To meet or not to meet?
Should the bishops call a special session of General Conference?
All across the United Methodist Church, concerned
members are calling for a special session of the General Conference to be called by the
bishops in light of the pledge of more than 120 UM clergypersons to continue performing
Some opponents of such a call have complained that it would cost simply too much money
to host a special session. Quite honestly, this issue is so explosive that United
Methodism cannot afford to wait for the year 2000 to meet at General Conference.
The undeniable truth is that our denomination has plenty of money to take care of such
a gathering. After all, the General Board of Global Ministrieswhich includes the
Womens Division and the National Divisionhad more than $355.8 million in net
assets in 1996.
Although a General Conference is expensive, there are very simple ways to cut costs in
this particular case.
- The special session will only deal with one issuehomosexual unionsand
therefore will only need to be a two-day event.
- By meeting in a large UM church that could seat at least 3,000 people, the denomination
would not need to rent a convention center or other big-ticket items such as sound
equipment, chairs, etc.
- The speedy resolution of this issue is so important to rank-and-file United Methodists
that local congregations would be more than willing to pay for delegates to make the trip.
- If the General Conference were held in a big city like Dallas, Houston, or Atlanta,
delegates could very easily stay in the homes of local United Methodist for the brief
- We would not need to have electronic voting for such an event because this is the kind
of issue that delegates should publicly stand up and vote their conscience.
-- Good News
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