Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thoughts at the beginning of General Conference

All of you Metho-nuts out there probably know that General Conference began yesterday in Fort Worth, Texas. For you non-Methodists (shame, shame ;) ) GC is a 4 year event where delegates worldwide collide together to discuss, debate, and decide the future of the UMC. The past few GCs were shrouded with the issue of GBLT membership and leadership within the church. This year, unfortunately, seems to have more of the same in store. There are no easy answers or remedies to this problem because if one side benefits the other side feels abandoned and alienated by the church. This is an issue that I continue to struggle with personally and so I understand the frustration and urgency on both sides of the issue. My prayer is that God is with all the delegates and that whatever discussion occurs is done in a Christian manner with love and grace for all. The world watches us not necessarily with enthusiasm unless of course they smell blood to which the calm will rapidly descend into a media feeding frenzy. Although this issue cannot be ignored at any level of the church, my prayer is that it will be done in a manner of respect and with a sense of delicateness. The world watches us because we are the church. It only takes a drop of weakness to draw the razor sharp teeth of cynicism and sarcasm. I am interested to see how the next 9 days work out and in what direction the powers that be steer the denomination. I hope and pray that it is God that steers and not politics and power mongering.

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