Friday, May 2, 2008

good news

I am healing.

Yesterday there was good news from our sessions. Between Blenda and Ray taking a few sessions off I was on the floor for all three sessions, my brain started to turn to mush towards the end of the night.

We approved voting rights for local pastors. This is a group of people that have long been disenfranchised, as they have been in a twilight zone between lay and clergy status. These have been faithful persons doing the work of the church often for little pay and long hours. Their voice will be heard.

Constitutional amendments were approved to remove the racist language of "central conferences", and replace that with a more appropriate "regional conferences" language. These amendments also remove language from the uniting conference in 1968 (it's about time). There will be a study group to see how we can move towards a more inclusive worldwide church rather than a US centric church as we are now. This language is just a first step.

We were able to share two great meals yesterday. We had lunch with Central Pennsylvania, and had dinner with the four uniting NY conferences. It was great to meet new friends that we will be in ministry with in our hopeful new future.

We heard from William Gates Sr. (Bill's Father). We are having a Basketball auction and the latest highest bid that I heard was $80,000, by the West Ohio conference. One conference has brought many basketballs and has guaranteed a ball signed by all of the bishops to each conference donating $1,000. The Gates Foundation has promised that they will match the highest bid. All of these funds will go to purchase anti-malarial nets for the Nothing But Nets campaign.



Anonymous said...

Eric, could you further discuss the decision to allow voting rights to local pastors? I know that they are allowed to vote on some issues at Annual Conference, but not others, so does this mean they can now vote for everything including general conference delegates?

Thanks for taking the time to reply and for everyone from the Wyoming Conference delegation and all their hard work!

Yetter said...

Here is a quote from a UMNS article

"If annual conferences approve the constitutional amendment, deacons, associate members and provisional members may join ordained ministerial members in full connection in voting for delegates to General and jurisdictional conferences. To be eligible to vote, local pastors must have completed the Course of Study or master of divinity degree and have served under appointment for two consecutive years immediately preceding an election. Only ordained members in full connection with an annual conference may serve as delegates."

This is a constitutional amendment and would need to be ratified by annual conferences.

If you or others respond please leave your name so I know who I am talking to, thanks.

Anonymous said...

We've been praying for you all week. May God continue that healing process in your soul. May God forgive us for (as Mary Woodring says) the innumerable ways we sin. May God continue to bring in His Kingdom (even though we would like to see it come yesterday) We look forward to seeing you and Eric. It's not the same without the two of you around here. Lori has had a very difficult week. I'm glad to hear about the local pastors. I agree with you that it's a step forward in equality and fairness. I'm not as sure about this regional conference thing as I've expressed to you before. You missed a men's breakfast today. We missed your rolls and your smiling face. See you soon. Mike Tupper