Saturday, April 26, 2008

Friday recap at GC

Oh, the fun of GC work. It is midnight on Friday as I write this, although I won’t post it until tomorrow when I can find some free wireless access. We finished up work in the sub-sub committee about 11. I caught the bus to the hotel, found some snacks to eat for supper and am settling down for a few minutes before bed. Friday night in a pretty cool city with a lot happening and all I can think about is getting some sleep.

Good worship and sermon this AM. The sermon was given in Portuguese by Bishop Joao Machado. He spoke about Paul writing the church in Galatia (Gal 5:7), “You were running the race so well, what happened?” And he said Paul could ask the same thing of the UMC. “We cannot say we are going to transform the world if we are not transformed ourselves.” “The world does not listen to us because it sees us speaking only with words, and not with actions.”

Another high point in our plenary time was the emphasis on Nothing But Nets, for Malaria day. We were challenged to give freely by placing at least $10, the price of one net, on the communion table at the center of the convention hall. I look forward to hearing tomorrow how much was received, since it seems all the delegates filed by and put an offering on the table.

We got into our Legislative Committees and organized into sub-committees. Then the sub-committees organized into sub, sub committees. The work all this afternoon and night has been in the smaller committee. I am in the sub-committee on the Local Pastor petitions and chair the sub sub committee to review about 25 petitions. Our sub committee has spent the day debating and considering the parameters of whether local pastors should have vote on certain matters, and why or why not. At this point it looks like the report that will go forward will recommend vote for constitutional matters and elections for those who have completed basic Course of Study, or its equivalent with two years of service to the Conference.

Another highlight of the day – lunch with several of the young adult delegates. If I didn’t have my girls here with me, it wouldn’t happen. But they made the connections and I was welcomed to join right in (might have something to do with me paying the check!). Anyway, the energy and interest in the church and the life of faith shared around the table was energizing. I know this is only the third GC where young people been present in any numbers, but I can’t imagine what it would be without them.

Could tell Kelsey was getting fatigued, so she missed her legislative meeting tonight in order to sleep and I will recommend she allow a reserve to sit in for her tomorrow morning. We still have a full week ahead of us, and I still have 15 petitions with me to get through sub-committees.

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