Like pruning inactive members from our rolls, should we remove disconnected congregations from our Association? In a lively conversation at our Heartland District Assembly, one of us suggested that we should rescind the charter of any congregation that has neither paid any dues nor sent any members to a District or General Assembly over the last five years. This is not intended to be a punishment, but rather a way of strengthening our Association, and encouraging real engagement between congregations (Alice Blair Wesley is not the only person who believes in lateral accountability, or the “communion of congregations”). Because it is not a punishment, it would not be an immediate event–a deadline could be set, a few years hence, and significant efforts made to reach out to (and assist) those churches, fellowships and societies who have become somewhat estranged.
Others among us were not convinced that our less-connected fellows should be removed from our Association. At least one thought that removing them from the “find a congregation near you” app would be sufficient. After all, if we haven’t had any real contact for a while, is it ethical for us to send a stranger there?
...See the rest of the post, with links, at So May We Be.