Cry From the Pew



In Cry from the Pew, Kay Kotan and Rodney Smothers offer a “no holds barred” critique of what’s ailing the United Methodist Church and concrete suggestions for creating a dynamic United Methodism. An important conversation for any who love the United Methodist Church.

Adam Hamilton

Senior Pastor, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection and author of Revival: Faith as Wesley Lived It.

Kay Kotan leaves no stone unturned in this discussion of denominational dysfunction. She pushes readers to make needed changes to free the church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Cry From the Pew is a jolting four-wheel drive tour of hard truths about the United Methodist Church. Rodney Smothers adds insights born of decades of experience and a call to remember people and local churches often unconsidered in conversations about the church.

Tom Berlin

Lead Pastor, Floris United Methodist Church, Herndon, Virginia

Cry From the Pew’s stated goal is to provoke a call to action – both personally and for The United Methodist Church. And, provocative it is, ultimately suggesting the need for a “do-over” for the denomination. However, in a season when truth is often ignored and routinely distorted, Kay Kotan and Dr. Smothers address several of our broken denominational systems with hard-hitting but insightful diagnoses, laced with an undeniable hope that the current health and denominational pandemics can provide the opportunity for real innovation. Cry From the Pew is a must read for those with the courage to chart the way forward.

Bishop Bruce R. Ough

Executive Secretary, Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church

Book Description

Kay Kotan writes that her her goal in Cry From the Pew is to provoke a call to action and to create a sense of urgency for The United Methodist Church and its members to reach new people with a new vision for the church’s future. According to Kotan, the pandemic has created an opportunity for The United Methodist Church. Cry From the Pew has the potential to kickstart conversations, offer solutions, and provoke much-needed changes.

After each chapter written by Kay Kotan, readers will find a response by Dr. Rodney Smothers. Rodney’s lens is through the eyes of a clergy, male, African American, East Coast, and Boomer Generation. Kay’s is that of a layperson, female, white, Midwestern, Generation X. Following Rodney’s response, readers will find a series of questions.

In addition to personal reflection, perfect for use in a small group. There may be difficult conversations, topics covered with various theological perspectives, and differing opinions along the
way. Frankly, that’s what the writers intended. Their request is that readers come to the table for conversation, listening carefully, speaking the truth in love, and desiring to find pathways to make disciples who transform the world.


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