General Conference 2019: Notes from the Front


Notes From the Front: Last Day

Posted by Rev. Dr. Mark A. Fowler on

Today is the last day of General Conference.

I have delayed going to the session to write and brace myself for what is before us. The events of these days have seen a 55-45% legislative victory for the Traditionalist Plan for the denomination moving forward.

What that actually means is a plan of schism in that those of us who are committed to full inclusion of all people, most specifically LGBTQI folks, will have no place in this church moving forward.

I am heartbroken. I have wept. I am in profound grief. I am not alone!

Those who have gathered here with whom I have shared life and ministry since I was a child are here and we grieve together.

Those who have known the saints that led us in these paths of justice and inclusive ministry are here and we grieve together.

Those who sing about God's great, expansive and inclusive love are here and we grieve and begin to heal together.

Those who will watch in horror today as the legislative process will attempt and may succeed in dismantling and dividing this denomination are here and are determined.

We may leave St. Louis. We may have to leave the new manifestation of our beloved church that is being horrifically crafted here. But, I know that we will not leave each other and we will not abandon our ministries and our mission of God's inclusive love and justice as we have found it with each other in the lives we have lived together and the ministries we have shared. There will be a future connection and ministry in whose integrity we were called, raised, formed and live.

I trust in the scripture that promises this grief and sadness and mourning shall last for an evening. I have not slept well in St. Louis. But, joy comes in the morning.

I pray for the morning as I leave here later today and return to Madison. There, I look forward to joining with the congregation of First Church and moving into the future that God has set before us.

All means all.

Blessings beloved,

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