And then there was one.
One day, that is, (as I write this) until the Special Session of the General Conference (aka #GC2019) begins.
Will it be (with apologies to Les Miserables) "one day more to revolution"...will the streets run with (metaphorical) blood?
Or will we find a way to emulate God's unity within diversity -- which we name and celebrate every time we use Trinitarian language?
Truthfully, I don't know and neither does anyone else.
Quick reminder of the basics:
- This is the seventh in a multi-week series to help us be informed about -- and prepared for -- the General Conference #GC2019 to be held February 23-26, 2019 in Saint Louis, MO.
- Read previous entries in this series here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.
- Those initial installments have (or at least link to) all the background information about how the United Methodist Church found itself in the position of needing both the Commission on a Way Forward and #GC2019.
Here are a few things that I do know:
1) Our own Pastor Danita is there at #GC2019 serving as a Marshal. Meaning, she will "be part of the team that assists delegates, guests, and staff, checking credentials, and providing information."
2) Pastor Danita is more serene about this General Conference than anyone else I have spoken to or read. She's been part of the United Methodist Church for it's entire existence (and then some). She knows our denomination. I trust her wisdom, instincts, and intuition about this. I'm doing my best to follow her example.
3) This prayer will be part of worship at General Conference, and our Northern Illinois Conference asks us to pray with them. We will do so together Sunday morning.
4) Our Bishop, the Rev. Sally Dyck, recorded this message of hope for the church earlier this month. It's under ten minutes -- pretty good for a preacher!
5) We can livestream #GC2019 by clicking here.
6) For updates and news from #GC2019 click here.
7) Bishop Dyck invites you to join one of three General Conference Debriefings:
- Saturday, March 30 at 9:30am - Location: Orland Park: Faith UMC, 15101 S 80th Ave., Orland Park, IL.
- Saturday, March 30 at 2 pm - Location: Barrington UMC, 98 Algonquin Rd., Barrington, IL.
- Sunday, March 31 at 3 pm - Location: Oregon UMC, 200 S. 4th St., Oregon, IL.
8) I know that no matter what happens (or doesn't happen) at #GC2019, millions of us will continue to pray, to preach, to teach, and to work until all of God's children are welcomed, affirmed, and blessed in the UMC.
Let me leave you with some wise words from Bishop Dyck's video message:
I hope for a church that can disagree about many things — including human sexuality — but can still recognize our connection and our relationships one with another.
Unity in the midst of diversity means there is room — plenty of good room — for all of us and for others in the body of Christ.