Sunday, March 10, 2024

Status Update and New Publication: Methodism and American Empire

Greetings Friends,

For those who don't follow my adventures IRL or on FB, you may have noticed that I've once again neglected to update my blog for nearly a year. While in the past the reasons for this were complicated, this time around it was a conscious decision. The short explanation is that the next step in my personal evolution required me to drastically reduce the amount of unpaid/underpaid work I do. It was time for me to address my highly toxic co-dependent relationship with the institutional church, where I was constantly giving my time and emotional resources to a ravenous entity that could not love me back. I needed to take a giant step back and wrestle with my underlying motivations for rarely insisting on financial compensation, identify the legitimate needs that were not being met, and figure out how to meet them in a healthy way. 

I've learned a lot in this period of self-examination, and one of the things I figured out is that I am a high-masking highly monotropic empath who has been gaslit by authority figures since childhood. As I've spent the past year inhaling all the literature/content I can find on the intersection of neurodivergence and healing, I now have a great deal to say/write/teach on the topic, although that too would be unpaid labor I'm not currently willing to do.  

In related news, I've begun doing more paid work—mostly teaching a variety of courses for the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. My relationship with the MTSO family is still in its early stages, but thus far all signs point to this leading to a healthy longterm collaboration.  

Also in related news, there's an important new book out: Methodism and American Empire; Reflections on Decolonizing the Church. I contributed a chapter on the damage that the fight to control the membership and material assets of United Methodist Church has done to the UMC in Africa. I joined this project back in 2021 and finally got the opportunity to read the completed book last week.  I wish I could make it required reading for everyone in leadership positions in the UMC—especially those who are delegates to next month's General Conference, but going forward it will definitely be on the syllabus for the UMC Polity course that I teach.    

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