General Conference has begun in earnest and a lot of highly volatile and important topics are on the agenda – topics that will affect the church’s future beginning the day after General Conference closes.
One issue that sometimes escapes notice is the growing influence of the Central Conferences in the global United Methodist Church. (For those of you who don’t know, for simplicities sake the Central Conferences are United Methodists outside the United States and who are part of the world-wide United Methodist family). This General Conference, delegates from outside the US make up 41% of those in attendance. That’s a significant increase from the last General Conference four years ago.
A big question is: how will we handle it? By “we,” I of course mean “us;” the American United Methodists. In an article at the United Methodist Reporter, a seminary student asks a very perceptive question: “Can we continue to live out being a global church when it seems that we, as Americans, would have to give up some power and allow for central conferences to have a greater voice?”
In other words: Can we get over ourselves and realize that its not all about us?
Time; and the votes of the next week or so, will tell.