General Conference blog: Forming a single community of Christian love

General Conference blog: Forming a single community of Christian love

General Conference blog: Forming a single community of Christian love
5/16/2016

Submitted by Peg Plimpton
Yellowstone Conference Lay Leader


General Conference at last. Weeks of reading so many petitions that are written in the same pattern so that the meaning gets lost in the words. Tons of words; words that carry our churches into a future or drag us down into confusion. And we will not know until the ink has dried and the votes cast and the future is captured in a book or rules. We are here to worship together and form a single community of Christian love. Sounds simple. We also come with ideas of what God wills and how each person and each church shall or may behave to please God and make disciples and transform the world. 

New voting devices are here, too, which could record votes faster than delegates could register them. We got used to these fairly quickly, but the iPad tablets at each table for requesting permission to speak to the body were another matter to many of us. New technology makes the process easier and faster but it sure takes some getting used to. Eventually all came together.
 
United Methodist Women are here. My great-grand Aunt Carrie was the third woman sent by the Boston Foreign Mission society to India long ago. She was a dim, but inspiring figure to me when I was a little girl playing with tiny, brass cooking utensils she sent as a gift to my mother from India. Those experiences and memories are probably why I am one of thousands of United Methodist Women around the world.
 
Monday, May 16, we will consecrate Deaconesses and Home Missioners in worship. UMW sponsors and supports them. We also, as United Methodist Women are petitioning to add a new lay order to the orders of the UM church. This order of Deaconesses and Home Missioners would be the first order of lay people to be added to those orders of Elders and Deacons, thus recognizing their calling as lifelong disciples willing to serve wherever God sends. I just checked the legislation with my computer and the petition to add this lay order after paragraph 1414 in the Discipline was adopted by the committee that reviewed it and will be on the legislative calendar as item 77.

We have great hopes that we will have the protection and recognition of a lay order for our deaconesses. Remember, you can track this and other legislation through the General Conference website.


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