Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Themes of General Conference 2012

* The rise in influence & power of the Central Conferences makes the UMC a truly global church... finally.

* The great mistrust in the UMC involving bishops, clergy, laity, agencies & the various political/theological factions dominates conversations.

* The debates & decisions on sexuality were not hateful but examples of tough love; we ought to be able to disagree in love without impugning those who disagree with us.

* The UMC's inability to agree on definitions of words like holiness, inclusion, justice & love prevents real, meaningful unity.

* The Holy Spirit was present but often moves in ways which we find confusing or disappointing; we should learn from the ways in which the Spirit moved unexpectedly rather than discounting any divine presence.


John Meunier said...

So, do you think the Holy Spirit was acting through the Judicial Council, as I heard some saying?

Jonathan Andersen said...

As an observer on the floor, the lack of shared definitions to words that you pointed out was a theme that stuck out to me. It led to many people talking past each other.

Keith H. McIlwain said...

John - absolutely. I think the Spirit moved THROUGHOUT the Conference. The Spirit's guidance was prayed for; I have no reason to doubt it.

Jonathan - absolutely. It's a problem we've had for years. My hope is that we are brave enough to name it and seek common ground on those terms. If we can't, we're in trouble.