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by November 5, 2015
The South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church met this week in Oklahoma City for what we called a “Delegate Meeting.” It wasn’t the actual conference, but rather a training event designed to get us prepared for the work ahead. Here is my reflection on the event, for any who may be interested.

We had a chance to meet the candidates for bishop. Alphabetically, with their Annual Conference:

  • – Bob Farr, from Missouri
  • – Janice Gilbert, from Texas
  • – Ron Henderson, from North Texas
  • – Morris Mathis, from Texas
  • – Jimmy Nunn, from Northwest Texas
  • – Ruben Saenz, from Rio Texas
  • – Erradio Valverde, from Rio Texas
  • – David Wilson, from Oklahoma Indian Missionary

These are the people who are currently in the mix for election, though there may be more who emerge. I am not 100% certain how many we are electing, but the number I have heard floating around is three.

It was good to see them, to have a face to go with a name (except for Jimmy Nunn who was not present), but we didn’t have much chance to speak with them at this meeting. That will come next Spring when each delegation has a chance to interview each candidate one on one.

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A couple of topics of discussion were centered on the global nature of the United Methodist Church:

Bishop Patrick Streiff of the Central and Southern Europe Conference presented some work being done to create a “Global Book of Discipline” that would identify parts of our polity that are universal across the denomination, and parts that could be adapted for particular contexts. They will bring no specific proposals to General Conference, but ask the Conference to affirm the direction their work has taken and continue it for the next four years.

We received information about a related proposal coming to General Conference. This idea would create a “Central Conference” for the United States which would be the equivalent of the seven other Central Conferences around the world. The rationale for this proposal is to create a forum for discussing those issues that are unique to the North American context, in the same way that the other Central Conferences can in their own locales.

I am in favor of both of these ideas, which are aimed at keeping the global identity of United Methodism while at the same time trying to find ways to be more flexible in our mission in various contexts around the world.

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A significant rule change is being proposed that would change the way the General Conference talks about all of the petitions that pertain to human sexuality.

 

– See more at: http://um-insight.net/perspectives/report-from-south-central-jurisdiction-s-delegate-meeting/#sthash.eVKb76L5.dpuf