General Conference

GC2016 — Does Majority Make Right?

I maintain there is a flaw in our system.  General Conference is trying to dictate human worth and dignity through legislative action.  We are voting on who deserves and who does not.  We are Robert’s Ruling the value of a human life and the love of God.  Shame on us.  […]

GC2016 — Day Four

A commitment to look for the good.  A time to focus on the positive. I don’t want to give a completely one-sided view of my General Conference experience.  There is much grace and goodness here.  I want to share some stories that I find very hopeful and inspirational. A woman […]

GC2016 — Sing Out, Out of Sync

Do United Methodists listen to the words they sing in worship?  We have some incredible hymns, sacred songs, praise songs, and spirituals.  They paint a picture of true paradise.  Songs of love, songs of hope, songs of kindness and mercy.  Hymns of adoration and praise.  Hymns of reconciliation and unity.  […]

GC2016 — Consensus Confusion

Oh, my.  Seek first to understand.  Our General Conference proposed Rule 44, a process for Christian conversation that allows everyone to be part of small group interaction to generate a multi-layered and multi-faceted response to key legislation.  The United Methodist Church has painted itself into a corner by so poorly […]

GC2016 — Day Three

Ah, here we go again.  Yesterday, in the selection of legislative committee leadership, our true colors came out.  A fair, open system for selecting the best leaders or a contrived process where various special interest groups manipulate the process to get “their” candidate elected?  Guess.  So far, manipulation, is the […]

GC2016 — Rule Hank Aaron

I wonder if this would go down easier if we called Rule 44 “Rule Hank Aaron”?  This was Aaron’s number in baseball for 22 years,  Naming it after a beloved American icon could help us all feel good about it.  Right now, differing view points are using the group discernment […]

GC2016 — Day Two

Having bogged down in a rather embarrassing debate over what rules to adopt to conduct our business, we are ready on Day Two to move forward.  Or are we?  What was depressing about our engagement was the  nitpicking, posturing, petulant, occasionally disrespectful and unnecessarily contentious nature of the proceedings.  If […]

GC2016 — Four Ways to Be Church

I was asked an interesting question this morning at GC — one I am probably not qualified to answer, but one which I have an opinion, nonetheless.  “Assess the systemic constraint that is holding the church locked in its current deadlock on issues of scriptural authority, moral values, and institutional racism.”  […]

GC2016 — Day One: And Are We Yet Alive?

Through the decades, when Methodists/United Methodists gather together — especially in clergy gatherings — it is traditional to sing, And Are We Yet Alive?  It is not a moot point or a forgone conclusion.  The second verse is a challenge to this year’s General Conference: Preserved by power divine to […]

GC2016 — What a Difference Four Years Make?

I am preparing for Portland and ten days of “reporting” from General Conference.  I have intentionally not weighed in on so many of the topics generating dialogue, discussion and debate.  I made a commitment to listen and observe in preparation.  This gives me lots to talk about in the next […]