This morning's plenary session was filled with reports from committtees and study task forces. We heard from the task force that has studied the issue of bishops in the church, and some of their recommendations. Then, we heard from our friends in the rural church, as they highlighted the fact that Jesus himself came from a small rural town (Nazareth). Finally, one of my favorite bishops, Minerva Carcano (Desert Southwest), along with Bishop Elias Galvan, presented the report of the task force to study the relationships between The UMC and the various Central and South American Methodist churches, and the Methodists in the Carribbean.
It was all very interesting--not that I had much time to focus, since I was up, down, and all around, passing notes with important information on them ("Meet me for lunch at Joe's"). Everyone wanted the people on the stage to know that it was COLD in the arena--not that the stage party had to be told--it was positively frigid!
After the morning session broke up, there was a communion service, held at the central table, which is at the intersection of the four sections of delegate seating. It was a small crowd, not nearly a huge percentage of the delegates, but the best part of the thing is that "outsiders" were allowed to participate. The bishop who led the service spoke mostly in French, and it was interesting to hear the liturgy, so familiar to me, spoken in a different language than my own. It was actually pretty easy to piece together what was being said, since he followed the standard United Methodist liturgy. What an example of inclusion!
Bob (my roomate) and I attended the Rural Life celebration (free lunch), and I got to see the Fort Worth Water Gardens--a literal oasis in the middle of this bustling city.
One thought that has been on replay in my head this morning is this quote from Bishop Hutchinson: "Have we as a Church been baptized into form, but not yet into power?" I pray that the delegates of this conference will continue to feel the presence of the Spirit of God, and will be "born from above" as they make decisions that are important not just in this convention center, but around the world.
Taking a break for now,
P.S.-- Thank you to the person who sought me out in session today to tell me you quoted from my blog on your blog! I'm sorry I forgot your name, but if you see me again, please make yourself known!