General Conference 2012 was held in Tampa this month. I would love to brag on how much progress we made as a denomination to make disciples for Jesus Christ. It didn't work out like that. I watched in horror as guaranteed appointments went away without even the slightest bit of discussion. Regardless, of how one might feel about GA itself. They threw away something that has been a part of the church since 1914 (even if only enforced since the 1950s). After all that people give up to become Methodist clergy; the picking up and moving of our families every few years, the extreme debt from seminary, etc. You would think that we would have rated at the very least some discussion on the floor of general conference. Now it is up to every individual Annual Conference to put in some safe guards against possible abuses. I trust my Bishop, let me say that up front, but he will be leaving this year and I don't know who my next Bishop will be and that can be a little scary.
The other big item was the restructuring of the church itself. This went down in a flaming wreck. The first plan didn't go over too well and neither did Plan B. The compromise plan, Plan UMC failed to pass the litmus test of the Judicial Council. Key in rending of garments and gnashing of teeth. After two weeks in Tampa, we ended up with the same structure that we started with from the start.
The only bright spots that I can see is that we still have UM Communications, and the two groups that will protect women and minorites. And another interesting tidbit: Twitter made it to the big leagues during this General Conference. Twitter directly impacted debate on the floor.
I am Methodist through and through. I know that God will work through this and in spite of, this mess. Perhaps, that was the point God was making. Quit trying to legislate growth and start making disciples--one disciple at a time.