I was warned when I became a part of the delegation for our conference that we would be getting an awful lot of mail. The communications from all different caucuses (interest groups) and factions has been coming in at a much greater rate within the past few weeks. I have gotten email and mail from almost every quarter, each giving a different spin on the various issues. I have tried to read most of it, even from the groups that I tend to ignore.
There is a lot of fear, anger and tense anticipation out there. Big decisions face the United Methodist Church on everything from our understanding of human sexuality (not limited to, but including homosexuality) to how we will function as a church in the global society. But these are not the only issues, nor are they nearly as simple as many groups would have us believe. Much time will be spent on how we will allocate resources--land, money, people--to best bring about God's kingdom. Much time will be spent on what United Methodists have to say about spiritual formation. Much time will be spent on what expectations we have for clergy and laity...and how we will form them for service and ministry.
I urge everyone to realize that some of what will be coming out in the popular media is not the only thing that's happening. Many of us in the Southwest Texas Annual Conference will be blogging like this to talk about what we see and hear...not just on hot button issues, but on all of the ways in which the Spirit of God is moving afresh in the UMC. I will publish the names of those blogs as I learn them. I also encourage you to keep up with the General Conference on www.gc2008.umc.org.
So for now, we are expecting rain tomorrow and potentially through the rest of the week. May it be a splendid reminder to us of our baptisms and the grace that drenches us so that our cup overflows (Psalm 23).