I used to have ambitions to serve the Church as a General Conference delegate, but my peers don't see me as that kind of leader. That's fine; my life and career have not been lacking in other honors. At this point, though, if they were to suddenly decide they wanted me to go on their behalf, I would face such a possibility with dread.
I read some poll numbers today. I don't know just what "conservative," "moderate," and "liberal" mean in the context of the poll (politically? theologically? in terms of lifestyle or values?) but somebody asked United Methodists how they label themselves, and this is the result.
Just over 40% of UM laity call themselves "conservative," while nearly 50% call themselves "moderate." Only 10% call themselves "liberal." Some 40% of UM clergy call themselves "conservative," another 30% call themselves "moderate," and 30% self-identify as "liberal." I could have predicted these results, although I would have thought they would skew slightly more to the left in both instances. But there you have it. We are a conservative/moderate denomination led by a minority of liberals (radicals, actually).
The ever-more-radicalized liberals have tried for thirty years to foist their agenda upon the UMC, and have been turned back every time. But it gets more and more wearisome to deal with it all, and the rads are relentless. I am sick and tired of it -- and them -- and to go to Annual Conference this year and deal with it all just makes me want to puke.
Retirement is looking better all the time, but I have not yet been dismissed from my post. So, I will mount the wall one more time and do what I can to turn back the hordes of heresy, the raiders of radicalism. At least we haven't been completely overrun; my friends in ECUSA and some other denoms regretfully cannot say the same.