Original post at http://entertherainbow.blogspot.com/2012/05/general-conference-could-be-our.html
feel like I used to when Mom would tell me to clean my room. I knew it had to
be done but I really didn’t want to.
I’ll do a wrap-up blog on General Conference 2012, geez. (*Picture rolling eyes
and stomping off to my computer with an exasperated sigh*)
I thought all the General Conference stuff was going to be … just fine. I didn’t
think anything amazing was going to happen and nothing amazing did. It wasn’t
awful; it wasn’t great. It did exactly what it is designed to do, and now it’s
over. It was just fine.
really feel bad for all of the wonderful people who worked so hard for such a
long time only to have all their hard work rejected by the committee or tabled
by the conference or just ignored altogether. I respect them for their work,
their dedication, and faithfulness. Thank you!
think the restructure would have been a good thing, and it will be when it
eventually happens, either because we choose it or we’re forced to do it
because we literally can’t afford not to.
think the Hamilton/Slaughter amendment was brilliant, and I hope Annual
Conferences will consider endorsing it this year as a way to encourage local
congregations to meaningful, grace-filled, and respectful dialogue about
hope the end of the guaranteed appointment doesn’t regress us back to a day
when prejudice was common enough to really need it, and I really don’t think it
will with all the accountability built into the system.
love being in full communion across the spectrum of our Methodist cousin
wish we had divested from the companies that profit from Israel’s military; I understand
the argument of those who want to influence things by staying invested,
although I am skeptical that we actually will do so.
really, I am more than ever before convinced that the change necessary for the
United Methodist Church cannot be legislated in the current General Conference
structure. We are fooling ourselves if we think it can. And GC 2012 did a lot
to reinforce this idea.
AsI’ve written before, my ideal model for an Annual Conference would be as a kind
of “Google” for local congregations. Well, what if the General Conference could
be “Facebook” for the denomination as a whole?
is a social network that connects people, coordinates groups, promotes ideas,
and pools resources. Isn’t that what General Conference at its best ought to
are a global connection whose coordinated focus is to promote the mission of
God in communities all around the world. Couldn’t General Conference be our
Facebook? We wouldn’t have General Boards and Agencies, we would have groups
and pages! We could send “friend requests” to churches all around the world
through the General Conference. We could create events like Imagine No Malaria
and Nothing But Nets, and contribute via our denominational PayPal accounts to
make them happen.
fundamental shift that needs to happen at the General level is from old-school,
hierarchical authority to postmodern, flattened-out collaboration. If we
actually believe that the most impact happens at the local congregation level,
then everything we did as a broader connection would have to be geared toward
equipping and empowering the church in local communities around the world.
General Conference would stop telling local churches what they can and cannot
do, and start asking local churches what they actually want to do - how they
feel God is uniquely calling them to fulfill the mission – and then the
Conference would work to make it happen.
know, I know – dream on. Come to think of it, I used to daydream a lot when Mom
sent me to clean my room, too!