First, you’ll be glad to know that the clergy finally finished up their voting, so Rex will indeed be in church on Sunday. They appear to have elected a somewhat more diverse delegation than we laity did (no big surprise there).
We adopted the $25 million budget on Friday with one amendment, adding back in about $600,000 that had previously been taken out of the Church Development item. That’s the fund that helps pay for new churches, mostly out in the suburbs and exurbs. The rationale for this funding is that the growing suburban areas need more churches to serve the growing populations. I suppose that’s all well and good, but I would prefer to see a bit more money spent on the intown churches that have suffered declines over the past few decades due to the changing demographics, but are now starting to rebound because of the influx of gentrification (e.g., Druid Hills UMC). I’m a little tired of sending our money out to the exurbs and not seeing much funding flow back to us in return. As you might guess, I voted against the amendment.
We also passed a motion from the floor to form a task force to study the delegate election procedures. The proponents of the resolution complained about the overt campaigning, particularly the aggressive tactics of the “Vision Team”. Naturally, the conservatives opposed this measure, but surprisingly it passed with a comfortable majority. I suppose that’s a hopeful sign for future conferences. At least now there will be a committee in place to which I can submit my ten-page election analysis and recommendations for future procedural changes. The paper is still in the formative stages – i.e., in my head – but I will put together something, because I really do believe that the current process allows an organized majority to control nearly all of the delegate slots, while effectively shutting out any reasonable representation from a minority bloc.
More comments will follow after further reflection (and rest!). Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to feed the blogger with comments!