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GC Update from Dan Dick (Saturday, April 28)

April 29, 2012

As we are moving through the legislation in sub-committees to prepare for plenary, emotions run hot, energy runs low, and a sense of being totally overwhelmed pervades. We have been working morning noon and night to deal with issues both big and small of our denomination. We are working on a massive restructure of our denomination, and radical realignments within our global church. We are recommending the elimination of guaranteed appointments, but retaining the commissioned provisional process of credentialing. We are proposing transitional leave for clergy and a “set aside” bishop to lead our Council of Bishops. We are proposing rejection of early ordination, but fully endorse Vocational Discernment Coordinators to help cultivate a culture of call. There is still a lack of openness to our gay/lesbian/bi-sexual and transgender brothers and sisters, but a significant number of delegates are calling for changes in these areas.

This is my fifth time at General Conference (twice before as a delegate, twice as an observer) and this is the kindest, gentlest first week I have ever experienced.  People are gathered here to work together to do a good job.  It is evident that we do not all agree — some vehemently so — but we are all treating each other with civility and respect.  You all can be very proud, not only of your own delegation, but of all the people called United Methodist!

Dan

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4 Comments
  1. Nick Coenen permalink

    Praying for the seemingly impossible work to be possible. I am proud of the courage everyone seems to be facing these difficult issues with. I’m sure the days are long and exhausting, but I pray God would give you all a refreshed spirit each morning.

  2. Wesley White permalink

    I can appreciate kindness and gentleness among the delegates. I cannot appreciate a result of that being meanness and discrimination against a part of the body. If our internals don’t match our externals we end up what has been called “weeping executioners” or in the midst of a great mystery and paradox, as James Cone said in his sermon this afternoon – Black Christians gathering strength from the Bible as they are crucified and White Christians gathering strength from the Bible to separate-out, crucify, and lynch. May the kindness of this week generate even more kindness next week – from gentleness with ourselves to gentleness with others.

  3. Dan, thanks so much for your comments and update. I also thank you and the rest of our delegates for the hard work and long hours. Your commentary helps us have a flavor of what it’s like to be there.
    Our family and the Mosinee UMC is praying for God’s wisdom and strength for you all!

  4. Jean Ehnert Nicholas permalink

    Dan – Our prayers continue to be with you and the other members of the Wisconsin delegation and the entire body gathered for General Conference. I will continue to pray for miracles of healing, discernment and wisdom. As Wesley has stated so well: May the kindness of the first week generate even more kindness during the second week — from gentleness with ourselves to gentleness with others. Blessings and strength to all of you.

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