The Real 'Adaptive Challenge': Holy Conferencing



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Holy conferencing

For a long time, we had "Holy Conferencing" at our annual conferences. Theological points were argued with passion, and with care at legislative sections and on the floor. People stated real positions, and did NOT call each other names or characterize each other rudely. After stated arguments, votes were taken and decisions made by people informed of all or alt least most sides of the arguments. Some older preachers I know, miss this sadly and find AnnConf dispiriting and rather ugly these days. How sad.

Anne Ewing more than 5 years ago

2012 GC

May every person be willing to allow The Word to do it's good work in us!For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Hebrews 4:12-3

Robin Williams more than 5 years ago

Reply to comment

Since the incident in question occurred at the 1992 General Conference in Louisville, KY, and was observed and commented upon by other delegates in attendance, I stand by my report of past actions of delegates spreading false witness against one another, which was confirmed by Bishop Sally Dyck's comment regarding "conspiracy theories" across the church. It is not irony to speak truth to power, which is what has been needed in regard to past behaviors of General Conference delegates. The current issue is whether delegates to the 2012 General Conference can rise above the temptations to engage in the same kinds of behaviors their predecessors chose to use.

Cynthia Astle more than 5 years ago

Holy Conferencing

I just want to note the irony of this article decrying the divisive language used at General Conference, while the author then accuses people of lying. That certainly will not build any trust or good will.

Mark A. Miller more than 5 years ago

Notable Quotes

"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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