After the Conference

The meaningful ceremonial opening is now past-tense. The Episcopal message has been delivered. The Conference “rules of procedure” have been hotly debated (as they always are). The petitions from Boards and Agencies of the church and from Conferences, local churches and individuals, have been sorted and assigned to legislative committees. The cool breezes of the early spring climate have been (I hope) mixed with the spirit of Pentecost, and now the time has come to make decisions.

Decision making for a church is not easy. It’s not easy in the local church. We all have opinions. As members, we have been invited to be participants and many are more than willing to share their thoughts. At the Conference level, decision making is even more difficult. And when the time comes for the global church to gather and chart its course, it is beyond belief. We lustily sing about being “one in spirit” and we baptize the beauty of our connectedness, but often we have different thoughts about what our church should be about.

Decision making for a global church is messy, but thankfully the Lord has done some wonderful things through muddled and cluttered and chaotic situations. I have personally been involved in General Conferences for more than 40 years and it has always had its difficult moments. But I firmly believe that the church (that’s more than the United Methodist Church) is of God and will stand and will continue to be one of the instruments for the transformation of the world.


Today's blog post was written by Robert H. Spain. Robert Spain was a retired United Methodist bishop and former chaplain of the United Methodist Publishing House.



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