stories of revolution by love of neighbor

Archive for the ‘Connectionalism’ Category

Moving Towards the Margins at GC

It was just like any other early May morning in Tampa, hot and muggy. The General Conference of The United Methodist Church, the main decision-making body of The UMC, would soon be coming to a close. We knew that it was the big day, the day that whether or not The UMC would agree to disagree on human sexuality would be on the table.

No legislation had made it out of committee to be passed on to the main body, but in one last-ditch attempt to salvage the dignity of queer folks, a replacement was proposed. While effectively stating that The UMC agrees to disagree on human sexuality, the compromise offered was less than satisfactory in some regards, but the legislative strategists among us knew that it was likely our only chance to remove the statement that “The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers it incompatible with Christian teaching.” (more…)

You Can’t Stop the Beat: Bringing Change to The UMC

This was originally posted at In Our Words, a blog a friend of mine from DePaul started. As it is part of my reflections on General Conference, I have decided to re-post it here with a few edits so those who do not follow IOW or who didn’t see my facebook posts of this article could know a little more about my activities at and reflections on General Conference.

Dancers from the flash mob
Photo from UMCOM GC Photostream

For the last week of April and the first week of May, I spent my time in Tampa, FL. No, it wasn’t some sort of Girls Gone Wild-esque Spring Break misadventure. Instead, it was a misadventure of much more epic proportions, or so it felt at times. It was the General Conference of The United Methodist Church, or, more simply, a conference of 1,000 United Methodists from across the world coming together to talk about the structure, management, and social stances of The UMC for the next four years. (more…)

Open Letter to Pastor Andy Langford from a Young United Methodist Leader

I have recently seen many blog entries reacting to General Conference, many of which touch or focus on the failure of any restructuring proposals to pass at this General Conference. One in particular which did not resonate well with me was a post by Pastor Andy Langford called “An Open Letter to United Methodists” [click the title for a link to the post]. The following began as a comment on his post, but got so long I decided to make it a blog post in response to the original. Please keep the discussion going. (more…)

Let’s Hear It for the YAMs!

2011 YAMs Class! (Photo by Dan Randall)

My dearest YAMs*,

Today marks three months since our commissioning (can you believe it? I can’t hardly…) and I’d like to take a moment to give y’all a shout-out, because, well…you rock! And though we are separated by thousands and thousands of miles, we still have our community. And frankly, I feel closer to some of you now than I did at training. I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder. (more…)

Communion as Common Union

On Sunday, my church had communion. This was my first time taking communion here in Colombia, and, as taking communion for the first time with any group, it was a new experience for me. This church all waits and takes the elements at the same time, different than what I am used to (by-and-large) in the US, moving forward in an orderly, single-file line and take the elements as we receive them (well, or if we’re doing intinction, we dunk then partake). But two things really struck me this go-round of communion. (more…)

Ministry with Campesinos

On a recent trip out of Bogota with CEPALC to a small town called Aguazul (about 7-8 hours driving time out of the city), which sits on the vast planes of Colombia, immediately after you get out of the mountains, a lot of our time was spent in conversation with various individuals who are campesinos, people who work the land (farmers, if you will), many of whom were displaced from their original land because of the war and have resettled in Aguazul. A conversation with one in particular was striking and I’ve been wrestling with it since that day. (more…)

…es porque pareces muy extranjera…

This is what my pastor told me my first Sunday here, commenting on my blue eyes and my fair complexion (the statement means “it’s because you look really foreign”, more or less). He was warning that people might try to take advantage of me, because, well, I look like the gringa (this term isn’t always used derisively) that I am. And, in fact, it happens from time to time. I don’t receive the change that I should for my buseta fare, taxi drivers try to charge me too much (as of late, I haven’t put up much of a fuss about it; it’s always been less than one US dollar to this point, which I acknowledge would be a much bigger deal if I weren’t such a fortunate and privileged gringa). (more…)