Bullying and humanity at General Conference

First off, I’m aware that I didn’t witness what happened tonight in person. Mark Miller, one of the UMC General Conference worship leaders who is gay, stood up and gave an emotional speech about a climate of bullying that he saw taking place in the legislative sub-committee conversations about homosexuality. He was ruled out of order when he asked other delegates to stand with him by a bishop who then prayed for the situation. Not being privy to what did or didn’t take place, I can only say that I hope humanity wins over ideology at General Conference. I’m not even talking about the decisions are ultimately made, but the dignity with which the delegates treat one another as fellow members of the body of Christ, rather than ideological adversaries in the only politically and theologically diverse denomination left in our country. Continue reading

Anxiety vs. Kingdom in the United Methodist Church

I’ve been following the “Call to Action” debate on the twitter feeds from the Methodist General Conference. I realize that I’m just a scrub barely two years out of seminary. I still believe in theories; I still believe that fasting and prayer is the best approach to discerning God’s will. I’ve never had any training in systems theory or corporate organizational effectiveness. I’m the product of what the pundits malign when they say that seminaries should teach pastors practical managerial skills instead of filling their heads with all that !@#$%^&* theology. Somehow I’ve developed this foolish notion that God gives me things to say, and so I proclaim them, hoping that they’re not nonsense. The word that I have been given today is that United Methodists need less anxiety and more kingdom. Continue reading