Friday, April 09, 2010

Thoughts on the Community of Christ World Conference

Tomorrow (Saturday, April 10) the Community of Christ World Conference will begin. For many the activities have already begun. Yesterday and today, the Restoration Studies Symposium has been held over at Graceland University, Independence Campus. Scholars of both Community of Christ and LDS persuasions (and others) are joining together to reflect on a variety of theological and historical issues facing the movement.

The International Leader's Meeting is also going on. Delegates from around the world have arrived early and participate in these pre-conference classes and workshops. It makes sense from a logistical point of view because the travel expenses are so high that one needs to really use the time wisely when these leaders are here, but one also wonders if this is a subtle way for Church Leadership to shape the opinion of the international leaders.

Because of the increasing size of the international church and the fact that financially and logistically, it is impossible to field a full slate of delegates from most countries, the international delegates will cast weighted votes giving them voting power much greater than a typical US delegate.)

On the numerous questions before the conference on full inclusions of gays and lesbians in the church, it is understood that the strongest opposition comes from the so-called Third World (countries in Africa, Haiti and others). Yet the challenge for these international delegates is that they are largely financial dependent on the US Church for their existence.

In general there does seem to be an increasing movement of more and more control to the top levels of leadership in the Church, even though the church theologically is moving, more and more liberal. I made this point when I spoke with a writer of the KC Star today. I don't see any thing on the conference agenda to move that trend, though I believe it is largely not helpful for the church.

No comments: