Last Saturday, I left the Great Plains Annual Conference in Topeka disappointed. The petition I had worked on during this past year, along with Dr. Barbara Lukert – Scripture / Science / Sexuality – had not yet reached the conference floor. Instead, in part the Conference was extending its passion and conversation to a Clergy Leave Resolution, revisiting it from the previous day. Finally, 11 a.m. arrived and I had to leave so as to officiate a 1 p.m. Memorial Service at Asbury.
On my way back to Prairie Village, I stopped on the turnpike to comfort my disappointment with a cold brew from Dunkin Donuts. While standing in line, a young dad, holding his six-month-old son in his arms asked if I had been at a church meeting.
“Is it that obvious?” I asked.
“No,” he said, “but your name tag makes it obvious.”
(Okay. I confess, I left Topeka in such disappointment I forgot to turn in the lanyard still around my neck. Please do not report this infraction. I will take care of it. Promise.)
“So,” he went on. “I see you’re United Methodist. I use to be a United Methodist but I can’t any more. They are going to lose a lot of young people if they don’t get ‘things’ figured out.”
“Oh,” I thought, “you mean like Clergy Leave?”
The conversation I didn’t get to have in Topeka, happened at a Dunkin Donuts on the turnpike. Which, when you think about it makes sense. For, in Luke 10 Jesus once appointed 72 others and sent them out ahead of him to every town and place, even a Dunkin Donut.
For a more full report on the Scripture / Science / Sexuality petition go to: http://www.visitasbury.org/beyond-general-conference/report-on-2019-great-plains-annual-conference/