Thankful for the information

By Jessica Brodie

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”—Ephesians 5:8-13 (NIV)

We genuinely appreciate the openness of the conference trustees in providing the dollar amount and breakdown of the funds received from the 113 churches that separated from the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church in June 2023 (see article, “Trustees: 10 Percent Tithe from 2023 Separating Churches Disbursed").

The Advocate has long felt our church and our world are best served with transparency and full disclosure of information. Many Scriptures lift up the importance of making information known to all.

We understand that in sensitive personnel matters, for the privacy of families who are grieving or because of other delicate situations, sometimes things need to be kept private. But knowing the conference has another $17.5 million to work with, as well as the plans for spending those funds, is helpful information—particularly with so many uncertainties right now. At the very least, it quiets rumors and dispels suspicions among those who fear ulterior motives.

Recently, we attended the awards luncheon for the South Carolina Press Association (see article, “Advocate Wins Three First-Place Journalism Awards,” Page 1). There, we heard a number of longtime and well-respected journalists, good and reputable individuals, speak about the importance of shining light into darkness. Even though it was a secular event, the notions expressed about light conquering darkness, good conquering evil, are familiar concepts in many a church service. As one of the speakers, Ken Campbell with AdCellerant, said, “Corruption thrives in darkness,” adding, “We cannot be a functional democracy without the publications in this room.”

I believe the same is true for our church. Without transparency and openness, without the light of truth and goodness, evil gets a foothold. Its sneaky tendrils begin to choke and tear down.

Thank you, trustees.

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