General Conference

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 […]

GC 2012: Looking Back

Okay, following a surreal April (Korea, a week on the road in-state, two weeks at GC in Tampa) I took a week off to reflect, reconsider, and to hack my way through a rotten chest cold.  Now I am back to review what the heck happened at General Conference — […]

Winding Down & Wrapping Up

Okay, friends, what have we learned?  First, General Conference is hard.  It is emotionally, physically and spiritually taxing.  It demands a Herculean amount of concentration and effort, sifting and sorting and making sense of thousands (literally) of pages of very tiny print of churchy legalese.  And it is not perfect.  We […]

Back to the Future

I have endeared myself once again to the powers that be.  When asked about my impression of the Plan UMC, I described it as “a resurrection of the General Council on Ministries with its delusions of grandeur fulfilled,” and some took offense.  Well, sorry about that, but what we adopted […]

To Rainbow or Not To Rainbow…

I am as divided as my General Conference on today’s protest by the Lesbian/Gay /Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) nonviolent demonstration at GC.  Here is proof positive that non-violence can still be disruptive.  Whether it was effective is another matter.  As for me, I donned a rainbow stole this morning for a while… then […]

Green Light Plan UMC

Anyone in any kind of planning process knows that a normal and natural progression is from “what we want” to “what we need” to “what we absolutely can’t live without” to “what we can live with.”  We arrived today at the final exit — and what we can live with […]