I'm sure by now many of you who are interested in this topic have already formulated an opinion about GC2012, that is, General Conference 2012 of the United Methodist Church, but I would like to give my personal take on the event.
First of all I'd like to say how much I appreciate our history and our tradition of Holy Conferencing, a tradition that has been part of Methodism from the beginning and continues in both United Methodist and all other traditions that have hailed from the Wesley movement over the last 300 years or so. It is a biblical and traditional way of entering into discernment as it pertains to the will of God. It is my belief that all of Methodism, especially United Methodism is as biblically sound a denomination as one will find in the world today (thats just my biased opinion).
With all that being said, I must admit, there was not much holy about this past General Conference. Most of is was an unholy mess of dissension, distrust and parinoia. It was United Methodism at it's worst and would have had both Bishop Asbury and Mr. Wesley rolling in their graves (as the old saying goes). The very thing we came together to accomplished we failed at. Our goal, if anything was to restructure our system so that it would be sustainable, well two weeks, four proposed changes and $8 million later...NOTHING! We are still as top heavy, over staffed and convoluted as ever and the real question is how much more can this aging dinosaur take?
The only thing that was accomplished was the revocation of the guaranteed appointement for all Elders in good standing, which was thought to be a measure taken to hold pastors accountable for their leadership practices, when in all reality it's not the pastors who need to be held accountable. It is the inept, ineffective and impotent Bishops, who are guaranteed life long appointments regardless to how lousy of leaders they may be. They are the ones who need to be held accountable and only elected and reappointed if they deserve to be. In the same breath I advocate for the bishops to be given more control and authority and freedom to lead. It was absolutely ridiculous that the Bishops were not give the set aside bishop to help facilitate more leadership in the conferences they are charged with.
I think the most annoying part of conference was the reconciling people. I support the discipline and what it teaches regarding homosexuality. I am more than annoyed with the Rev. Amy DeLong and all the gay right's people storming the General Conference floor ever 4 years and causing a disruption that cost time and money that we simply don't have. My suggestion to Rev. DeLong and all her friends is this, "I support you, I love you, I sympathize with you, but please stop!! If you can't tolerate the position of the church join the countless others who have left United Methodist for the United Church of Christ, where anything goes."
Ok, I understand this was a bit much, maybe to much, but what else is a person like me todo? I can;t change legislation...yet. I can hold any of the positions were these things are discussed...yet. So while I wait for my turn, I'll write, I'll speak out and I'll try my best to be faithful to God's call. I encourage you to do the same.