So the Special General Conference has ended. The Modified Traditional Plan (MTP) was approved along with petitions that dealt with pastor’s pensions and a ‘Gracious Exit.’ Today, then, is a day of differing emotions for the people of the United Methodist Church. Some are hurting, some are angry, some are happy and some are relieved.
But the biggest question at this point is probably “What Happens Now?” Some parts of this aren’t clear as of yet. We know that the MTP was sent to the Judicial Council for rulings on its constitutionality. We know that there are parts that will be ruled constitutional (because they have already passed review) and others that won’t. How will that effect us? Unknown right now, but we will learn more as time goes by and the process does it work. We know that at the regularly scheduled General Conference of 2020 these issues will be addressed again. Some will try to remove what was passed and others will try to fix the parts that were ruled unconstitutional.
Let me, though, answer that question in a different way. Instead of addressing the petitions and rhetoric from the Conference, let me speak to the ongoing work going on within the church. Here’s “What Happens Now/Next”:
- Today I’m at the Otterbein office working on finishing up Sunday’s bulletins. It’s Communion Sunday. All are welcome.
- Tonight is Bible Study at 6:30. We haven’t met in a couple of weeks due to weather and illness. We’re doing Disciple 1 and are currently in the first half of Acts. I hope we get through this tonight, but we’ll probably take some time discussing what occurred during the conference. All are welcome.
- Tomorrow I have a Cluster Meeting in the morning. The Perry County Cluster operates both the New Bloomfield Food Pantry and Join Hands, so we will be discussing typical issues about them. Both missions serve all.
- Tomorrow night Otterbein has Adventure Club for youth and our Adult Choir. All are welcome to both.
- This Saturday at Roseglen we will host the Perry County Council of Art’s Drop-In Art for kids. All are welcome.
- Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. Wow! That snuck up on me. We will have imposition of ashes at a joint service at Roseglen at 7:00. All are welcome.
My point is that the vast majority of work at the local church level is unaffected by the decisions made at General Conference. The hungry still need to be fed. The naked need to be clothed. The sick need to be visited. This work continues.
I don’t know where you are with your reaction to General Conference. I hope, though, that you get neither too high or too low and remember that the Lord’s work continues at Otterbein and Roseglen (and your local church) and He needs you.