Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Black Methodist Consultation

We have a movement within the Methodist Church in Southern Africa known as the Black Methodist Consultation or BMC. The defining feature of this body is that one may only be part of it if one has skin that is black. This organisation emerged during the apartheid years as part of the black consciousness movement and although certain white people wanted to stand with black people in their struggle, the BMC felt that it needed to separate.
Nowadays, the BMC is making itself more public within the church and is making its role one of providing empowerment to black people within the MCSA. The more noticeable role over the last year has been the way it is has 'organised' people into senior positions within the church by rallying votes within the BMC for the leader of its choice. Thus (?) the leader of the church's education unit is a senior member of the BMC. The Dean of Studies at SMMS is the connexional president of the BMC.
Many people feel that the days for the BMC are over. Obviously many more don't.
Perhaps there is a place for it. It is clearly racist - without apology.
Sometimes I feel angry, sometimes hurt. I try hard to be friends with black and white. Sometimes this feels like a slap in the face for those of us who are determined about reconciliation. Sometimes we understand.
But how much better if we could all work together.

4 comments:

Delme Linscott said...

Well said, Jenny.
If we want to be a church that is "one and undivided" then we can't have meetings that exclude people on grounds of race or gender.
Delme

Steven Jones said...

Hi Jenny

I'm with you on this one. I was in the, shall we say, "interesting" position of having to inform the folks at Unit 14 about the BMC this past Sunday.

I've tried to get my mind around it. I CAN have some sympathy with the need for an organisation that has black empowerment as its aim, given SA's history. What I have a problem with is the fact that membership is defined by race, which means that no matter how committed a white person may be to black empowerment, they may not join purely on the grounds that they are not black.

Be that as it may, the BMC exists within the MCSA, and will do so for as long as its constituents (who are drawn from the majority grouping in our church) want it to. So I need to take some deep breaths on this one. But the next time someone waves the "race card" in my face, I pray that someone with a cool head is there to hold me down...

Regards,
Steven, the (at times) disgruntled Mlungu

Thomas Scarborough said...

Is it heresy? This comes close.

Herman Groenewald said...

It is clearly not scriptural and also does not help the unity within the church. It therefore has no place in it any longer. BMC needs to be engaged in discussion as it cannot also be ignored.