General Conference, Here We Come!
General Conference, here we come! In two weeks 988 voting delegates from all over the world and some 4000 additional people will descend on Tampa, Florida for ten days – give or take a few days and people. During that time in Tampa, delegates and others will spend the days in holy conferencing - reading, debating, arguing, praying, worshiping, arguing, deciding, voting and talking, talking, talking. The outcome of all this praying, worshiping, arguing, debating, voting will determine form, function and future for The United Methodist Church. They will have made decisions on about 1120 pieces of legislation. Yes, General Conference is a political process of the church. It’s how we decide how we will be “church” together for the next four years. It’s exciting, it’s exhilarating, it’s exhausting. It’s also worshipful work and worship-filled days. It’s a time for connecting with people from all over the world who love God and The United Methodist Church. It’s a time of learning, hoping, dreaming, visioning, and sharing.
There will be sadness and joy. Decisions that are made will impact us all, and not all outcomes will be what some would wish. Some will leave General Conference happy that legislation they put forth or hoped to be approved was; and, some will leave sad that legislation they had put forth was not approved.
But, all who attend General Conference will leave enriched by the experience, inspired by the worship, and confident that God has called and continues to call each of us to service – to build disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. It’s time to be about the worshipful work.