Here’s the News: Today is a day of priority at General Conference. Each of the three plans will be prioritized: One Church Plan, Connectional Plan, Traditional Plan. By the end of the day, delegates will consider each plan a high or low priority. That being said, we’ll know a lot by 6:30 tonight. Tomorrow will bring legislative tweaks to each of the plans. Tuesday is the vote.
Here’s What I’ve Been Doing: This morning, I distributed more than 1,000 one sheets advocating the One Church Plan. This was accomplished in the cold and wind – “rules” do not allow the distribution of promotional items inside the dome. We must follow rules. In doing so, I encountered other advocacy groups following rules. Which, I know you will be shocked, gave me an opportunity for conversation with folks advocating different plans – especially the Traditional one.
Here’s What I’ve Learned: Listen before you respond. And, when you respond, do so with “facts” that move beyond the emotion. One response goes like this: “Science has revealed sexuality is not chosen.” It’s a statement, not a question. Repeat it to yourself so when you speak, others will hear your words accomplished with ease, kindness and truth. It’s kinda like saying, “God is love,” which we all know to be true. Then, comes the longer sentence (or two): “Every person is born on a spectrum of sexuality. While a majority fall into the spectrum of heterosexuality, many people are part of the LGBTQ+ community.” Again, a statement, not a question. Should the person you first listened to still be listening to you, move to your summary: “The truth of science should inform how we understand the truth of scripture.” That’s the Methodist way.
Here’s What Happened: Earlier today, I had the above conversation with a representative of the Good News advocacy group favoring the Traditional Plan. The wind was blowing and our hands were cold from distributing our differing fliers. “Well,” she said. “I do believe God’s places different sexuality chromosomes inside each person.” And, then handed me her one sheet and moved on.
Since It’s Sunday: Before you move on, take a moment today to pray that scripture and science can both inform the “truth” this General Conference will proclaim sometime on Tuesday. And, if you are looking for some scripture to read today, thumb your way to Isaiah 56 noting how those previously excluded from God’s favor are now allowed “In.” If you have lots of time today, Google: “What does science have to say about sexuality?” One of the speakers at General Conference said this morning, “The church needs to have a deeper conversation surrounding human sexuality.” I agree. See previous sentence.
Come, Holy Spirit – send your truth here.