The House Doesn't Always Win

Ponderings on the 2019 General Conference: Eight Months Out



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Conspiracy theories

Are not a substitute for fact nor helpful for a workable solution. Please. Wait a little longer for the Way Forward report

SarahS Flynn 279 days ago

You nailed it, Ms. Cynthia!

I certainly have said similar in other words, but I think we agree that the "powers that be" have been closed door and backroom rather than out front in full disclosure - never mind a commitment to broad dissemination! Just the fact that they had the "Way Forward" group spend so much money to travel so far
only to meet BEHIND CLOSED DOORS is proof. They could have saved 95% and just used skype! Why go here and there or anywhere simply to have a private meeting? You are too kind to use the word "arrogance", but I am not...
Good post. You confirm for we on the outside what we have observed of the inside. Thank you!
P.S. I confess my sin of doubting Ms. Hahn. Based on your salute, I stand corrected.

Reese 280 days ago

house doesn't always win

Insightful, painful, needed words. Cynthia's comments transcend her personal convictions regarding the specifics of human sexuality issues and point to a deeply flawed process. In a 'wicked problem' scenario, trust deficits and communication barriers abound, mixed with defective or ineffective organizations-methods-leadership, to which one might add a dozen or more other issues that combine to make the church's problem 'wicked' in classic organizational theory. The very human desire to contain and control are at work, and everyone is sincere in motive, if not means of implementing motive. A next constructive step? A clear release of the teased out three plans at month's end. Conferences and bishops that give honest attention to each plan, including why a majority of US bishops favor One Church and why others don't. Each special interest group publishes an article in their official media assessing where 'confirmation bias' can affect their position. Most of all, mutual recognition that the challenges facing the church are wildly more diverse and complicated than this one issue, else we will do at GC2019 will be nothing more than pedicure the toes prior to amputating the leg. And bishops and others could learn from the wisdom of the novel, THE LEOPARD, "If you want things to stay the same, things will have to change."

Bob 280 days ago


Rigged? Yes. Absolutely.

At this point, after 58 years of membership in the UMC, I have no reason to trust our current Council of Bishops - indeed, to trust any of the administration beyond my local church - at all.

Ben 280 days ago

Distrust and Lack of Leadership

Sounds like any measure of trust that may have existed after the 2016 GC is now gone and what is left is a shell of a denomination and no leadership.

Jeff 280 days ago

Torn asunder

I would say that The UMC has been torn asunder by the flagrant disregard for our doctrine and discipline. The feckless leadership of our bishops and the lack of trust between laity and leadership drove the bishops behind closed doors where they try and manipulate outcomes. Maybe the people will get a voice at GC 2019. We shall see.

Kevin 280 days ago

What you leave out

You reference the political battle: factions jockeying for position and control. What you do not reference is that ultimately this is a theological battle that has been decades in the making. For the better part of a century competing/conflicting/contradictory theologies have been attempting to inhabit the same denomination, thus producing the political battles of factions jockeying for position and control. I am in total agreement with the Wesleyan Covenant Association that it is time to end the theological battle once and for all. As 50 years of uninterrupted numerical decline in the American UMC attest to, no church can effectively carry out its mission while promoting conflicting beliefs. If the One Church Model somehow gets past General Conference, I am done because the theological conflict will be enshrined in all levels of the church and The United Methodist Church will officially no longer be Wesleyan/Methodist except in name only.

betsy 280 days ago

Their livelihood is at stake

So many on the COB are from the”progressive” side they know if the Traditionalist Plan passes, they will be asked to resign, defrocked, etc and asked to leave the UMC. With that goes their salaries and possibly their pensions. So, why wouldn’t they go to extreme means to better ensure the Local Option Plan passes?

Just because they hope something will happen doesn’t mean they think it will happen. Thus, a pretty strong motive for secrecy.

Steve 281 days ago

No Local Option

Steve, progressives don't want the Local Option (The One Church Plan). We don't favor any of the Way Forward plans. None of the proposed plans cater to us.

We seek full inclusion for the LGBT population. None of the plans provide such inclusion. What we do have are three unacceptable options, with each one providing approbation for those who continue to choose to bully LGBT members.

So, no, the supposedly progressive Bishops are not rigging all of this in favor of 'the progressive option'.

Ben 280 days ago

Catering to you?

Dear Ben. Is this what all this is about? Finding a plan that "caters to you?" Should we not be focused on a plan that caters to God's will for us as expressed in His Holy Scriptures? Just saying.

John 280 days ago

Here is the root of the problem


“None of the plans cater to us.” None of the plans should cater to you or any other individual or group. The plans should
Be biblically based and focused. It appears the LGBT and progressive faction believe the current fight for the UMC is personal. As a conservative, I see the fight as over principles, not over individuals.

The Bible says what it says Re homosexuality. It is very clear and no one can change what it says although progressives try to change the meaning of what it says. The Bible is clear Re murder, idols, theft, etc. Just as I cannot accept an unrepentant murderer as an UMC leader, I can’t accept an unrepentant LGBT member as a UMC leader. Leaders lead best by example.

It may surprise you but I attend a very Progressive church (although it didn’t start out that way). Our pastor, a member of the Reconciling Network), does a good job of threading the needle between the progressive and traditional members. I love each member of our church, including the multiple LGBT members. I serve with them on committees, ministries, and in running the church. Each of us are sinners and Christians. Last month, I encountered an emergency personal issue. One of our LGBT members was the first person I called. He performed spectacturely as I knew he would. We are a church family. We are a bit too Social Justice focused instead of mission focused, but overall, we are following God’s Word.

I would hope that if you visited our church, I would welcome you with the same open loving arms I try to welcome every visitor. I would hope that we would be friends just like my other LGBT friends. However, you seem much more defensive/militant than my other LGBT friends. So, it may take us a bit longer.

At the very least, I would save you a seat beside me in the pew and follow you to the altar rail for Communion and confessing our sins.

Having said all of the above, if what comes out of GC19 does not uphold the BOD and strictly enforce it, as much as I love my current church, I cannot sacrifice my values and would need to leave the UMC.

Steve 277 days ago


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