May 16, 2016 / By J.J. Warren
This morning, day 5 of General Conference, has already been off to a great start. We have been confused, frustrated and even sometimes a tad bit overwhelmed in the previous day's of General Conference. Until Day 3, we still had not voted on all of the rules about how we would conference together. Specifically rule 44, which would have allowed General Conference to organize table talks (similar to those used by our conference at Annual Conference '15) when deemed useful. This would have created smaller tables of delegates who would have had the opportunity to share, listen and discern together the calls on their hearts. This proposed rule was rejected. But now we are on with the work of the Church!
We are being re-centered to remember that this is Holy ground, consecrated for the work of God to transform the world. This morning, young people from around the world delivered the Young People's Address to the General Conference during this morning's plenary. Peter, a young adult from Africa said in the YPA this morning, "No matter what happens... remember that our unity makes us strong," and that, "Love doesn't show difference." These statements convey our collective desire, as young people of The United Methodist, for the continued unity of the church that has become home to so many of us around the world.
The Young People's Address also was in strong support of loving all of our sisters and brothers in Christ -- including our LQBTQ family. "No matter where you stand on the question of human sexuality we are called to love." This statement of the Young People represents the overwhelming position of our Church's younger leaders of today and tomorrow, to love all of God's people because this is the good news of the gospel that we as Christians are called to proclaim. We as United Methodists are called by our founder, John Wesley, to "do no harm" and the young people's address demonstrated a desire for our church to live into this call by no longer doing harm to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Christ.
As General Conference continues I look forward to seeing the movement of the Holy Spirit once again within our beautiful denomination which began by a warmed heart and continues to warm mine today.