General Conference Day One: A Beautiful Morning for a Gay Ordination

General Conference Day One: A Beautiful Morning for a Gay Ordination May 10, 2016
gay ordination GC2016
Beginning of Ordination Service Photo by Wes Magruder, UMR

OK, Portland is gorgeous. Lovely flowering bushes sweetly frame the craftsman-style bungalow, an Airbnb rental where I’m staying with the United Methodist Reporter team. Delicious coolness kissed the morning air as a cloudless blue sky belied Portland’s reputation as a place that rains all the time.

I would be happy just to sit outside and read a book, or wander into one of the many local shops, or take a miles-long walk through the charming neighborhood surrounding us.

But we piled into a car this morning and headed to the Oregon Convention Center to get ready to report on what promises to be a fascinating General Conference of The United Methodist Church. Why fascinating? Well, the shop that marks the entrance to the convention center happens to be a very large Cannabis shop. If all goes crazy, maybe the delegates/observers will head over there to chill out.

I definitely feel privileged to be a part of this team. Talent oozes from this group, all far more experienced than I as journalists, reporters, and experts with sound and visual media. Me, I’m just a lowly opinion writer, temporarily working as a reporter, knowing my real skills are as a “Are you kidding me?” seeing crazy stuff happen writer.

So, let’s start with the crazy stuff: I watched a moving service of ordination this morning. Before the Conference started. Totally “illegal” in the eyes of the church because it was a gay ordination. Utterly moving. Chills down my back type of stuff. Read all about it here.

And we just learned that the person who is giving the official welcome to the Conference has been ordered to scrub from her welcome words that also include “people of all sexual orientation.”

This is going to be a wild ride. The opening worship service starts soon, and I’m assigned to cover it, so am posting this now and will write more later.

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  • Heddrick Steel

    The candlestick is gone

  • Salutations to the divinity within you and your beautifully written article. I am married with two children, but I love the gay population, they are very beautiful souls. I feel the people who wrote what can be interpreted as gay or the people interpreting the anti gay passages are only seeing the patterns and correlations in their minds. They are reacting to fear on the physical plane. The Bible and anything written with a spiritual message is in a code so people see their mind reflected in the code. It acts like a mirror. The spiritual experience is beyond fear and is about unity. It seems people see the world and the spiritual world through the filter of their mind and experiences. Christians for a long time have been taught the religion about Jesus as if the Bible was a history book or a law book that was throw at people to manipulate their minds. They were not taught the religion of Jesus, which would take them on a spiritual journey beyond the mind. Many of the passages against women and gays is attributed to Paul, who might have been reacting to the culture at that time, or afraid to contradict it, or was trying to meet people where they were at and then take them to a higher level. No one knows. The Bible is not an infallible book. This book has been used to keep Christians from a genuine spiritual experience instead of leading them to discover and experience on their own the spiritual present moment. I feel many Christian authoritarians have very limited spiritual experience and see themselves as managers that are to lead the sheep. They use techniques similar to Adolph in that they give the congregation a superiority complex, and then whip them with fear so they are easy to manipulate.

  • Thoughtful