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.

Davidson vs. Kansas – the journey

My wife and I really enjoy watching college basketball. This lead to a dilemma last Sunday night. I was leading the 5:00 PM worship service and she was on duty at the church as well. This meant that we were going to miss the Davidson / KU basketball game. However, we taped it on our DVR and were planning on watching the game when we got back.

Nicole was adamant about not finding out who won until we watched the game ourselves. I did not find out the final score, but did not mind finding out who had won. I found out that KU won, but did not know the final score.

When we got home we watched the game from beginning to end. Here is the amazing thing – even though I knew the destination, the journey was really fun. It was a great game and knowing the final outcome did not spoil the excitement of watching each play.

I believe that this is like our Christian journey – We may have a picture of the ultimate outcome (God wins) but that does not take away from the journey of becoming a deeply committed Christian.