United Methodist Politics

[Over the next few months, I will write here about United Methodist politics, especially our upcoming General Conference this spring.]

Taken at General Conference in Portland Oregon, May 1976 just as I was, for the first time, aware of feeling called to ordained ministry

You might not ordinarily think that something as tedious and hard ball as church politics had anything to do with mystical experience, but oddly enough there is a connection.  Church reform is often fueled by ecstatic religious experiences.  Maybe God knows that most ordinary Christians have little way of withstanding the rigors of church politics without some extra help.  It’s like giving troops on the front lines extra rations — or at least larger share of the cigarettes or chocolates.  (I’m being ridiculous here, but you get the point.)

In my case, the ecstatic religious experiences started just a few weeks before the beginning of our 2004 United Methodist General Conference, my first as a clergy delegate.  Ever since then, I can usually count on an upsurge of ecstatic experiences just before and during UM political meetings.   (Even stranger, my initial awareness of a call to ordained ministry came as I was sitting in the stands at the 1976 General Conference in Portland Oregon where my father was a delegate.  I was sitting there trying to figure out what I was experiencing, when, right at that moment, a  photographer for the United Methodist Reporter snapped a picture; it was included in the next UM Reporter – May 21 1976. See accompanying photo.)

I’ll update this page with my comments about General Conference and legislation – especially in the area of my Legislative Committee for the last 3 quadrennia – Higher Education and Ministry.

One response to this post.

  1. Ah, yes. I found the answer to my question about whether you had blogged from GC 2012. Yours was a voice of sanity among the disturbing accounts I read. I worked in Way of the Child at SoulFeast one year (2006) when you brought your daughters. Can’t believe they’re 11 and 13!


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