February 26, 2019

The vote: hypocrisy exposed. Other’s people’s sexual activities (as long as it involves gay sex) are wrong and merit condemnation, but I get to keep all my sexual sins without that same condemnation.  We’ve had a fascinating day. After what looked like a lot of deliberate slowing of the procedures in the first session, the Judicial Council delivered their report. A summary: they found substantive portions of the Traditional Plan unconstitutional and/or illegal. After that pronouncement, The Rev. Tom Berlin gave… Read more

February 26, 2019

Bishops have no real power in the UMC. In other words, the Bishops may be the leash, but the dog is running this show. No command to “heel” will be heeded in any way. And, by the way, a significant portion of the Traditional Plan has just been declared unconstitutional. Although the morning session was scheduled to begin at 8:20 this morning, it didn’t actually begin until nearly 9 am. It opened with various corrections, comments, etc. about the official… Read more

February 26, 2019

How far will our obsession with other people’s genitalia go? What about men who have disfigured genitalia? The Bible also bans them from work in the religious holy places? Should we not have genitalia checks?   GC2019 reconvenes shortly. After yesterday’s deep disappointment, when the delegates voted to become the church of closed minds, closed hearts, closed doors, when the traditionalists celebrated their victory, when some teen, confused over sexuality and rejected by the church and very possibly by church-taught family,… Read more

February 25, 2019

The delegates have spoken and the UMC has just died: gays are irredeemably bad, evil and unacceptable. I can barely write about this. The delegates have been debating the inclusive One Church Plan, one three minute speech after another, since about 1:15 pm. Each side makes points that they feel are definitive. Nowever, as I see tight, tight votes on what are simple corrections and not substantive changes passing by one vote or not passing by a tie, I am… Read more

February 25, 2019

My sleepless, grieving night accompanies my fatigue and my frustration as I see yet another conservative takeover. They’ve done a great job taking pages from the Southern Baptist playbook.  As most people who are following the events of yesterday afternoon know, the results of the voting for the order of the petitions to be discussed in the legislative committee ended up with these top five priorities. Wespath Recommendations-pension liabilities and CRS Traditional Plan, except 90042 and 90048) 90032-90040, p. 182-186, 190-194 Disaffiliation–Taylor–New… Read more

February 24, 2019

The real craziness of the organizational day is just about to start. I’m going to sign off here and start a fresh post. Forgive me for the typos and run-on sentences. All written quickly. Hope we all survive the afternoon.  I started writing this at 10:30 am. To that point, opening at 7:30 am, we had spent an hour in worship. Then a break. Then singing. Then “setting the bar” of the Conference (I’ve yet to figure out what that means… Read more

February 24, 2019

Yes, should the Holy Spirit fall here, no one will walk away unchanged. We’ll all recognize ourselves as hopelessly in need of grace, utterly thankful when it falls upon us, and devoid of judgment over the other, knowing that we all stand in the same space. My bet for this Conference? The Holy Spirit will stay far away as the intent to split and to “get my way” resides solidly in the hearts of way too many delegates. We can’t… Read more

February 24, 2019

The words of Bishop Carter and his passionate call for unity ring in my mind. May they do so in the minds of these 864 people, whose hard work now awaits them. But I’m worried.  Sunday morning: Worship started at 7:30 am. I was a bit late getting to the press box, but most others are late getting in at all as the lines to enter the dome are hundreds of people long–and it’s pretty cold out there. At least… Read more

February 23, 2019

The delegates have now been given the opportunity to move from prayer station to prayer station to continue in this exercise of world prayer. At first, few seemed to be taking advantage of the opportunity to get up and move and find spots of prayer around the room, but that changed shortly. We are praying our way around the world now. Great reminders of the suffering everywhere–some on a level most of us quite comfortable folks in the US have trouble… Read more

February 23, 2019

Brokenness and surrender. These are the themes of the morning. Very triggering for those who have suffered much at the hands of an autocratic church which has offered few open doors and limited welcome to many.  Because of delays in getting press passes, the conference had already started by the time we of the press, still without proper passes, were ushered into what is a terrible observation point. We do have TV’s up here, but there is an echo so… Read more

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