Archives for May 2012

Reflections: Visit to a far-off cemetery offers lessons in sacrifice

There are six chaplains commemorated at the Cambridge American Cemetery, the superintendent noted, including three whose names are on the Wall of the Missing. As we remembered them, the superintendent told the story of four gallant chaplains who were made famous partly because of a documentary film about them. The four—two Protestant clergymen, a Roman […]

GC trims budget, apportionments

By Rich Peck, UMNS… General Conference 2012 approved a budget of $603.1 million for seven general church funds during the 2013-2016 period; that total is 6.03 percent less than the amount apportioned for the previous four-year period—the first time the assembly has accepted a lower budget than the amount set for the preceding period. That […]

Q&A: Mostly, spiritual life isn’t spent in ecstasy

People often ask Duke Divinity Professor Lauren F. Winner how she can be so self-revealing in her books, which have chronicled the ups and downs of her faith life. But talking about our lives with God—good and bad—shouldn’t seem so daring, she says. In Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis (HarperOne), she writes about the […]

The next four years call for evangelical patience

I was watching the live feed of the proceedings of General Conference on Friday, May 4, when Decision 1210 from the church’s Judicial Council was reported. What is Decision 1210, you ask? It was the bombshell letting the General Conference know that much of its efforts at crafting and approving a broad restructuring proposal for […]

Walking on a path of peace and prayer

From the window near her office at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Donna Adair watches people as they walk: children as young as 3, schoolchildren, and elderly folks; church members, spiritual seekers, and passersby. And they are all walking in circles—pacing and praying their way through the intricate path of the permanent labyrinth […]

Bishop Carcaño on the good and bad of GC2012

 By Bishop Minerva Carcaño, Special Contributor… On the last day of General Conference 2012 I went by the information booth. I was on my way to my last official responsibility and I wanted to make sure I knew where I needed to go. Our wonderfully kind United Methodist volunteers from the Florida Conference were there […]

Bishop Willimon on GC2012 and ‘church by committee’

By William H. Willimon, Special Contributor… General Conference in Tampa made history as the most expensive ($1,500 per minute!), least productive, most fatuous assemblage in the history of Methodism.  Sunday evening’s “A Celebration of Ministry” fiasco was a metaphor for our nearly two weeks at church expense: four hours of belabored supplication by the General […]

Change may require withholding apportionments

By Andy Langford, Special Contributor… An Open Letter to United Methodists I reflect on General Conference 2012 with deep and profound sadness.  Many persons are now offering their own opinions about what happened in Tampa.  At the adjournment of General Conference, Bishop Scott Jones said that he had witnessed “the death throes of a 1970s […]

Big meeting, small change – GC2012 leaves many with blues

There’s country blues, Piedmont blues, Chicago blues and rhythm & blues. And then there’s General Conference 2012 blues, which may be the most mournful of all. United Methodists are lamenting that a 10-day gathering costing $8.8 million could result in so much conflict and distrust over agency restructuring and homosexuality—and so little change for a […]

Walking the walk after General Conference

This was a General Conference seemingly made for a “reality check.” We thought that the days of denial were over. Bishop Larry Goodpaster and many others were convinced. Bishop Goodpaster said to me not long before General Conference: “There is a groundswell of conviction that we cannot sustain the track we are on.”    What […]