What are our perceptions about churches and regions in African countries and the USA?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

This board has been a wonderful tool for me to learn about my denomination and my sisters and brothers around the world. But I wonder if we are perceiving each other acurately? I live in Montana, and people who have never been here ask the most amazing questions like: Do you have electricity? Do you live in a tent? Do the Indians try to kill you? Do you live in an igloo? The list goes on. Montanans Usually say YES to all the above because we do not want people moving to our beautiful state;-) For Americans do we have questions that we need to ask regarding our AME family in African countries. And to our African sisters and brother what are your perceptions of us. Maybe we can get a dialog started and learn more about each other.

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2001


Dear Readers

I am thankful to God for this tool called THE AME TODAY online and for its editor. AME's overseas and especially in Africa has been in the dark about AME-events taking place in the USA. We are proud members of African Methodism and consider ourselves heirs of the rich legacies of Richard and Sarah Allen, and many other sung and unsung heroes, both laity and clergy. In the words of Bishop and late Mother Ming, upon their first episcopal assignment to the old 15th, "if it is to be, its up to me". The internet tool is a gift from God and we need to use it especially inbetween the General Conferences to be transparent in our administrations. The Council of Bishops was opened up by Bishop De Veaux and we are thankful for that. More General Officers also need to place more relevant information timely on this tool, please.

My personal experience and view of American AME's is that you are not exposed to our realities. Many of our ministries are limited within the 4 church walls. Americans within and without church circles are still to fully receive and understand the concept of solidarity. Many African liberations movements, including Namibia's SWAPO and South Africa's ANC, got tired with the western powers who only paid lip- service to the plight of the African people, and found assistance from the former socialist countries.

More American AME's must take a more firm interest in the livelihood of their brothers and sisters in Africa. The European missionaries are actively involved in almost all African countries with socio- economic programmes, giving meaning to their Mission Statements. In African Methodism, we rather supervise institutions closing down. How many new AME colleges and universities have we opened up during the past decade. Everybody wants to lead, aspiring for high offices without meaningful local programs.

There are so many candidates aspiring for episcopal or general officer positions, but many of them have not supported any overseas missionary project in his/her entire ministry. Never had any interest in overseas work, and yet when they become elected, they seem to know our conditions better than ourselves.

I am not asking for millions or thousands of US dollars to be pumped into Africa. All I am saying is: Take an interest by partnering 1 congregations per quadrennium through a mutually enriching programme. If each church in the USA can partner one overseas church for the remaining 3 years of the present quadrennium, we'll be a better institution.

Or am I missing the boat somewhere?

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2001

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