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Michigan poet featured on ‘Emerging’ website

Dillon Burns shares a slam poem

“Why Now,” by Michigan poet Dillon Burns, is currently featured on the new website of The Connectional Table. “Emerging” celebrates what God is doing now in and through the UMC.

Chicago, IL—The Connectional Table is proud to announce the launch of Emerging, a digital collection of essays, articles and other content discussing what may be taking shape in the life of the United Methodist connection as a result of the outcome of the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference.   

The purpose of the website, www.emergingmethodism.com, is to be a venue of conversation including voices from a multiplicity of viewpoints. The hope is that it will help lead us to forge a compelling consensus toward what to teach, how we teach, who we are, and how we will continue to live together in ministry. It is not a forum for debate or for proposals about structure, but a space to invite critical thinking and reflection on what is emerging in Methodism.

The project draws inspiration from Isaiah 43:18-19: “Don’t remember the prior things; don’t ponder ancient history. Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness.”

Content will reflect on at least one of the following topics:

  • Leadership: Our Call
  • Ecclesiology: Our Church
  • Theology: Our Beliefs
  • Missiology: Our Mission
  • Polity: Our Structure
  • History: Our Story

The first selection of content is authored by such UMC figures as Cynthia and Lovett Weems, Jr., Ashley Crowder-Stanley, the Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, Bishop Christian Alsted and more. With the help of a steering committee and an editorial team, the project is being led by the Rev. Kennetha J. Bigham-Tsai, Chief Connectional Ministries Officer of the CT, and Neil Alexander, President & Publisher Emeritus of The United Methodist Publishing House.

A featured post on the site is a slam poem shared by the Rev. Dillon Burns, pastor of Manchester: First United Methodist Church. Burns dedicated the poem — “Why Now?” —  to new leaders during Celebrating the Journey of Ministry that took place at the 2019 Michigan Annual Conference.  

“In the midst of the uncertainty facing our church, we believe that God is doing something new,” said the Rev. Bigham-Tsai. “We want to hear a variety of voices that can inform the conversation and help us all perceive what God is doing in and through The United Methodist Church.” 

The Emerging project is currently accepting content submissions and suggestions from across the connection. The Connectional Table seeks to represent in the project a diverse range of theologies, ideologies, races/ethnicities, genders/gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, cultures, nationalities and more. If you are interested in submitting to Emerging, please reach out to Director of Communications Emily Clemons at [email protected].

Emerging can be found online at www.emergingmethodism.com and on Twitter and Instagram @EmergingProject.

Last Updated on November 1, 2023

The Michigan Conference