#UMCGC, or The Making of the Sausage Part 3

Hahahahahah. Hahahah! Did you laugh? You laughed, right? Yes? LAUGH ALREADY.

This is the sort of humor I’m reduced to after the third day of General Conference. Tomorrow I’m going to change the name of this series to something with which I have more versatility. But that’s for another day.

Today, I’m reflecting on losing and winning.

I’m not the only person thinking on this theme right now.  A great many people are feeling peaks of triumph or troughs of loss tonight, and the part which pains me most is how easy it is to forget we are one big body of water. It’s like saying my left hand won because it stabbed a knife through my right hand. Yay, left hand!! Sorry, right hand.

Do you see it?

It’s easy for differing sides of the liberal/conservative spectrum to find reasons why the other end is not part of the same body, not a brother or sister. They don’t believe the Bible is inerrant, or perhaps they are prone to bibliolatry. They don’t follow the same creeds so they aren’t really Christians, or maybe they are pure Pharisees with no love of Christ in them. Whatever your excuse for not thinking someone who has different leanings from you isn’t your sibling, another child of God, I’d challenge that. If you believe that, chances are you’re the hand who is punching our body right in the face. POW

Slipping into triumphant joy when legislative voting goes the way you want is natural, just as it’s easy to feel bitter and angry when it doesn’t. But we aren’t sporting teams at some event, nor centurions cast into the arena to battle. Our enemies aren’t flesh and blood, no matter how we try to make it so, try to be our own worst enemy

We. Our. Not we/their. Us.  One entity, which wrestles with itself.

I’m not saying there aren’t matters in which it is worth investing. Everyone deeply believes they are doing God’s will. I’m only saying every vote where we aren’t unanimous is already a loss, no matter what the vote may be. Our loss is division, and when we don’t work to heal those chasms of pain and mistrust, we are defeating ourself.

Can you empathize with your brother and sister? Can you be in their shoes, head, and heart enough that you can feel their mourning when things don’t go as they hope? Can you conversely comprehend their relief and happiness when something they want is achieved?  It doesn’t matter if you’re liberal or conservative, one of the best things you can do to help heal this rather sick body is to spend some time in prayer for those different than you, and spend time trying to live in the head and heart of others, truly understanding. Not superficial analysis, not just knowing the words of their position, but praying for them and trying to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

Spend one day being a bridge rather than a gate.

Maybe then we can have a General Conference where it isn’t about this false dichotomy of winning/losing, but about growing together and going forth.


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6 Replies to “#UMCGC, or The Making of the Sausage Part 3”

  1. Exactly. Love the music, songs. Love the service. Even love the sermons. But watching the legislative process is like eating too many hotdogs all at once. It goes down easy, but makes you very uneasy after you swallowed too much. I think I’ll watch the services, and skip the legislation. I think it is the case of too many weenies spoil the broth.

    1. As a first time attendee, I ended up being slated to observe the finance legislative sessions. I figured they would be pretty dry, but even these are pretty intense. Intense like a laxative. 😉

  2. I once interviewed for a job in Europe, and for some reason the interviewer stated basically the same thing as wiki:

    In the United States, to “table” usually means to postpone or suspend consideration of a pending motion.
    In the rest of the English-speaking world, such as in the United Kingdom and Canada, to “table” means to begin consideration (or reconsideration) of a proposal.

    I remember a vote on “tabling” Rule 44. After the vote, an African delegate came up and asked the obvious question, “We understood that “table” meant something different.”

    This is the urban dictionary definition of “Weeniedom”:
    The domain and claimed territory of a self-appointed, omnipotent Weenie. This domain is often virtual and/or electronic. Its boundaries are often unknown to anyone except the Weenie.

    Thus, too many Weeniedom’s are involved in this Rule 44 processs!

  3. Those are good words but so, so, difficult for some to heed, apparently.

    I know putting that in a Creedal formula would be illogical but perhaps we can lean on Eucharistic practice… “The body of Christ broken.”

    I wish we would start there sometimes… And just quit breaking it more.

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