Updated: Jul 19, 2019
'We're in the Red Zone,' said Good News President Rob Renfroe to hundreds of delegates gathered at the 6:30 a.m. Reform and Renewal breakfast. Continuing the football analogy, Rob said, 'but it's another thing to score!'
YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN!
Traditionalists had the pieces of legislation we wanted on the docket for today's plenary session. On the calendar this morning were the Wespath pension petitions, the Traditional Plan, and Disaffiliations Petitions. The Plenary session today is the body that makes final determination of United Methodist law, policy, and belief. We were expecting delay tactics, and we got them, along with everything but the kitchen sink. As AP News described it, there were 'hostile amendments' that mocked and scorned. Points of order came like airplanes into O'Hara airport. Matters before the house were seized upon, not as matters to resolve, but to give vent to fiery, incendiary speeches to lambast and shame Traditional Plan supporters. Rev. Tom Berlin, a One Church Plan leader, hurt traditional members by saying if the Traditional Plan passed, it would bring a virus into the church that would bring sickness to us all. One insinuated that conservatives had engaged in giving bacon for votes! Add to this the explosion of protests which were out of order and disruptive. Police blocked the entrance onto the floor.
Indeed, we conservatives felt whiplashed and whipped by the endless wave after wave of guilt-shaming and condemnation directed at us.
At the end of the day, in spite of this and the seeming complicity or incompetence or, both, of the Chair, I am happy to say the Traditional Plan passed 53.28% to 46.72% and the Disaffiliation petition (which allows churches to leave the Annual Conference) passed 51.85% to 48.15%.
Look at the Good News Facebook page for the specifics on how the Traditional Plan will be an improvement in our Discipline.
We are too shell-shocked to assess what this all means. Many on both sides are asking, 'Is this the church I want to be a part of?' As I looked at delegates acting out of order on the floor in protest and seizing the stage showing their opposition to General Conference action, I wondered if this was not the mission field rather than the church?
Written by Tom/submitted by Gayle
Note the videos of protestors and a picture of protesters on the stage, and a picture of Tom.