1. Baby Cora: Her giggles, wiggles, coos, and squeals remind me that God is bringing forth new life, hope, and future disciples of Christ. Cora is the 11 month old daughter of Abby (and JD). Abby and I became dear friends at Candler School of Theology and she now serves as a deacon at Servant Church in Austin, TX and with the General Board of Discipleship. As a result of Cora’s hugs, snuggles, and squeals; I’d like to make a friendly motion for more babies and puppies at General Conference.
2. Our Bishops: With the talk of schisms our Bishops answered an unusual plea from the General Conference delegates to provide leadership, guidance, and holy listening for our global denomination. Bishop Ough stated, “We accept our role as spiritual leaders to lead The United Methodist Church in a ‘pause for prayer’ — to step back from attempts at legislative solutions and to intentionally seek God’s will for the future.” Under the Bishops’ leadership a special council will be formed and a “called” session of General Conference will occur in 2018 or 2019. Read their Statement which is an approved motion.
3. Our Young People’s Statement of Unity: General Conference is intimidating. I don’t know if I’d be bold enough to speak at a microphone as our process requires a keen understanding of Robert’s Rule of Order. By speaking on the floor of General Conference, you are in the spot light and viewed by persons all around the world via living streaming. Yet, moved by the Spirit a group of “young people” shared their heartfelt conviction to love and serve God as “united ” United Methodist. They said, “Part of the beauty of our Church is that there has always been room at the table for a wide range of theological diversity within our connectional church family.” Read their statement from the Young People’s Convocation (July 2014) compiled in the Philippines.
4. A lament for Sand Creek Massacre: In the midst of tension, we shifted our attention and were reminded of the power of confession and repentance. It was hard to hear of the atrocities carried out by Methodists long ago. Yet, as I listened and heard of our past and current efforts to truly repent and seek restoration the hair stood up my arms. In the midst of deep pain, healing is possible because there is a “balm in Gilead,” Jesus. Read more.
5. Dinner with My Cousins: Last night after a long day of listening, worshipping, praying, fretting, and pondering- I was thrilled to have dinner with my cousins Will and Brennan. I hadn’t seen them in years and we aren’t particularly close. Yet, last night we were able to share our stories. We laughed and enjoyed tacos. I could tell of the home I’ve found in our denomination that is committed to “doing good” and “transforming the world.” They reminded me of how important it is to keep telling the story of God’s redeeming work made possible by the words and actions of Methodists even (and occasionally specifically) with family.
Rev. Catherine #infoboothe