A closer look at the UMC Call to Action Part 1

UPDATE (2012-01-04): this entire series available as PDF here.

Abstract

The United Methodist Church’s Call to Action Steering Team Report (the “Report”) is an attempt to increase congregational vitality throughout the denomination.  The Report claims to be “predicated upon sound and accurate understandings.”  In this series of blog posts, I argue that it displays basic problems in statistical analysis and interpretation.  These problems culminate with the Report’s “vitality index” calculating that a predominantly white congregation is eight times more likely to be vital than a predominantly Hispanic congregation.

I conclude with some more general observations. Continue reading