Day 3: Lost


First off I would like to ask for prayers specifically for Donna Pritchard, she has a pretty nasty head cold that is causing some fluid to build up in her ears. This could be potentially very miserable for the flight home. She went to the urgent care clinic and is doing well. The doctors gave here some antibiotics and she should be fine by the time we have to fly, but I ask that there are some added prayers for her and her ears.

Now that that has been said, onto the blog:

I title this Lost because, tonight I find myself not having much to write about, or so it seems as I start. We will see as I start making my words flow onto the computer. I am not sure whether it is because so much happened today and there was too much for my brain to process it all, or for some reason it just bored me to the point of “in one ear and out the other”. To be honest it was probably a little of both.

I know that there was a great deal of information presented today. There was an episcopal address and a youth and young adult address this morning, just before the work of amending and approving the rules was finished. I felt a little disappointed in the young person’s address because it was very obviously scripted and seemed to be a little lacking of the fire we young people have and show in smaller group settings. However the address did emphasize some things I believe and I think that most of the younger people in the denomination do as well. It is something that I touched on last night, and hope becomes a theme to all those at this conference and other conference meetings for the church as a whole.A UMNS photo It helped to emphasize that not only do we put our differences aside as we should, but that we all need to listen to each other. The young need to listen to and accept the wisdom of the more seasoned folks, and the seasoned folks need to accept that youth have good ideas and the ability to think for ourselves. The new theme for the youth starting at this conference is CHARGED ROOTED UNITED. The youth in the church are a great asset and important to the church of today because of us being CHARGED by god to do the work of god, either in mission, bible study, legislative leadership rolls, or whatever you can think of. We are ROOTED in a strong faith and spirituality from being part of a church that gives us a message of open hearts, open minds, and open doors. We are also ROOTED by a pathway of acceptance to god that has strong Wesleyan beginnings catering to how we want and need to be ushered into our faith. And finally we are UNITED. Through the connection of theA UMNS Photo UNITED Methodist Church, technology, and similar views and thinking (Don’t let that make you think we are all the same and all have the same things to say, because that is not true. We are as diverse a group as the conference and church itself). This is mostly my interpretation of the youth address from this morning but I agree with most of what it said. We are the church of today and I find that the address today represented that, even being tele-promted.

Also in watching the rules be finalized and approved today I re-learned and experienced the fact that people are friendly and loving to each other during dinner and social times, but when the words “rules”, “plenary”, “Legislation”, “structure change”, and other similar words come into conversation, or the moment we walk onto the bar of the conference everybody gets tense and on edge about where the conversation may go. When these words are brought up, people have to start preparing for political maneuvering, bracing for attack on their views, and sometimes getting quite aggressive with those they disagree with. Personally I understand that it happens in all forms of legislative bodies but feel that we, as a church and body of people CHARGED (not just for the youth you see) to love one another, should be able to set ourselves into a mindset to do the work set before us not just knock each other down, be the first to make a statement, and get the timing just right so that things are looked over or confused. The “politicking” seems to be counterproductive. We argue too much and try to much to have control. The control should be in the hands of god not us and we try too hard to make it be ours. We need to all just get along, say our peace and move on to doing the work of a church, the church, our church, instead of arguing about what we will do if one little petition out of thousands asking to change one little thing in hundreds of pages of the discipline is incomplete at the end of conference. (That was an example of an amendment to the rules of procedure set forth by the rules committee that took, in my opinion, waaaay too long to handle.)

Well it looks like I managed to have more on my mind than I thought. Lost is still an appropriate tittle thought, because I find myself lost in all the things that I am feeling in relation to youth and the way we do our “Holy Conferencing”. Anyway, another small note before I head to bed; though I understand it is very important to elect chairs, vice chairs and sub-committee chairs, this process is the most boring thing to ever have to sit through. That is especially true when all you get to do is observe the process and not be a part of it. I would have to say that the conversation I had about places to eat with someone local to Tampa in the youth lounge was exponentially more informative and interesting. Tomorrow I plan to start a quest to eat at least lunch with people from a different delegation every day. I will try and express how well that goes for me. Goodnight all!

Vincent Myers
Vincent Myers is a delegate to the 2012 Western Jurisdictional Conference and is attending General Conference as an additional reserve delegate and observer. Vincent is a student at Chemeketa Community College and lives in Salem, Oregon.