Q&A with Chuck Savage


Name: Chuck Savage
Role: Clergy delegate
Appointment: President of Georgia UM Foundation
Legislative committee: Independent Commissions

Q: How did things work on your legislative committee?
A: They went very well. We were the first ones to get our petitions done. It was well organized. The people who led our group did an outstanding job in framing the issues and a good diversity of people spoke. We came to a point of agreement on almost everything.

Q: What was the most contentious debate you had?
A: I don’t know if I would call anything contentious. We did have a lot of discussion that dealt with “replacement theology,” which might have been called Catholic theology. Once we got to a point of agreement it was fairly easy to work through.

Q: What is your impression of the overall tone of this conference?
A: I think, to this point, it has gone pretty well but the hot-button social issues are still in front of us.

Q: Are you apprehensive, concerned, optimistic how those hot-topic issues will be handled?
A: I believe the bishops are better equipped to handle the tough issues this year than they were four years ago. I am not apprehensive. God is in control.

Q: What are your impressions about the major decisions so far, such as eliminating guaranteed appointments for clergy and approval of “Plan UMC” for restructuring?
A:  We are taking positive steps. The church needs to go where it has never been before. What is the old cliché? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I have been pleased how things have been done. Some of the groups which had been marginalized in the past seem to have found their voice. This is positive for the church.

Q: When you see the emergence of the Central Conferences, how long do you think it will be before they are the dominant players in the denomination?
A: I don’t think we are going to reach that point, we have passed it already. They are no longer just observers but active participants. This is very encouraging.

Q: What can be done so other parts of the world see as much growth and passion as we are seeing in Africa?
A: My answer is scriptural. We know what works. God has said that his word goes forward and will not come back to him void. And they have sent his word forward and it has not come back void.

Q: Any final observations on General Conference?
A: I would say this. As we leave this place I see more hope for our church than I have seen in the past of getting back to what Wesley and Jesus would have us do. We tend to put ourselves in a place of choosing either truth or grace, but scripture says that Jesus came full of truth and grace. Our objective is to be like Jesus.
To read more about Chuck, please find his bio here.