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.
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.
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.
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…