General Conference 2012 in Tampa, Fla.
No more guaranteed appointments.
The vote to eliminate an United Methodist hallmark shook communication pathways in Tampa where the decision was made as well as in Holston Conference and United Methodist communities everywhere.
The quick decision to stop promising appointments to clergy was so surprising to many that a motion was made to reconsider. The motion failed on the General Conference floor, by a vote of 564 to 373.
See UMNS story, "Vote ends guaranteed appointments."
See Holston pastors' reaction on Facebook.
The Rev. Stella Roberts, Holston delegate, served on the Ministry and Higher Education committee and subcommittee that studied the legislation. Delegates first approached the proposal with different opinions, she said, and intense work went into the final language presented to the General Conference. The committee members eventually became unified in their support of the final proposal.
"The Holy Spirit was really part of this process -- for people to come to this agreement after having first come together with so much division," Roberts said.
"The committee did their work to ensure fairness," said the Rev. Dennie Humphreys, alternate delegate. "We've been studying this for so many years. The committee did their work, and I stand by the committee."
Also at the May 1 General Conference session: Delegates approved a new introduction to the Social Principles, and the United Methodist Women became an autonomous agency rather than a division of the General Board of Global Ministries.
See UMNS "wrap" story for May 1.
The Rev. David Graves, Holston delegate, is also a nominee for United Methodist bishop. He was the first of 14 Southeastern Jurisdiction nominees to give a six-minute presentation during a lunchtime gathering of SEJ delegates. See video on YouTube.
The Rev. Brad Hyde is serving as a volunteer marshall for the bishops' seating area. "I'm amazed at how many people come here and spend their time and money to promote their agendas. Whether I agree with them or not, I'm impressed by their passion. United Methodists are passionate people." See photo on Facebook.
The Rev. Tim Paul is a volunteer page for his second General Conference. Like other marshalls and pages, he pays all of his expenses out of his pocket. "I've been gone two weeks. My wife just asked me why I want to do this. But I love it. I just love to serve." See photo on Facebook.
Delegate Anne Travis said Holstonians back home should be aware that Wednesday (May 2) will likely see a decision on denominational restructuring, as well as decisions on divestment from companies profiting from Israeli occupation in Palestine. "We've still got a lot of major, major decisions to make -- a long way to go in three days."
Louise Short, age 106, was celebrated for attending every General Conference since 1989. Her husband, Bishop Roy Short, served as resident bishop of the Holston area in the early 1960s. See UMNS story.
Michael Feely attended Break Bread with Tampa, an outdoor lunchtime event featuring singing groups from Tampa and Africa and 20 ministries that work with the poor. Feely visited with the Rev. Charles Edgar, senior pastor at the United Methodist Church of All People in Columbus, Ohio. Edgar was a speaker at the 2010 Holston Annual Conference.
See today's photos of Holston people on Facebook.
Watch Holston.org this week for "GC Journal," The Call's coverage of General Conference for Holston readers.
See "GC Journal," April 27
See "GC Journal," April 30
Also visit Facebook.Holston.org and Twitter @TheCall_Holston for ongoing coverage, especially photos and late-breaking news.
For quick links to live streaming and the Holston delegation list, visit gc2012.holston.org.
For extensive, minute-by-minute coverage with news, analysis, photos, videos, Twitter, Facebook, live streaming, blogs, and more, visit UMC.org.
Annette Spence is editor of The Call. Text news or photos to (865) 719-9715, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Twitter to Annette Spence @Pauledith.
Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.