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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2 thoughts on “A Mess in St Louis”
Thanks for bring our attention to Will Willimon’s blog. I want to tell him, GC2019 isn’t over yet. It will carry into GC2020 in new and difference ways as the American church finds it’s voice. If the rules were changed to a super majority, which it should be, the voting would have been quite different. A simple majority is divisive by its very nature for it doesn’t allow for compromise. A ¾ majority would even add more compromises to the rigidity of the winner-take-all simple majority rule. Grace and peace, Dan Gangler
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Thank you, Phil, and all who have spoken out about this very hurtful decision. As you can well imagine, I am so very proud, and grateful for all that St. Andrew is. We are, indeed, a beacon on the hill…
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