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UM Evangelist: 2000 General Conference A "Watershed" And A Pivitol Year

From: Wesley Putnam wputnam@wesleyputnam.org
To: jwarrene@surfsouth.com
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2000 9:42
PM Subject: reflections

Well, the 2000 General Conference is history. It has been a watershed. This is truly a pivotal year. The decisions made here were very positive on the whole, for evangelical United Methodists. Some important things to celebrate are:

  1. The Judicial Council (our supreme court) had three very strong evangelicals added.
  2. The University Senate added Maxie Dunam, the president of Asbury Seminary.
  3. The balance of delagate power is shifting to the conferences in the South Central and Southeastern jurisdictions and away from the West because of a new formula for figuring delegates.
  4. The issues around homosexual practice were all voted in our favor in greater numbers than before. Many of the votes were passed by more than a 70% majority.
  5. There was a strong prayer presence as hundreds of United Methodists came at their own expense to pray.
  6. The staged protests of Soulforce (a non UM group headed by radical Mel White) and AMAR (a coaltion made up of Affirmation, MFSA, and Reconciling Congregations) fell flat with weak numbers and poor organization.

The one negative I see at this point is the lack of a will to include any real level of accountability towards those who choose to disregard the Discipline and the doctrines of our church. That means we will probably see many more of the church trials in the days ahead. We must be diligent and prayerful as we approach these difficult days.

We must not gloat and become over confident because of what has happened in Cleveland. It is time for humble gratitude, new resolve towards faithfulness to our covenant with God, and determination to minister His love with a fresh commitment and passion.

God bless you for your faithful prayers.

Wesley Putnam

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