The United Methodist Church

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 […]

Prayerlamentary Procedure

from the Gospel According to Bob, Chapter 9, vss. 1-31 (this is a spoof, not the real Bible…) 1 “Yea, verily, I say unto you,” said Jesus, “God will attend to your petitions, and will give you what you ask in my name.”  2Robert, also called Bob, perked up.  “Our […]

Safety in Numbness

Okay, here’s an idea.  We keep paying lip service to our commitment to young leadership and the need to attract and receive more young people into the church.  So, for the remainder of General Conference I propose we take two votes on major issues: first, we take the vote of all […]

Value-Addled

I have heard the rumor that General Conference costs the UMC $1,500 a minute.  Framed in terms of investment, this is problematic.  What value are we getting from this investment?  So far, we have changed little.  The tinkering we have managed to date is nominal at best.  No set aside […]

Dollar General (Conference)

I love my church, and there are very few things it does that both anger and hurt me.  In specific terms, I hate it when my own church hates — when it goes out of its way to judge and revile and hold God’s children in contempt.  We affirm their […]

Specific Conference

What would it take to move us from the “general” to the “specific?”  We have been told by our bishops that this General Conference is not about preserving the institution — but if not, what is it about?  We are here, primarily, to plow through literally hundreds of legislative petitions […]

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 […]