What am I Driving? Further Reflections on #gc2019

This morning, I met with a group of clergy colleagues in what is a regularly scheduled gathering. Today we shared, reflected, grieved, considered the future and talked about what and how to best share with our local congregations the events of General Conference. I shared an image of the disorientation that I am feeling in response to the passing of the Traditional Plan…

It’s like I am driving our minivan down the highway. I am making progress toward my destination. Everything seems to be running pretty well. We are on the way. I stop to refill the fuel tank and pick up some snacks. As I get out of the vehicle and start to head inside the convenience store, I take a look back and suddenly, it’s not my the minivan. It turns out that it is a truck.

Wait a minute… What?!

I thought I was driving toward a destination and all of a sudden, I realize that I have been driving inside a completely different vehicle. What happened to the familiar surroundings of the vehicle with which I was familiar? What have I been driving all this time?


The re-affirmation of the Traditional Plan three times over – in the prioritization, in legislative committee, and in the plenary session of General Conference 2019 is confusing. I thought that I have been part of a denomination that is moving toward full inclusion throughout the entire life of the church – albeit slowly and hesitatingly. Yet, the evidence of the voting demonstrates that this is not true – at least not on a denominational level. It is frustrating to find that the United Methodist Church turned away from greater inclusion. Yet, it also illuminates the truth: There is a need action in new ways, with creative approaches, and bolder vision. I don’t yet know what this looks like, however I want to help figure out what’s next for a more inclusive church.

KS West Dreams for the UMC

At the young adult clergy booth at the Kansas West Annual Conference, participants were invited to add a post it note sharing dreams for The United Methodist Church. The responses were (in no particular order):

  • Be Bold
  • to no longer support abortion
  • All means All..
  • Love God. Love people.
  • Relevance
  • To respect & value young clergy
  • AC is all Twitter
  • 1. Prisons close for lack of business; 2. Ignite your ministry where the flame meets the cross; 3. Put your faith to work where the flame meets the cross.
  • Social Revolution!
  • Wow we have met our church budget and it’s only July
  • Our whole church invites our whole town to VBS
  • Economic and Environmental Justice; The church as a prophetic voice.
  • That we would dream More!
  • Relax
  • Transformation of the world through Jesus Christ
  • Recruit young people!