General Conference this time around has been a much different experience for me than when I was in Fort Worth in 2008. As part of the Young Person’s Address I was pressured to be careful what I said and whom I said it to. This time, I am in Tampa as a visitor with no official responsibilities, which has been wonderful and at the same time frustrating.

Trust me, I am aware of the irony of what I’m about to say…

Everywhere I go, everywhere I sit, I hear people complaining about other people and using destructive language…and it’s only day one!

“What an idiot.”

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“Would she just shut up already?”

Seriously? This is the body of people who are supposed to represent the United Methodist Church to the rest of the entire human population? No wonder many of our churches are struggling…

Obviously this doesn’t represent a significant number of our delegates but these types of attitudes seem to spread like a virus throughout an organism…and we are the body of Christ aren’t we?

James 4:11

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  1. People who say things like that are just being selfish, uncharitable jerks … oops!

    (I meant to do that.)

    How do we be Church with people who are talking and behaving like that, without ourselves talking and behaving like that?

    And, perhaps more to the point, how will you be Church with them, this week? How will you become Church together?

    If you find a good answer to that one, it could change the world.

  2. Had a similar conversation in the office yesterday about Twitter chatter during opening worship. The comments you mentioned are clearly out of place but a certain level of critique can be healthy for an organization. Obviously, we all learned in Sunday School that you should talk directly with the person with whom you have the issue. I suspect that approach is short circuited a bit by the structure necessary(?) to drive an organization and conversation this large. Such an experience so early in the week is not a good sign that people feel that they are able to really talk to one another. Hopefully the Holy Conversations help to make a difference.

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