It's time for General Conference in the United Methodist Church. In Tampa - this week, committees. Next week - the voting.
I've been told this is an historic General Conference that it's the most significant General Conference since unification in 1968. That this is a General Conference of significance. That we can redefine our denomination, that we can restructure, that we can become Vital Congregations.
I hope so - I pray so. But I do believe this morning's debates about rules is a signpost. There were power plays, there was debate, there were conversations on the floor, off the floor, on the internet, Twittered, Facebooked, Video Chatted and so forth and what was the result? We (they, actually b/c I'm not there!) accepted the rules as written.
I hope this is not a sign of things to come. If this is really a conference to change our denomination from an institution to a missional movement, this debate about the rules does not bode well. I hope and pray for real and substantive change, grassroots change, radical change - change that goes to our roots as Methodists.
I'll be watching and praying. May God have mercy on our denomination!