February 20, 2011

a few bytes of inspiration

I took copious notes at the recent GBCS forum I attended in Washington, D.C.

And then I came home and had hoped to decipher and debrief, but ran smack into four funerals and piles of mail and pastoral visitation needs, and a husband who missed me, and family gatherings... you get the picture.

But remember, I took notes! 

So here are some of my attempts at wading through the tiny print all over my folder from the event... the statements and questions that continue to linger in my mind:
  • Can we balance the budget without hurting the poor?  This is the top advocacy issue for economic justice.
  • the difference between lobbyists and advocates:  one works for the benefit of their organization, the other works for the benefits of others and do not raise money for legislators.
  • government of the people, by the people, and FOR the people
  • The United Methodist Building was built before the Supreme Court that is next door to it.
  • Your call is: one sentence, impossible, won't let you go.
  • Pastors stand at the gaps to bring reconciliation between people - the pastor has to get involved... and you have to win the hearts of the people
  • We say, "WE BELIEVE..." but will we help usher in these things that we believe so firmly in?
  • Legislative priorities adopted by the GBCS are based on our Book of Resolutions and Social Principles.... but also depend on what congress is actually going to focus on that year. 
  • Do we have FOOLISH VIGOR?
  • Everyone needs to be proud about what THEY bring to the table... otherwise there cannot be alliances, partnerships, solidarity
  • the church is never called to be partisan, but always called to be political
  • EKKLESIA means to be called out - called out of the world, from the world... the church is the body that is called out, and calls out.
  • Congregational vitality has everything to do with Justice and Mercy... we can't feed people's souls if they die of hunger.
  • A leader is someone who makes sure no one falls down (7 year old boy)
  • Do we really believe the UMC can change the world?  Do we really believe God can work through us to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the TRANSFORMATION OF THE WORLD?
  • In Defense of Creation talks about three systems that destroy: hunger making systems, war making systems, and desert making systems.  The intersection of these destroys life.
  • Evangelism is absolutely connected with Mercy and Justice ministries... as long as you communicate WHY you are doing what you are doing.
  • you have to have some kind of personal engagement with what you do... in D.C. policy is traded without an awareness of lives that are affected.  We need to know what the INCARNATIONAL IMPACT OF JUSTICE is.
  • The point of justice is not programs and issues but relationships...
  • To be Christian is going to COST something... faithful sacrifice.
  • Ask folks how they feel about this issue personally... how does it affect them? what is it like to read the news? where do they have fears and hopes?
  • the UMC is a leader on Capital Hill because we have United Methodists who passionately care about the issues.
Anything catch your eye? Anything you want to talk more about? 

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