Category Archives: What’s Going On

Divided Methodist Church

On February 26, the United Methodist General Conference 2019 delegates passed The Traditional Plan 438 to 384. The judicial council raised several constitutionality issues. They addressed these issues with amendments to the Traditional Plan.

The Rev. Tim McClendon, South Carolina, called for a vote on the Traditional Plan as amended. This affirms the church’s current bans on ordaining LGBTQ clergy and officiating at or hosting same-sex marriage.

Opponents mounted a last-ditch effort to bring back the One Church Plan. Delegates defeated the One Church Plan by a vote of 449-374. The Rev. Tom Berlin, Virginia Conference, spoke for a minority report for the One Church Plan.

Berlin told delegates that approving the One Church Plan did not force any pastor or church to perform same-sex marriages. Nor did it force anyone to change what they believe about the Bible. In addition the plan would allow conferences to ordain LGBTQ pastors. It would also allow churches to host, and pastors to officiate at same-sex marriages.

“If the Traditional Plan is voted in, it will be a virus that will make the American church very sick” he said. “Many pastors are going to leave, many annual conference will leave. … There will be trials, and they will be on the news. The only news about the church will be about people we don’t serve.”

Where Will We Go From Here?

Adopting the Traditional Plan is yet another milestone in the evolution of the Methodist Church. Time will tell how this ultimately unfolds. Will the church decide on an amicable separation similar to the Lutheran and Presbyterian churches?

I have family and friends on both sides of this controversial issue. Personally I disagree with the church’s position. I wish they would have adopted the One Church Plan. However, I understand and respect their decision. As Methodists we may be divided on this issue. However, we will survive.

My first encounter with a gay man came in the mid-1990s. He worked for me. We were on a business trip to San Francisco where we talked about his partner who died from AIDS. I was deeply moved by his story. Prior to that conversation I was admittedly a bit homophobic. His testimony put a human face on the issue for me. Since then I have met many gay and lesbian individuals and couples. Many of whom I consider good friends.

Regardless of what happens to the church I will try to live faithfully by the example shown by Jesus Christ.

John 13:34
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

Brian May’s Rocking New Year

He’s a rocket scientist by day and rock star by night. Astrophysicist Brian May, cofounder and lead guitarist of Queen started the new year with one big bang. May is part of the New Horizons team that had it’s first clear image of Ultima Thule this week. Looking like a celestial snowman, Ultima Thule is a frozen world 1 billion miles beyond Pluto.

Different kind of rocks,” he said. “It’s amazing, and the whole trip with New Horizons is such a privilege for me.” “I didn’t imagine that it could happen,” May said.

May wrote an anthem for New Horizon’s flyby of Ultima Thule as a tribute to a glimpse beyond our solar system.

Long Road Out of Eden: Eagles Final Chapter

I watched the excellent documentary “History of the Eagles” for the second time this week. Originally released in 2013 it is now available on Netflix. The documentary is an official account of the history of the band.

The documentary is divided into two parts. The first part is around two hours long and covers the early period to their breakup. The second part is about one hour long and covers the subsequent periods. The documentary combined archive footage of the band with interviews with all the band members. Additionally other people involved in the band’s history or who knew them were interviewed. Included were  Kenny Rogers, Bob Seger, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, J. D. Souther, David Geffen, and Stevie Nicks. In the DVD release, a further third disc with songs from the band’s concert at the Capital Centre in March 1977 is included.

Part One : Eagles Beginning Through Breakup

Part one of the documentary traces the beginning of the band to the breakup in 1980. It chronicles the early life of band members and the founding of the band. Next it discusses the making of their albums and their rise to success. Finally we hear about the subsequent conflicts between band members, concluding with the break up of the band.

Part Two: After Break Up

Part two of the documentary begins with the period following the breakup. It begins with brief accounts of the careers of individual members of the band and the reunion of the band in 1994. Finally the documentary follows the 1990s and 21st century phases of the Eagles. It shows that Frey was resistant to the idea of a reunion until they joined Travis Tritt for the making of the video of his cover of “Take It Easy“. Continuing with their successful tours, the dispute with Don Felder and the period after his dismissal. It concludes with the band members looking back assessing their actions and career, with contributions from other people who knew them.

Long Road Out of Eden

Long Road Out of Eden is the seventh studio album by American rock band the Eagles, released in 2007 on Lost Highway Records. Nearly six years in production, it is the band’s first studio album since 1979’s The Long Run. In between that time the band recorded four original studio tracks for the live album Hell Freezes Over (1994), “Hole in the World” for The Very Best Of(2003) and the Joe Walsh-penned “One Day at a Time” for the Farewell 1 Tour-Live from Melbourne DVD (2005), which Walsh later re-recorded for his 2012 album Analog Man.

It is the band’s first album released following the dismissal of Don Felder in 2001 as well as their final album with Glenn Frey before his death in 2016.