Laity Reflections - "I was awed by the International Assembly"
During annual conference Scott Atnip of Wesley Memorial UMC, Huntsville reported to the Laity Assembly his experiences as a first time delegate to the General Conference. “I expected the 2012 General Conference in Tampa would be a historic event with great reforms being adopted to bring United Methodist into a new day with new power to make disciples of Christ to transform the world,” he shared. “However, I was most awed by the international assembly with eight languages being spoken, UMC delegates representing 34 different countries, 19 countries with affiliates and 3 concordat churches.”
He praised the Pan Methodist agreement bringing together the African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, African Union Methodist Protestant, Christian Methodist Episcopal and the Union American Methodist Episcopal churches.
He was deeply moved by the Act of Repentance Service “in the plenary hall, where they confessed that the church has participated in the violation, the exploitation, and even the killing of indigenous people.” He adds, “We have been gifted with a great church that makes disciples of Jesus Christ and transforms every corner of the world on a daily basis, but with many of these opportunities we failed that church. We can do better.”
Atnip shared his thoughts for improving the process: Address time management of GC Value the viewpoints of others Choose collaboration over conflict Mentor and encourage new voices in leadership “I realized after experiencing the working of the General Conference how much I love my local church because, truly, that’s where disciples of Christ are made.”
Atnip stated that the major reform issues of
the General Conference were resolved as
(Failed—Judicial Council Ruling)
Set Aside Bishop (Failed)
(Passed—Under JC Review)
Budget ($603 million) with Young
Clergy Fund (Passed)
Human Sexuality Language
Worldwide Nature of the Church