The United Methodist Church

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 […]

And So, It Begins…

Barbara and I are here in Tampa, all checked in and registered, poring through pounds of paper, reviewing notes on legislation and slogging through piles of reports and recommendations.  General Conference is a Dickensian metaphor — the best of times, the worst of times.  Gearing up for this GC, I […]

All For Nought

Zero is an interesting concept.  Is it the presence of nothing or the absence of anything?  Is it a baseline from which to measure or a null point?  Is it normal or is it failure?  Is it a goal for which to strive or a default by which to reset?  […]

God Bless You, George G. Hunter, III!

Our United Methodist Publishing House released five titles in their new Adaptive Leadership Series, and I have had the pleasure of reading each one.  I will be weighing in on each in time, but far and away my favorite is George Hunter’s, “The Recovery of a Contagious Methodist Movement.”  What […]

Inadequate

I guess people actually follow my blog fairly regularly.  I’ve received dozens of emails asking, “Where are you?”  I have taken a couple of weeks off from writing to do more reading — preparing for General Conference, following the streams of points and counterpoints flying throughout the denomination, and catching […]