Veridian Dynamics: Life. Better.

Earlier this week I found what I think will become a new favorite show – Better Off Ted. Besides feeling a connection with Phil and Lem, I found myself reflecting on life in the UMC. I appreciate the four areas of focus from the 2008 General Conference as it sometimes seems as if the denomination tries to do it all. Sort of like this…

What do you think?

Veridian Dynamics: Life. Better.

Earlier this week I found what I think will become a new favorite show – Better Off Ted. Besides feeling a connection with Phil and Lem, I found myself reflecting on life in the UMC. I appreciate the four areas of focus from the 2008 General Conference as it sometimes seems as if the denomination tries to do it all. Sort of like this…

What do you think?

UMNS = FAIL on the Constitutional Amendments

United Methodist News Service = FAIL

This morning I was reading news on the USA Today app on my iPhone when I came across this headline, Methodists defeat gay-related membership policy, with the lead sentence:

United Methodists have defeated amendments that would have made church membership open to all Christians regardless of sexual orientation and furthered the creation of a new, U.S.-only governing body, according to the denomination’s news service.

I was surprised to hear the news on the constitutional amendments first through USA Today and not from any denominational source. I was also surprised that the decision had been made so soon, I was under the impression that it would be several more months until the final tally was known as votes were still taking place around the world.

I found the article from the United Methodist News Service under the headline: U.S. conferences disapprove structure proposal. According to the statistics in this article:

  • 29% of annual conferences in the United States have not reported results of voting.
  • 67% of annual conferences in the denomination have not reported results of voting.

According to the article, “For a proposed amendment to be ratified, two-thirds of the aggregate number of voting annual conference members must approve.” The results from the US don’t matter. What matters is the entirety of votes from across the globe. Two-thirds of annual conferences in the denomination haven’t even reported their votes yet.

You have to be joking. The UMNS really published a story with data this incomplete? Unfortunately, yes.

The United Methodist News Service wrote a story too soon from one side of the story with incomplete data.

United Methodist News Service = FAIL

Day 3 – GC2008

Yesterday was the third and final day that I was a part of General Conference in person. Opening worship was excellent including a convicting sermon by Bishop João Somane Machado of the Mozambique Annual (regional) Conference. He had some convicting words for the United Methodist Church, in effect – what happened to the spiritual fervor and missional focus that you had before? A few thoughts from the day:

  • I was interviewed by Jenny for the UMC Young Clergy documentary which she is developing. I think that it is going to be a great project.
  • The human sexuality debate within the United Methodist Church is painful, tense and emotional. At times we just do not trust each other.
  • Another serious and painful issue is the relationship between the United States and other countries – both in the delegate relationships and in the church organization. Too often it felt like us and them.
  • The conferences committee is working on some ground breaking legislation that has the potential to create a seismic shift in the denomination that has great potential for missional effectiveness.
  • Reata Restaurant has amazing food. I ordered my first ever steak medium rare as this is what was recommended for the particular cut. It was good, but I do not think that I will make that level of cooking a habit.

Day 2 – GC2008

Part of the Kansas delegation from the General Conference 2008 Photo Gallery

It has been another amazingly full day. Again, I do not know how the delegates are going to have the physical stamina to make it through the rest of the conference. I am already getting worn out. Here are some thoughts from the day:

  • The Vision Pathways intro video was one of the best video productions that I have seen in a long time.
  • I was disappointed with the presentation for the General Conference on Finance and Administration – a lot of enthusiasm and very little substance.
  • The very first young people’s address rocked. Great content and innovative presentation around the room.
  • Legislative committees take a long time to organize.
  • It takes a tremendous amount of energy to be a denomination.

Opening Worship – GC2008

I arrived in Fort Worth today made it to the hotel and quickly hopped on the shuttle to go to the Convention Center to see what there was to see.

I forgot my camera at home, so don’t plan on any picture 😦 I was pretty bummed about that, but am getting over it. A few takeaways from todays events.

  • Opening worship was a very good experience – I really felt God’s Spirit at times.
  • Although moving at times, there are many changes to the flow of the opening worship service that would likely take place if it were at Resurrection.
  • Rules matter.
  • There was a strong theme of unity throughout all of the worship – songs, liturgy and prayers.
  • It will be a long conference – I am tired today and I have not had near the preparation as a delegate nor will I be here as long as the delegates.
  • God is good and at work in the denomination.
  • Business sessions are more fun if you can make commentary on the goings on from the mezzanine.

GC2008: The Experience

Along with a group of clergy from Resurrection, I am traveling to Fort Worth to experience several days of the 2008 General Conference of The United Methodist Church. This is a global gathering that happens every four years and is the only body that can speak for the denomination.

I am looking forward to see, hear, experience, feel, and be a part of the conference.

I suggest that you find out more here – http://gc2008.umc.org

You might also check for bloggers present at the entire event, including…