General Conference, Day One, Late Afternoon

General Conference, Day One, Late Afternoon May 10, 2016

roberts rules of order GC2016I’m tired. I admit it.

And this is just the first day, and a half day at that.

I’ve been observing/writing since early morning. I just finished writing up the first worship service with its clarion call for unity in diversity, a call that almost sent a gasp of discomfort through the room. The speaker was Bishop Warner Brown from San Francisco. He spoke strongly about our need to honor Wesley’s “catholic spirit” and hold our differences with integrity but without division.

So will we?

Agenda/calendar meetings begin at 6:30 am tomorrow. Delegation meetings begin at 7:30 am. Opening worship of each day begins at 8:00 am.

And now, delegates are wrangling with whether they will try a new method of talking with one another over the seriously complex issues. Adopting this means agreeing to “Rule 44” (there are 43 other rules of the convention before it, none of which seem to be a problem,) It is a call to leave behind Roberts Rules of Order for a limited period in order to enhance conversation and connection in these discussions over issues of serious dispute.

Of course, they have to use Roberts Rules in order to debate whether to leave behind Roberts Rules for a while. I am wondering, “Who WAS Robert anyway? WHY did he set up these rules? What kind of mind can figure out motions and sub-motions, friendly and unfriendly amendments, tabling and not tablings, etc, etc. etc.?

Yeah, we need these rules. Otherwise, there is chaos on the floor. At this point, it looks like we either plod through the discussions as we’ve always done, and probably seeing little accomplished, or trying something new.

It is my understanding that the rules of discussion are so complex that each presiding Bishop needs at least two advisers immediately at hand to help keep him/her perfectly within the system so he/she doesn’t get declared out of order.

Our team sits in the press room along with many others, all working busily away at our computers, writing, editing, getting images, proofing the work of others, coming up with ideas as to what to do tomorrow, and at the same time, listening to the discussion on the floor which is live-streamed into the press room.

I’m having internet connection problems, as are some others. Just too many of us for the bandwidth, I expect. I keep getting kicked offline, leaving me terrified that I’m going to write something that will just disappear, never to be seen again.

Will figure out a more secure way to do this tomorrow.

Okay, now a move to amend the amendment, so that rule 44 AND rule 18 are not approved. I don’t know what Rule 18 is at the moment. Have total admiration for those who do.

Will sign off now. More later. Am wondering what the brand-new, first-time delegates are thinking at this point. Bless them. They’ve got to vote on this. And there are seven minutes left in the afternoon session. Sigh.

"Allow me to step you thorugh this young one... You are ignorant of all that ..."

The Answer To: “Does The UMC ..."
"Oh look...Google shows:"stupid"1. having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense."I was ..."

The Answer To: “Does The UMC ..."
"FACT: The words stupid and ignorant are not synonyms. Look them up. If you are ..."

The Answer To: “Does The UMC ..."
""Ignorant" and "stupid" are the same.As mentioned, there is really no such thing as an ..."

The Answer To: “Does The UMC ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Robin Shope Jansen

    This is important and exciting. Thanks for the update.

  • Guthrum

    Many are hoping and praying that the UMC will avoid the splits and disasterous road that the Episcopal Church, ELCA, and Presbyterian Church – US have gone through. All three organizations are in a state of collapse, losing millions of members, dollars, and thousands of churches. This was the result of abandoning Biblical authority.

    • By “biblical authority,” you are, of course, referring to the biblical command to love God by loving our neighbors as ourselves, right?

      • Guthrum

        Of course. The mainline denominations that I mentioned left the great tradition of Biblical authority for cultural trends, theology light, and “I’m okay , you’re okay” pop psychology.
        Somewhere, years ago, these once influential and respected denominations lost their missional edge and got away from missionary work and bringing people to Jesus.

  • Geoffrey Kruse-Safford

    I’m looking forward to reading your impressions. I’m also looking forward to comparing your impressions, being there on the spot, and my own as I sit at home and watch and listen to it stream live.