?

If you spend time and money, and divide your denomination in ways that will never be healed in the name of orthodoxy, you are a sounding gong and a clanging cymbal.

Hope, faith and charity abide; and the greatest of these is charity.

That’s probably enough United Methodist sacred cows for one day.

Thanks for inviting responses!

— Thank YOU, Mary Anna.


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