What happened?

General Conference 2019

2/25/2019

A simple question has been asked a lot by folks attending, voting, and watching General Conference proceedings today. What happened? I won’t break down petition by petition or plan by plan, but a whole lot of votes were cast, speeches were made, and hearts are hurting.


#GC2019 - Update 3

General Conference 2019

2/24/2019

If the new leading plan passes on Tuesday and a new Progressive Methodism develops from self-governing conferences enabled under the Traditional Plan, I think we will remember this as the day that United Methodism became a global church rooted in historic orthodoxy rather than a Progressive American Mainline denomination. But it is too early to make that prediction.


GC19 - Day 2 Reflection

General Conference 2019

Robert Phillips

2/24/2019

Nothing is settled. I won’t speculate tonight on what might happen, for in 48 hours all will know.


Hearts at Peace

General Conference 2019

2/24/2019

I find the tenor of this highly charged General Conference extremely grace giving and kind thus far. But then again, we haven’t voted on anything of significance yet. That comes this afternoon when we vote on the priority of the legislation before us. How that vote goes will be the first indicator of the will of this worldwide body. Which of the main plans that the commission outlined will the body favor? Will the body favor discussing potential exit plans for churches that cannot, in good conscience, abide by the globally discerned direction of The United Methodist Church?


Something is Gonna Happen

General Conference 2019

2/24/2019

Apart from claims to the contrary, each plan, if enacted, would dramatically change the current landscape of United Methodism. Thankfully, the change at the local church level would likely happen slowly. Any decision made during this General Conference would not take effect until 2020 and the full impact on the mission and ministry of the church would not be realized for several years. The delegates’ challenge is to “play the movie forward” and imagine how their decisions this week will affect global United Methodism in 10 years.


The legislation begins...

General Conference 2019

2/24/2019

My hope moving forward is that we honor and recognize the work of the Commission on the Way Forward in our discussions and in our actions. My hope is that we reach across aisles and speak plainly and intentionally to those with whom we may not agree. My hope, personally and openly, is that we acknowledge our family in Christ, including our LGBTQ+ siblings, who are hurting & feeling marginalized and asking love to prevail, to tell them that we see them, that their voices, our voices, are heard. Do not make them shout over protesters outside, but let their stories be shared in whispers to those who will listen & spoken softly as in prayer, to be lifted up to God as the beloved children they are. Help them claim the place at the table and acknowledge their stories matter.


The Straw Poll

General Conference 2019

2/24/2019

Here’s my brief interpretation. It seems that by a slight margin (50 or so votes) the body seems to prefer the Traditional Plan over the Once Church Plan. Neither the Simple Plan nor the Connectional Conference Plan gained much traction. As a delegate at the 2016 General Conference, this is not surprising. Most of the delegates are the same from 2016 to 2019 and these vote differentials are about the same as we dealt with similar “Local Option” legislation then.


#GC2019 - Update 2

General Conference 2019

2/23/2019

Today was a day of prayer and worship in preparation for General Conference proper.  Here’s some good news and bad news from the day along with a brief discussion of what might be the most likely outcome to GC2019.


GC19 Day 1 Reflection

General Conference 2019

Robert Phillips

2/23/2019

Saturday of GC19 began (for me) with a breakfast reflecting more traditional delegates and churches. Roughly 500 were present, perhaps double the number one found at a similar breakfast in Portland. Rev. Jerry Kulah of Liberia gave a rousing mini-message that set a positive tone. The official day of the conference was dedicated largely to prayer, highlighting the various global regions of the church in addition to prayer for the upcoming business of the conference. The final 2 hours prior to 6:30 adjournment was a briefing for delegates on the logistics of voting and process, which begins in earnest after Sunday worship.


Importance

General Conference 2019

2/23/2019

For me, the evening ended with a delegation dinner. We shared stories with colleagues and their families. We talked about our experiences, what lies ahead, and where we may find ourselves when we leave St. Louis. While our delegation is not of one mind when it comes to plans and other legislation, we do recognize the importance of unity, that we come together and that, at the end of the day, we can look at one another and say, “You are my friend. You are my family in Christ and you are loved.”


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