Post submitted on April 30, 2011 by Amory Peck, First Elected Lay Delegate to General Conference and Conference Lay Leader. In the picture above, Amory offers leadership to a gathering of Western Jurisdiction leadership.

The first week went by incredibly fast.  There was the excitement of reconnecting with old friends (the sort of friends you really, really like — but only see once a year or so.)  There was the beauty of worship, and the exciting potential of what we might accomplish.

The first week was also the time of making new connections.  My favorite conversation was probably the one I had with a young seminarian from Drew University, a young man from So. Korea.  So many differences between the two of us — place of birth, age, gender — and it was a delight to spend a break.  Those sorts of encounters are the joy of General Conference.

There was also the reality of the legislative committees.  General Conference operates much like our Annual Conference.  Everyone’s assigned to a legislative committee and all the petitions are also assigned out.  The legislative committees are charged with the first review and recommendation of their slice of the legislative pile.  I selected the committee dealing with Paragraph 161 (f) of the Book of Discipline, the section that considers all questions of human sexuality.

Leading up to the conversations, there was a time of “Holy Conversation” where we were to practice the skills of talking lovingly/comfortably to each other about tough issues — particularly the issues surrounding sexuality.  Many of the conversations went well, a good number, though, were exceedingly difficult for the LGBT delegates attending them.  We’ve still much to learn!

Sunday was a welcome day of rest — I heard tales of laundry washing, and sight seeing.  Of worship and meals together.  Also heard about a good deal of sleeping in — followed by a nap!  General Conference is a taxing time!

Now we head into the second week.  We’ve much to do as we start to address, as a plenary group, all the legislation before us.  Here we go!


  1. Thanks, Amory, for the excellent, thorough, and humane summary of the events of the past week. Blessings to you, our delegates, and particularly those laboriously and faithfully working on the human sexuality and restructure initiatives.
    May the Spirit of God be experienced throughout this week as
    i also hope and pray for Love and Grace of God to guide the conference.

Leave a Reply