Friday, May 4, 2012
1) Plan UMC, the recently passed plan for restructuring the UMC has just been declared unconstitutional. People are scrambling to regroup. For the time being, we are back to the old structure. This means that for now GCORR and GCOSROW are back in. 2) The conference also passed legislation requiring that all resolutions must have 60% support to be printed in the Book of Resolutions. Frank Wulf Clergy Reserve
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: It is Thursday night, and the General Conference is engaged in an exuberant love feast. I am here, but I am finding it extremely hard to give myself fully to what is happening. I feel so very troubled as I sit in this love feast... very troubled indeed! Were this communion, it would not be hard to share in it. The communion table truly is the table of Christ. At communion, we share in an eschatological feast where we live into the hope that the love of God will one day become all in all. The communion is a feast of remembrance that points us uncompromisingly toward a future of hope. But the love feast? The love feast is something different! Sure, this is Christ's table, as our worship leaders have proclaimed. But, in a far more real sense, it is OUR table. It is the place where we live out the love we share here and now... in this place... in this time... in the midst of our current reality. Somehow, this love needs to be more than metaphorical, more than a future hope. It has to be incarnate and real in our current practical reality... in this very real world in which we live. "See how they love one another." But, do we who are here at the General Conference really love one another to the point that we should be sharing this feast tonight? I do not know! I am not pointing my finger at anyone. I cannot! I am just as guilty in not loving as anyone else. I would, however, feel more comfortable today if we were lamenting and mourning our lack of love in the here and now... expressing our hope that love might be possible someday, even if not now. Today, there is too much pain today for a love feast, at least for me. Thank you for reading. Frank Wulf Clergy Reserve Delegate
A motion to reconsider the earlier decision to combine the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women and the General Commission on Religion and Race into a single Committee on Inclusiveness answerable to the General Council on Strategy and Oversight was raised this morning in plenary. Keeping GCOSROW and GCORR independent would have no impact on the UMC's quadrennial budget. Our own Tom Choi made a powerful speech in favor of keeping these entities strong and independent given the decision to end guaranteed appointment. All to no avail. The conference voted overwhelmingly in favor of ending these two independent monitoring agencies.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
May 2 MUSINGS FROM GENERAL CONFERENCE At General Conference, it is not unusal to see a lot of heads bowed. They are not praying ....they are looking at their smart phones. One person commented that as they left the legislative committee, people in the hallways already knew how the legislative committee voted. Also, after leaving the chaotic General Administration legislative commmittee last Saturday, I logged on to my facebook and found a post of NAV-EMT member, Krystle Wheeler who had been following the sessions in a live stream from someone's smart phone. Four years ago, there was a bit of a clamour, because it was alleged that certain delegations had been given smart phones or cell phones and were instructed how to vote during the sessions. This year General Conference delegates are seated at tables with 5-6 delegates at a table to increase interaction with the intent to increase interaction across delegations. However, the texting, facebooking and twittering probably made it impossible to ascertain if the round table experiment was successful. The round table formation increased the distance for the presiding bishop to see the individuals in the back. The rather small 8 1/2 by 11 inch colored paper could not be seen, hence delegates in the back (where Cal-Pac delegation is seated) is not recognized very often. Midway during the second week, creative ways to get recognized with large poster size colored panels and larger towels are being used to create attention. Norma Lay Delegate
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
The General Conference passed the elimination of Security of Appointment for itinerant elders on this morning's consent calendar. A motion to reconsider failed after prayer by Bishop Carcano. So, as of now, security of appointment is going away in favor of "Missional appointment making." More later.