My last word on Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church is dying. Everybody knows that. One of the easily correctable reasons for our morbidity is, we treat people like crap.
Case in point:
The new Indiana Annual Conference is gearing up for its first annual session. It's a mammoth headache; still, some of the design choices show that this is not merely sloppy, but planned. We're going for happy-happy-fun-joy, not serious business. Serious business is depressing, and it puts at risk the elites' hold on power. So, everything is promotional, presentational, participatory -- but let's keep debate and decision to a minimum: they're divisive.
Also not on the agenda -- and the point of this screed -- is that we are too busy to have the scout units who have earned the Bishop's Award of Excellence come to the stage and be presented that award by the Bishop. My congregation's Scout Troop and Cub Pack, as well as a Jeffersonville Troop, have earned the BAE this year. They deserve to be honored BY the Bishop, BEFORE the whole Annual Conference. But, no. They're not wanted.
The Conference Director wants the award presented at another time. Well, okay; I suppose if the Bish came to my parish and presented the award on a Sunday morning, that'd be a big enough deal, particularly if there were a spread in the Hoosier United Methodist afterwards. But I don't expect that to happen, either. I imagine we'll be asked to go the Bishop's office in Indy or someplace and pick it up. I wonder where the back door is for us to enter by.
I'm at the point where I can't work up any enthusiasm for the Conference at all, despite having spent 34 years of my life working within it. If they can't make time for kids who have done something wonderful, then they are probably dead beyond resurrection. Let them die and be mourned. And I'll tell you this: if they stiff my kids, I will never file for this stupid award again. I will not let my kids and their ministry be so disrespected.