Shortly after noon, the following email arrived from the United Methodist Church group Good News:
After a very emotional morning of debate on the General Conference floor regarding homosexuality, hundreds of onlooking demonstrators crossed the bar of the conference right before the morning break in order to occupy the middle of the convention center.
The demonstrators – delegates and non-delegates – began singing and serving communion to one another.
When the morning plenary session was called back to order, the demonstrators refused to leave the General Conference floor. Presiding Bishop Michael Coyner politely asked the group several times to disperse. They ignored his pleas and continued singing while reports were given from the stage.
Finally, Bishop Coyner closed the session because the demonstrators refused to leave the space marked off for delegates.
The session will resume at 2 p.m.
We are asking for you to pray that God would grant our leaders wisdom in dealing with this issue and that a spirit of peace would reside over the Tampa Convention Center and that the Holy Spirit would lead the General Conference.
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Good News has an article by Karen Booth about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force targeted the Methodist and other mainline churches with democratic ruling structures because they were “the backbone of American religion.”
These “denominations’ general assemblies and conferences were identified as the best settings to introduce and foster proposals for the revision of Christian sexual ethics.”
There’s much more but these two paragraphs might proved instructive:
“The Common Witness Coalition’s Love Thy Neighbor emphasis is the latest stage of the United Methodist version of BOL. According to the Reconciling Ministries Network’s online program manual, BOL trained volunteers hoped to meet with all 600+ United States delegates to General Conference to tell their stories and advocate for full inclusion of LGBT persons.
“Many of these same volunteers are onsite here in Tampa engaging in protest and distributing a multi-page daily paper that is published by former GLAAD staffer, Ann Craig. (GLAAD’s web site has also announced that staffers are onsite to coordinate the Common Witness Coalition’s media campaign.)”
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Other articles that may be of interest:
- 4/24/12 Methodist Convention This Week in Tampa – Unity Not on the Agenda
- 4/27/12 The Disconnect Between American Liberals and Africans in Tampa’s Methodist Convention
- 4/28/12 Conservative Methodists Making Headway in World Conference, Big Fight on Homosexuality in Offing
- 4/29/12 Update from United Methodist Church General Conference in Tampa – Conservatives Winning Most Votes, Setbacks for Abortion & Israeli Divestment Supporters
- 4/30/12 Good News Reports Most Endorsed Candidates for Methodist “Supreme Court,” University Senate Win
- 4/30/12 Conservatives Take Three of Four Vacancies on Methodist Judicial Council, Vote on Homosexuality Imminent
- 5/2/12 Methodists Vote Almost 3-1 Against Ending Investments (Divestment) in Motorola and CAT, Proportional Representation for Africans on Ruling Bodies, Preacher Tenure Ended
- 5/3/12 53% Reject Homosexual Liberalization at Tampa World Methodist Conference
- 5/3/12 Homosexuals Take over Methodist Tampa Convention Floor after Losing Vote
- 5/4/12 Coverage of Conservative Methodists’ Victory over Homosexual Activists Missing