General Conference 2019: Notes from the Front

 

Sunday, February 24: Notes from the Front

Posted by Rev. Dr. Mark A. Fowler on

I am sitting in section 122 surrounded by students of the class, members of Sacred Worth and Love Prevails, colleagues and friends from Wisconsin, Northern Illinois and New England. It is a great cloud of witnesses to an inclusive and justice focused church of God’s abundant love. 
 
Yet, yesterday’s day of prayer in preparation for these days went on for hours without a single reference to the focus of this General Conference. It was not until LGBTQ delegates intercede with the bishops that specific prayers were offered. The silence and inability to name why we are here was more harming within the hall than the vile rhetoric from the Westboro Baptist Church outside the hall. 
 
In addressing the several hundred seminarians that are here there was a clear acknowledgment by the bishops that our UMC will be changed by this General Conference. The pleading is for unity. The pleading is for the broader mission of the church throughout the world. However, the pleading seems filled with a fear that seems unable to directly address what is at issue here. 
 
However, there was a word in the sermon this morning that embraced us all (and by that I understand all means all) are made in the image and love of God. 
 
So, having prayed and worshipped, the legislation begins. I remain aware and grateful for your prayers. The light of our church’s witness kindles here. 
 
With deep gratitude,
Mark

Tags: general conference

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