Bicycles for Fish



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Methodism and Communism should never be synonyms or how to get rid of bureaucracy

I came to this GC with anticipation of the promised lightening up of the Book of Discipline. Instead, the work of the legislative committees didn't differ from 2008. To my horror, I saw more additions than removals. Sad. Precious time of all delegates is wasted for voting and discussions of things that have nothing to do with 49% of delegates from Central Conferences. I especially I agree that human sexuality should never be a major subject of the discussion! All people are included, all people are loved, it is clear to a child. The more we talk about it, the less people we have on the pews!
In some cultures it is very unethical to even mention sexuality or anything related to the subject. Did anybody think how uncomfortable we made our brothers and sisters from other countries? Is it what radical hospitality is about? African, Asian and European delegates go home feeling very uneasy about many things they heard and witnessed at the GC 2012. Will that help our denomination to stay together?
I agree that these two weeks should be used for visioning rather than management. Our denomination needs to get away from Barna institute's leadership approach, we need to stop spending money on management trainings that turn the church more and more into the organization than the living Body Of Christ. We need to forget numbers and reports that were typical for Communist countries and we all know what happened to their economic and social "progress!" For 70 years Communists reported that they were ahead of other countries until the system collapsed. We should become a Church filled with the Spirit. But, unfortunately, the GC gathering reminds more of a Communist Party Congress...
I am doing my doctorate on Revitalizing Congregations and I expected that the GC 2012 would give more freedom to local churches. They know better what and how to do things in their context. Should we not trust that local leaders have enough faith, ethics, integrity, and morals to do ministry in their local context or we would continue to drive them nuts, telling them what to do and how to do what they do without the authorities anyway?
Many years ago we started Methodism movement in Russia and it choked under a heavy foot of a Bishop. The country was not ready yet for a structure.
My present church in Raytown, MO never seen a Bishop in our worship in 30 years, but we get lots of instructions and reprimands. Telling small churches what to do, the hierarchy suppresses people's creativity, and kills the Spirit. The General Conference did not have time to discuss that.

Lydia Istomina more than 5 years ago

General Conference& Bicycles for Fish

I pretty muchagree with D. Dick.
Personally, from all I have read about General Conference ithas been a big waste of money with little of any worth accomplished.
Not sure the UM continues to be what I would call "my" church.

Barbara Kiser more than 5 years ago

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"Harsh and direct disagreement places thought under pressure. That’s its point. Pressure can be intellectually productive: being forced to look closely at arguments against a beloved position helps those who hold it to burnish and buttress it as often as it moves them to abandon it. But pressure also causes pain and fear; and when those under pressure find these things difficult to bear, they’ll sometimes use any means possible to make the pressure and the pain go away. They feel unsafe, threatened, put upon, and so they react by deploying the soft violence of the law or the harder violence of the aggressive and speech-denying protest. Both moves are common enough in our élite universities now, as is their support by the powers that be. Tolerance for intellectual pain is less than it was. So is tolerance for argument."

– Paul Griffiths, former professor of Catholic theology at United Methodist-related Duke University Divinity School, in an article for Commonweal magazine on why he resigned over a recent conflict with a colleague related to racism training.


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