Let me start by saying I'm very impressed with our female bishops - many of them have spoken over the past 2 sessions.
The one speaking right now, presenting the budget, has presented the paradigm of a river. We are standing on the shore of a river. Are we to look back at our past glory, remember the majesty, and dwindle here until we become irrelevant, or will we forge the river and enter into a future of hope?
I'm appreciative of her points. She's spouted off the same statistics that we've been hearing - UM membership is declining in US and Europe, growing in Africa and Asia, young clergy are scarce, we always are in need of more money.
Her point is that God is a God of abundance, and we can no longer look at our ministry with a mindset of "If we just had [this], we could do [this]!" We need to focus on what we have, and move beyond the myth of scarcity.
I sense this movement of simplicity, growing as a (generational-wide?) movement larger than the parts I have experienced. Buy Nothing Day, grassroots political movements, greater focus on "going green" and simplifying our lives by reducing the noise that surrounds us. It's coming together. More later...young people's address is beginning!