I attended the open plenary meeting this afternoon of the Council of Bishops. They covered lots of reports, some with videos. They talked a lot about the work of the church around the world. They cast ballots to see which Bishop will give the Episcopal Address at General Conference 2020…who works on a sermon for 2 years? I mean besides Adam? They celebrated the 50th anniversary of the denomination, sang “Happy Birthday to Us,” and ate birthday cupcakes, half chocolate, half vanilla.
Interesting tell-tale: Bishop Bickerton, New York Annual Conference gave a report on the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and said we are committing over $46 million to relief around the world. Then he said, “This is the best reason I know to remain as one church!” And all the Bishops broke into applause. Hmmm…Does this mean they have approved the One Church model? Is there a consensus?
Apparently the work is not done. They are back in executive session tomorrow morning to finish the work. Bishop Ough thinks this will be a short session, because they will follow that with more plenary meetings. So at least MOST of the work appears to be done. But every Bishop with whom I have spoken has been mum on what the product might be.
Final thoughts on the Plenary session: It is every church meeting you have ever been to, ever. Plus cupcakes.