Original Posting At http://www.umglobal.org/2019/04/recommended-readings-nordic-baltic-umc.html
The Area Group of the Nordic and Baltic Council of the Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference met on March 29 and 30. At that meeting, they unanimously approved the creation of a roundtable for the sake of “seeking a foundation for the future of the Nordic and Baltic episcopal area that includes as much unity and as much missional strength as possible.”
If that language sounds familiar, it’s because it draws on the purpose statement for the Commission on a Way Forward for the entire UMC. In essence, the Nordic and Baltic Area is attempting their own, regional rather than global Commission on a Way Forward, one aimed at building “a consensus on one proposal for the future of the Nordic and Baltic area” rather than a majority vote on the future of the UMC as a whole.
While the Nordic and Baltic Area has some advantages in this effort that the UMC as a whole lacked – close relationships, perhaps less cultural difference among participants – it is worth noting that the task will not be easy, as this episcopal area spans from Western to Eastern Europe, and thus contains both sides of that cultural divide on homosexuality. It will be interesting to see whether the assets that the Nordic and Baltic Area bring to this difficult project are able to produce a better result than the UMC as a whole experienced at General Conference 2019.
For more details, see the following:
A statement from the Area Group on their meeting in English
A paraphrase of that statement in Norwegian
A short description of the roundtables in English
A news article on the group’s meeting and decision in German