Thursday, May 1, 2008
By now I am sure most of you know the outcome of the plenary sessions yesterday. The denomination's language on homosexuality and inclusiveness remains the same as it was 36 years ago. One can still see the denominational divide almost in two sections, the vote to change the language was 55% - 45%. As my friend and colleague Matt Kelley reports in his blog The Truth as Best I Know It (see the link on the side of this blog), the vibe in the discussion was very negative and hurtful. This is not what John Wesley had in mind when he began these holy conferences. My question is this; did we set ourselves up for this kind of failure of holy conferencing? In order to save money the denominational leaders decided to reduce the number of days that General Conference met this year by 2. That and an increasing number of petitions that must be sorted through and debated led to many late nights, lack of sleep, and a limited number of breaks and work during those breaks. This has led to some serious fatigue and irritability within the body as some other bloggers have reported. Everyone knows that these issues were going to come up as they will every year and so why do we give ourselves less time to deal with them. As I watched the live feed from GC I noticed many calls of the question before adequate debate and discussion, while other issues took too long in my opinion. When this kind of fatigue sets in people become less willing to hear other opinions and simply want to go home leaving things the way they are without change. This is what we got. In 2012 I hope the powers that be consider this problem in their scheduling. I think the money spent on two more days would be a good investment and I am willing to be that the delegates would agree.