General Conference

General Conference: Bicycles for Fish

Let me share a frustration.  Our church needs radical change.  Our church needs new structures and processes.  Our church needs time to focus on identity, purpose, and priorities.  Our church needs a serious focus on leadership effectiveness and incisive processes for evaluation and accountability… and General Conference is poorly designed to […]

Wheelie Bags on Parade

Many things have changed at General Conference — electronic voting, high-tech projection and sound, texting/tweeting/instant messaging, etc., but the greatest mixed blessing I have encountered this GC is the proliferation of wheeled luggage that accompanies delegates wherever they go.  You have probably seen these long-handled brief-case/computer bags/backpacks with wheels that […]

Stand AND Deliver

At General Conference Friday evening, we celebrated (if celebrate is an even moderately appropriate word…) “An Act of Repentance toward Healing Relationships with Indigenous Peoples.”  The people I’ve spoken with about the service (before it began) were of three minds: 1) what was done to Native Americans was horrendous, but […]

Same Language, Different Meanings

We all want to be a vital, growing, spiritually focused, Biblically based church, right?  The consensus is strong.  Yes, this is exactly what we want — we just disagree on the definition of practically every term we share in common.  Vitality is the current buzzword in the church.  I take […]

Hitting the Hard Stuff

It is interesting to watch the tensions mount and see a large gathering of competent, mostly-professional, self-possessed people get all flustered and fall all over themselves when someone raises an uncomfortable issue.  It won’t be surprising to anyone to know that the gay/lesbian/bi-sexual/transgender relationship to the church was raised — […]

Microcosmic Odyssey

General Conference is amazing.  I wish everyone could experience the best of conference — without necessarily sitting through the tedious and trying parts.  But it is glorious to work side-by-side with men and women from around the globe.  Even though we may not all agree (on much of anything) we […]

April 25th Reflections

I’m too tired to come up with a title for tonight’s blog.  It is getting harder and harder to keep up with everything that is going on.  Let me just say, in my opinion Bishop James King is one of the great treasures of The United Methodist Church.  He preached […]

A Call to Compliance

Greeting me this morning at my assembly table was a slick, polished piece of propaganda for A Call to Action.  Signed by 80 pastors of our largest churches — note no endorsements from laity or congregations, just senior pastors of big number churches — it regurgitates the rhetoric of why […]

Getting Down to Business

We are about to launch into our opening plenary session to be instructed and guided and oriented and introduced and all the wonderful things that have to be put in place to get us started.  There is a LOT of getting started at GC.  We moved through an opening worship […]

Impressed & Depressed

Tampa Convention Center — they get an A+ for hospitality and organization.  They are ready for the hoard of United Methodists.  And the UMC is ready as well.  It is impossible not to be impressed by the pageantry and preparation.  But it is also a little depressing.  I just walked through […]