Archive for May, 2008

Coffee and Cookies…Mmmm

I tried to gain support for a petition to the 2012 General Conference making coffee the official beverage of the United Methodist Church.  I have learned this will not slip through without amendments and debate.  “I would like to make an amendment that fair-trade coffee is the official beverage of the UMC”.  “Fair trade coffee and hot tea”.  Sigh, finding consensus is challenging work my friends!

The past 2 weeks I experience much United Methodist hospitality with the daily breaks of coffee and cookies.  I can’t imagine the gallons of coffee we consumed, but they say there were 120,000 cookies!  We needed those to get through plenary sessions after only 5hrs of sleep!

Here is a pic of Hilary Marchbanks (Saint John’s Austin friend!) and I excited about our cookies and coffee.  The words of advice on my cookie bag that day said “Do not let success go to your head, or failure go to your heart”.  I will be posting that one in my cube, as I don’t have it down yet.

May 6, 2008 at 1:38 am Leave a comment

Picture in Article

There is a picture of me speaking in support of the UMC participation in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) in the “wrap-up” article!  Check it out: 

http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=2639513&ct=5322883

More of my thoughts, pics, wrap-up from General Conference to come this week.  Just physically and emotionally in recovery mode. 

May 4, 2008 at 10:26 pm 1 comment

Mending my Broken Heart…

They told me the days would be long…they were right.

They told me the worship would be uplifting…they were right.

They told me I would make friendships and connections with Methodists from around the world…they were right.

They told me we are divided on GLBT concerns, and Wed would be a tearful day…I was hopeful they were wrong, that they would instead be tears of joy because of the messages of hope, because of the sermons and focus on inclusiveness, because of the agreed concern with the decline in the US church membership and the desire for more young persons in leadership.  Sadly, they again were right.

On Wednesday we spent most of the day amending and debating the committee’s proposed new wording to paragraph 161G of the Social Principles vs. the minority report proposal.  The primary difference is the new proposal removed the statement “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” and instead offered an alternative which basically stated we will agree to disagree.  See the full text here.   

As you can read in other blogs/articles, the minority report was adopted (501-417), which kept the non-inclusive language in our Social Principles.  The vote was closer than in years past, which is a sign of hope, but none the less, I along with many others was devastated.  Immediately after the vote, GLBT supporters stood in silent protest until the afternoon session ended, which was for 25 painful minutes as the General Conference Secretary read us a Judicial Council ruling.  As they were standing, they sang “Jesus Loves Me”.  I didn’t stand at this point, as I was trying unsuccessfully to hold back the tears and compose myself. 

I can’t even begin to describe the pain, hurt, and confusion.  Why couldn’t the delegates at General Conference “agree to disagree”?  How could they not see how this divisive topic parallels with overcoming our racism as a church 40years ago?  How could we speak for days about how we are ALL part of the body of Christ, then so many vote to exclude those who aren’t like them?  How could there be such different messages from God on the hearts of the delegates? 

I have been and continue to struggle with what I experienced…but I have found hope.  I was proud to stand with others within my delegation during the Witness on Thursday.  (see article here).  I found this to be a time to begin healing.  Where is the hope?  The vote was closer than years past.  There were baby steps of progress made at the General Conference (we changed the definition of family from “both mothers and fathers” or “men and women” to “loving parents” and “two parents”!).  Most of all, I have hope because there are more and more churches who are loving, accepting, and welcoming of all persons.  Although the official UMC stance on homosexuality pains me, we will keep doing what we are already doing…welcoming ALL at the local church level while we wait for the official UMC position to catch up. 

May 4, 2008 at 10:24 pm Leave a comment