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Report on ‘holy conversation’ dustup

Organizers of this General Conference allowed time for “holy conversation” about certain issues, including “human sexuality.” But scheduling issues caused the time for that session to be cut short. Gay rights supporters were upset about that and about what they said was bullying of them by some who participated. So an effort to ease tension around […]

Plan B gets committee nod

The bold plan to restructure nine general agencies of the UMC, bringing them under a single, small board and an executive officer,  is not faring well so far at General Conference. The General Administration Committee, which is screening restructuring legislation before it goes to all delegates, has voted to work with a less sweeping restructuring proposal, dubbed “Plan […]

Bishop Ott speaks at gay rights event

Retired Bishop Donald Ott was among those speaking for gay rights in the UMC at a Common Witness Coalition press conference today.   “I hope to live long enough to attend the General Conference when we have an act of repentance on this matter,” he said.   Ott helped pull together a letter last year signed […]

Seminarians Explore General Conference

Seminarians from Drew Theological School are among the crowds of United Methodistst who have flocked to Tampa Bay for General Conference. They’re here as a part of a course studying General Conference in its role within the United Methodist Church. Dean Jeffrey Kuan of The Theological School at Drew University is excited to have students […]

Laity Address Speaker Opens Up in Press Conference

“I know that people want to stop talking about this issue and I would like to stop talking about it too because I would like for all to welcomed to the church and to ordination…regardless of sexual orientation.” Amory Peck, one of the three speakers who offered the Laity address this morning, shared before a […]

Stansell elected to chair General Administration

The General Administration Committee of General Conference is where a lot of the hot action will be, since it will handle legislation to restructure the general church agencies. This afternoon, committee members elected Elijah Stansell as chair. He’s treasurer of the Texas Conference. He promised to be neutral in leading the panel. “I’ve not been a […]

GC2012 blog—And Are We Yet Alive?

As I stood in a roomful of several thousand Methodists, I was struck by what unites us. In that moment, I was less enamored with how we are connected in theology or story. Instead, I was struck by the way that we are united by this shared question: And Are We Yet Alive? This is […]

GC2012 blog—Love on Trial shows up at GC

On Tuesday, outside the entrance to the Tampa Convention Center, a team from offered posters to passers-by: “I wish the church was as inclusive as the military.” They’re among the many non-delegate United Methodists who have flocked to Tampa Bay for General Conference. Love on Trial promises different displays and statements each day to […]

GC 2012 blog—morning activities

General Conference hasn’t even begun officially, but the Convention Center is filling and a lot is happening. This morning, Bishop Mary Ann Swenson of the California-Pacific Conference spoke at a United Methodist Kairos Response press conference, making a case for divesting church funds of three companies said to support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. […]

GC 2012 blog—opening day schedule

General Conference officially begins at 4 p.m. today with opening worship, and the preacher will be Bishop Larry Goodpaster, outgoing president of the Council of Bishops. A 400-plus member mass choir from the Florida Conference is scheduled to perform. Tonight brings the organization of the General Conference—the first plenary session. The voting system will be […]