B2 The primary purpose of the Conference is to discern the will of God. Sometimes this is best achieved through quiet and prayerful reflection and the seeking of consensus. However, God’s will can also sometimes be discovered through conflict, debate and challenges to refine or modify our thinking. The process by which this happens may not always be comfortable but, if ultimately we gather new, shared insights into God’s will for ourselves, the Church and the world, it is constructive.It then goes on to comment on the way that we don't have to reach a yes or no, right or wrong but conclusions have to be reached. That said, it does then conclude that
The Working Party believes that the Church is not always best served by the Conference being asked to make a definitive ruling on every topic that might be brought before it, particularly if the topic is one upon which there are diverse or even mutually contradictory views within the Church.This would begin to provide issues when it comes to progressive theology. Progressive theology that is random one year and mainstream the next sometimes needs a statement by a radical conference to make mainstream what isn't initaily thought....anywho I digress and back on track. All of this comes together in the subsequent paragraphs and is summated by
B6. This suggests that the will of God may be that the Church (through the Conference) is not called to make ‘definitive’ statements or pronouncements on every issue. The result of our deliberations may not be a ‘win’ for one view or another, but perhaps a synthesis of initially divergent views, a compromise or even an outcome completely different from anything initially envisaged. The New Testament does not gloss over the nature of such debates and the cost to those involved. Yet it also bears witness that the Church can express a common mind (as in Acts 15) that bridges differing viewpoints and perspectives.A good way to say the methodist chruch can state that some belive x whilst others believe y and the Methodist Church leaves indiduals to make their own mind up and hs no definative view. Not my favourite view but one i can live with. SO we are halfway and the report has gone almost full circle on deciding if and when confernece should make a decision on a contentious topic and if it should wether that be a definitive on one view or another or an acceptance of many.... So what does it recommend? It comes to the conclusion that the Derby Resolution of over a decade ago holds ulitmate precidence and means that Methodist Churchs cannot have official civil ceremonies in it. That is horrendous - how can we, a loving people really hold back from allowing people to express their love for each other before god? Therefore, ulitmately, we have gone no-where on this pilgramge. It seems the seside air must have made us giddy and therefore a more dour scots conference will keep us back in check. Whilst this report hasn't been acepted yet it is the official reccomendation from the working committee and so many people within the church are scared to approach the issue they won't engage. That said, hopefully the horrendous end results of this report (of which I have only reported on some) will be thrown into the long grass. That said, Methodist Conference is a funny thing and I wouldn't be surprised if the report was passed - so please can all people going vote against the report. It is a travesty and shows no pilgramage, more the popping of the head above teh paprapit then sticking it back in the ground again.... Indeed the end result of this report reminds me of a Flanders and Swann song entitled The Ostrich. It is all about an incoming nuclear attack but it hopes that by sticking its head in the sand nothing will happen, forgetting that its inaction leaves teh rest of its body very exposed....
Peek-a-Boo, I can't see you, Everything must be grand. Boo-ka-Pe, they can't see me, As long as I've got me head in the sand. Peek-a-Boo, it may be true, There's something in what you've said, But we've got enough troubles in everyday life, I just bury me head.Take Care Y'All John