General Conference – Day 1 – April 24, 2012


Poster of the Day
     The church often claims a connection with an organizing principle—God. What is often forgotten is the way in which the tradition of the church recognizes how the world around is used by God to reform the church, rather than the other way around. In our time, regarding human sexual identity, The United Methodist Church is well behind its cousins such as the UCC and ELCA and even more distant relative of the military.

General Conference Organization
     - Setting the Boundaries and Rules
     - "Sensitivity Training" (15 minutes?)

Reflections on the Day
     Our plan to use an image of chains was unveiled today. It has been 40 years of discriminatory legislation around the human identity of sexual orientation. We thought of various images of bondage that an Exodus might resolve. The various kinds of formal and informal chains of sanctioned slavery came to mind. We thought of offering 40 links of chain to people as a sign of the need to break free from a constraining past. This ran into security issues. Eventually we designed this chained church that will have a different poster each day. It is positioned at one of the key entrances to the Convention Center.

Chained Church

     This was quite the photo opportunityfor many folks.

     Of interest was the conversation about our Rules. There are three amendments being proposed in three different locations of our rules that would outlaw demonstrations such as those held the last couple of General Conferences regarding the continual tightening of rules against ordaining Gay and Lesbian baptized, gifted, and called United Methodists. Some folks really want to pass discriminatory legislation and not have to deal with the reality of its consequence in the lives of real people. We will see tomorrow where such goes.

     We were heartened by the changes in substitute motions that will favor decisions coming out of Legislative Committees. In the past we have prevailed in committee and then had the rules work against us when the whole group met and minority reports ruled the day.

     A long and busy first day. Thank you for your many ways of supporting those at General Conference in continuing to confront the unjust legislation on our books and repeal it. Even though it looks simple, the above church structure cost several hundred dollars to construct and any gifts toward it would be appreciated at our donate page.