Approaching Portland

A collection of blog posts from delegates prior to Portland

Prepping for Portland by Shannon Haszard Sherfey- lay delegate from the Appalachian District

gc2016-logo-color-web-690x370T minus 11 days until I depart for Portland.  As General Conference quickly approaches, I’ve been spending more time reading legislation than I ever expected.  But I’ve discovered my preparations have involved a bit more than just reading.

Today was “set up my new lap top” day.  Now I have both text group apps I’ll be using to communicate with my delegation, a link to my work website so I can check messages and clear our my review box every day, all of the Advanced Daily Christian Advocate downloaded (in easy to navigate sections thanks to Lynne Gilbert!), and the Book of Resolutions downloaded on my kindle app.  My Book of Discipline is tabbed in a few key places and my print version of the ADCA is tabbed with color coded post-it notes to section off the legislation by committee. Read more…

The Noise of Worship at General Conference by James Howell- clergy delegate from the Metro District

GCworshipNearly every day at General Conference, when lay and clergy delegates from all over the world meet to renew and reset our direction as the United Methodist Church, we are treated to magnificent, creative, high quality worship services.  We sing, marvel, listen, stand, bow our heads and even applaud, opening the day in the most fitting way possible, in worship of the God whose Church we truly are.

I for one have harbored a little resentment though.  On quite a few days I’ve wanted to skip.  I’ve even wished (only in my own mind, not out loud) that we wouldn’t do it at all.  My reason?  In the worship, we sound so God-focused.  We smile and sing how we are one in God, that we are filled with grace and love, that we seek nothing but the movement of the Holy Spirit.  But then worship ends, and the rancor begins.  The power plays that commenced in backroom breakfasts resume.  The love, unity, and openness to the Spirit rush right out the door. Read more…