Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ;
As a “first timer” at a General Convention, I was immediately struck by the immenseness of the undertaking, and the tremendous amount of work done by so many people to put together this triennial meeting. I was also impressed by the intense dedication of the leaders of the convention, and their willingness to devote the countless hours necessary to work out the details needed to make the days as productive and meaningful as possible.
When one considers the “business” of our church, it is important to remember that our business is doing God’s work, and that His will must be paramount in all deliberations. I am pleased to be able to report to all of you, that this convention is considering a number of resolutions regarding equality on all levels, integrity in our church’s relations with the world around us, and changing the structure of the church to better position it to be God’s arm in the world, and to enable its members to grow in their faith, and as followers of Christ. “Flexible” and “nimble” are two of the buzzwords being used to describe hopes for the outcomes of upcoming resolutions. I hope that you will take the time to follow other links on this website, and to explore other news venues for information.
There have also been incredible worship services each day with wonderful music and great, thought provoking preaching. Each service celebrated the rich diversity of our church. It was great to spend some time each morning worshiping with hundreds of Jesus’ followers. It was also wonderful to be part of a group of faithful followers who met to dream about what a church could be, and even held “flash prayers” this week.
I would not be entirely honest if I did not admit to some frustrations. For example, parliamentary procedure entanglements, and “amendments of amendments” resulted in a considerable waste of valuable Legislative Session time. I also feel that the length of the convention (a registration day, eight days of legislative business, and travel time) makes it difficult if not impossible, for many people to consider being involved. In fact, I spoke to several people who were using all of their annual vacation time during these two weeks. It is my hope and prayer that these issues will be considered over the coming months as part of the larger effort to “streamline” church governance, and make the church more inclusive.
I would like to leave with these thoughts. There seems to be an understanding by most of the people here that we as a church can’t keep doing the same things, and survive as an institution. There also seems to be a willingness to boldly take on some of the big issues that need to be dealt with. In fact some resolutions regarding these issues have been addressed through legislation already. Let us pray that God empowers this convention to make more bold decisions that will put Him first, and enable us to focus on doing His work and “Sharing the Good News”. Please continue to pray for our delegation, and for the convention and its work.
God’s Peace to all of you