General Conference of the United Methodist Church in Tampa Florida meeting April 24 – May 4
The only organization that can speak for the whole of the United Methodist Church is the General Conference. It happened to me last week, on Facebook, was a link, with something like, “United Methodist? See what the General Conference is Doing, where the Spirit is Leading.” I clicked the link, and it led me to what is really a lobbyist organization, not the General Conference. There are many unofficial organizations within Methodism that want your attention, lobbyist groups with special interests & agendas. They want you to believe their agenda. Check the sources of any report of what is being decided at General Conference. In a highly anxious times, there are those who want you to react to them. News services have to sell advertising. Gripping headlines yields subscriptions, advertising contracts, and keeps viewers and readers. Be aware of the sources.
Last General Conference 2008, a reporter overheard a conjecture from a lobbyist at a luncheon. The issue appeared as a CNN news story, but it was never debated, never mentioned at General Conference, not at any session at all. But, because of the news story, we have people believing it to have been an issue 4 years later.
Our denomination is an international one. We are growing rapidly in Africa, and Asia. What is a hot button issue in the U. S. may not gain any ground or be a concern the world over. Please be careful of sensationalism among certain groups trying to get attention. Pray for all delegates to General Conference. “Love does not insist on its own way.” There has always been division and debate in the Church; read the controversies in Acts, 1 &2 Corinthians, Galatians, James, 1John just to name a few. “Perfect love casts out fear.” Remember, “the Lord is Risen Indeed.” Follow him.
Grace and peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ,
Paul B. Longmire, Associate Pastor, Hixson UMC
P.S. If you want live stream 2012 General Conference of the United Methodist Church the link is: http://www.umc.org/site/c.lwL4KnN1LtH/b.8033183/k.8586/General_Conference_2012_Live.htm