The United Methodist Church

GC2016 — Day Nine, Wednesday

Is a global gathering of thousands of “members” for a two week legislative meeting a community?  General Conference does not feel to me like community.  It could be.  We are baptized to the same faith, confessing the same God and Savior, believing in the Spirit of God to be present […]

GC2016 — Text, Subtext, Context

Today is the first day the rumor mills churned out of control.  If you skim social media, you might pick up any of a hundred different rumors about what is happening behind the scenes at General Conference.  It caused us to change our agenda so that Bishop Bruce Ough could […]

GC2016 — Day Eight, Tuesday

This General Conference has been a true test of what exactly we mean by “united” in United Methodist Church.  What’s in a name?  Is the “united” merely a carryover from our Evangelical United Brethren heritage, and therefore not a descriptive term? Is it an appellation that sounds fine, but has […]

GC2016 — Four Unpainted Corners

Drawing on the saying “we’ve painted ourselves in a corner,” I want to offer a metaphor/analogy.  Imagine if you will a ballroom.  Large, open, massive space, with a sizeable floor.  Four groups begin in the middle of the room to paint the floor, each moving in different directions toward a […]

GC2016 — Day Seven, Monday

Deja vu, all over again.  Informally polling people on their feelings about launching into week 2 of General Conference, I am encountering a great deal of ambivalence, frustration, and a “here we go again” vibe.  Expectations are very low, fear and anxiety very high, and a wariness that we may […]

GC2016 — Day Six, Sunday

A nice thing happened as we were leaving legislative committee last night.  Two African men stopped me to thank me for “not treating us like we are mentally defective.”  I asked what they meant, and they told me that many people have treated them in patronizing and demeaning ways.  I […]

GC2016 — A Tale of Two Conferences

People are perceiving very different lived realities at General Conference.  I am writing what I experience and observe, but I admit freely it is only my opinion.  Many people are leaving feedback directly on the blog, but I am also receiving emails, tweets, texts, and face-to-face feedback — mostly disagreeing […]