But now that election season is here, I feel I must get around to writing one of the things I have been pondering for some time now.
United Methodist Annual Conferences have begun, and this is a year we elect delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences.
The electoral process has been interesting to watch over the past 20+ years for me. We have come a long way – it used to be the understood procedure that clergy not campaign or even really admit they would be interested in being elected. Of course there were always a few here or there from whom every voting clergy would receive a Christmas card the December before elections.
Now one can actually claim to be interested in being elected.
Once upon a time I was interested in someday serving the UMC in this way. These days, not so much.
This change is due to a variety of factors:
- I’ve got a toddler at home.
- General Conference seems to me to be run by policy wonks and parliamentary nuts; and I am neither of these.
- But mostly I believe that if we (The United Methodist Church – yes, the “The” is officially supposed to be capitalized, too) are to actually move towards the Kingdom within the next generation, people my age and older, especially white males, need to get out of the way. We are too caught up in power or desirous of power to lead the denomination healthfully away from the bureaucratic malaise in which we are caught up.
In fact, I’m about ready to suggest that the major decisions regarding the future direction of The United Methodist Church ought to be made entirely by people who are NOT dependent on their retirement from the denomination.