Sunday, July 13, 2008


The Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church starts today!

"What is that?" you ask?

Well, it's simply, really - it didn't take much for me to figure it out.  Just-a-dictionary.

And a Book of Discipline.  And an entire course about the organization of the UMC.  And constant questions posed to my life-long-Methodist friends, who (sometimes) understand what really goes on at all these conferences we keep having.  

Anyway, since I know you're waiting with bated breath, anxious to discover what this just-a-dictionary post is about...  United Methodists from West Virginia on up through Maine are gathering in Harrisburg, PA today, to collaborate and make decisions on a regional level.  One of the sexiest things this Jurisdictional Conference will do is elect a new bishop!  (or maybe two...?  We'll know soon enough!)

There's biographical info about the candidates for bishop online ( - but keep in mind that new people can be nominated during the conference).  One of the candidates is Aida Irizarry-Fernandez, who's been our district superintendent for the last few years.  You may remember Aida from our 5th Anniversary Celebration, where she presented CWM with a check from the New England Annual Conference to help kick off our Mission Fund campaign.  Aida was endorsed by New England, as was Linda Campbell-Marshall, a pastor from Maine who - like Aida - was a delegate to General Conference this year.

Each week at Cambridge Welcoming, we gather to lift up & support one another, to proclaim god's love for ALL people, to celebrate and mourn and laugh - and eat dinner with some pretty awesome people!  Whether at church, at work, at home, in Massachusetts or beyond - I know we've all seen the wondrous things that can be accomplished when brave & compassionate leaders guide people through the sometimes scary process of doing great new things.

So along with a two-thumbs-up show of support for our friends converging on Harrisburg - including our own Will Green, and Rev. Scott Campbell, who preached at CWM two weeks ago - I offer up prayers that the holy spirit moves the delegates to elect a prophetic bishop who will unapologetically, unrelentingly place compassion before complacence, justice before "just-us," and GLBT inclusion before the generally inexcusable stance of current UMC policies that cut people off from the love of god and church. 

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