End of the Saga


For those who averted their eyes based on my last posting, consider yourself lucky. I suppose it is okay to look again, but only because the process of restructuring the General Church appears to be basically over. The plenary session of General Conference approved a plan for restructuring just before lunch Wednesday. There may be some final spasms as opponents to the action come to terms with the results, but I don't think these attempts will amount to much.

I commented in an earlier posting on the relatively positive process in the legislative committee responsible for the restructuring petitions. From my perspective, those comments would not apply to the process in plenary session. That said, in evaluating the "political" acumen of the proponents for restructuring and the specific proposal before the body on Wednesday, it was far superior to the disorganized approach that emerged from the many groups opposing the plan.

It became obvious to me early in the plenary process that a plan would be adopted. It was unfortunate that there was no real opportunity to perfect the plan through amendment. There were a number of attempts to scuttle the plan, but none passed and those attempts took up space that might have been used to make the plan work better and address some very real concerns about overly concentrated power.

While I am not happy with the outcome and I think that certain aspects of implementing the process could have been much better, particularly in the plenary session; I believe in the process and accept the result--at least until next General Conference when there may be legitimate attempts to change the status quo of 2016.

Mark Bateman
Mark Bateman is a delegate to the 2016 Western Jurisdiction Conference and will be attending General Conference as an additional reserve delegate and observer. Mark serves as a lay representative on the Board of Ordained Ministry and was part of the 2012 Delegation. He lives in Salem, Oregon.