So General Conference is over and now we live with what was decided. I've been amazed at people who watched on live streaming since I would think that was very tedious! Others could care less what happened. Always there are some who see some legislation acted upon that makes them wonder whether they can continue to be United Methodist. Yet others perceived some positive changes in spirit and direction of the Church. And so it goes, and so it goes!
I am sure that many of you who watch this blog (or at least respond to it) have some responses to various legislation. Here's a short list, developed from a recent Newscope, to whet your memories:
The General Conference:
Approved a $642 million budget, representing an increased of 1.2% over each of the next 4 years;
Shortened the ordination process;
Changed the term "probationary" to "provisional" member (the status after commissioning);
Established a study group on church structure that would make the US a "regional" conference (like other areas of the world are central conferences now);
Approved full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (the only item that made the Star Tribune that I know of--only in Minnesota!);
Rejected language that would state that United Methodists disagree on homosexuality;
Retained language that prohibits UM ministers from conducting homosexual unions as well as rejected proposals that would add "civil unions" to basic civil liberties in the Social Principles;
Opposed homophobia and heterosexism as "forms of violence or discrimination based on gender, gender identity, sexual practice or sexual orientation;"
Reported in various ways the vitality of our denomination in this country and around the world;
and added "witness" to our promise of "prayers, presence, gifts and service."
This is hardly a comprehensive list; it's impossible to report all the changes so you may know of some others that matter more to you.
But I would be interested in what your reactions are to any decisions made at General Conference. How do they impact you? How does it make you feel as a United Methodist? How will you live them out?