Council of Bishops Report – April 29, 2018

Members of Love Prevails are present at the Council of Bishops meeting this week in Chicago. Support their work here.

Opening worship at the Council of Bishop’s meeting where the secret of the Way Forward will be finalized, but probably not yet revealed until July, opened with a call for “respect”. The first hymn included the words, “where color, scorn or wealth divide”. Here the biggie is “scorn” covered by the great politeness of privilege.

The text for the service as Mark 10:35-52. James and John, “disciples” both, asked for a shortcut to sit at Jesus’ right and left. Bartimaeus, beggar, asked for mercy even while being told to shush. The over-riding question was never explicitly asked—Who is asking for mercy and who is saying, “Shut up!”? This question would go a long way to clarifying the choice before the bishops, but was left unasked. Presumably good leaders would hear it under the load of all the sermonic words.

Of course that poses a problem as President of the Council, Bruce, was clear that the Council is a “group of leaders” based on their own local electability and tribal experience and that this week’s goal is to develop into “a leadership group” (because he expected that the UMC would follow where they led). This seems like a large leap.

Among the disappointing soundbites was that the work of the week was to not attend to “one issue” but the “one way” (as though the LGBTQ+ “issue” is outside the Jesus way). There was also the expectation that the church and world were watching what the bishops come up with. Things have been so secretive that there is a great question about whether the bishops have become as invisible as the Emperor’s Clothes.

As Love Prevails is present in the hallways and for the 15 minutes of “devotion” during the next week, we would appreciate your support for the expenses we are incurring. You can go to the Donate page at LovePrevailsUMC.com. Thank you.

 

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