Thanks, Will Willimon for this honest confession and call. We elders will struggle to assist others in cleaning up the mess we have made. As an example of emerging wisdom, see the letter Rev. Mark Feldmier shared with his congregation, St. Andrew in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Mark Feldmier’s call to the future.
Before the United Methodist Special General Conference opened on Saturday, we prayed. Perhaps God would miraculously grant a fruitful discussion among 800disputantswho have very little in common except our cross-and-flame nametags. We prayed for openness to different points of view, unity, communion, gracious listening, holy conferencing, empathetic feelings, and generosity of spirt.
It didn’t work.
At some point I shifted my own prayers to, “Lord, please melt the hardened hearts and smite everyone who intends to vote against the One Church Plan.” This plan, recommended by the UMC bishops, aimed to give more discretion to local churches and annual conferences in LGBTQ inclusion, ministry, and mission. It was summarily trashed early in the voting; the rival Traditional Plan, which reaffirms the denomination’s prohibitions against same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy, was approved.
The Lord, as far as I could tell, had business elsewhere. In fairness to the Lord…
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