It is Sunday morning and I am home, having arrived in Denver from Tampa yesterday. The last day of General Conference was pretty intense as we tried to finish up our legislative activity, and much of the legislation that was passed was necessary to implement the new church plan. I shared in an earlier blog that petitions we worked on early in the week changed the structure and the nature of the church, and then much of the legislative activity from that point on was related to these changes. The plan was to adjourn at 5:00, have a final worship service , and prepare to go home. Just before 5, the activities were suspended with a ruling from Judicial Council, the arm of the church that determines the legality of action taken. The Judicial Council had determined that the new plan (Plan UMC) was unconstitutional and unsalvageable. A brief recess was taken, and as we came back together as a body it was clear that much of the legislation enacted over the previous two weeks was negated. We broke for supper, came back and worked until 9:30 on what steps to take next. Much of those last 2 hours were surreal, as attempts to revive the plan were challenged due to the Council ruling. Action on Plan UMC was ultimately tabled, and cannot be revived, as GC2012 is now over. The structure and nature of the church will continue as it is described in the 2008 Discipline. We ended our evening as we always do in worship; in some ways feeling our work was done, in some ways feeling it was just beginning. So, was all of that work wasted? I think not. There were many ideas that came out of the plan that can be considered, with the time to explore them over the next 4 years. The plan gave a message to the general agencies of the church that in these tough economic times we all need to look at streamlining and refocusing our energy; many agencies had already started that process, and they are committed to further work. I am hopeful that we can take some time to think about who we are as people of the United Methodist Church in this day and time, then develop a structure that supports that mission (I always think it makes sense for form to follow function!). So how do I feel about these last two weeks? I came away from this experience more convinced then ever that the United Methodist Church is where I belong. I am tired, but proud of the work we did as a delegation and as a church. I met and worked with wonderful people, and had some incredible worship experiences. I learned a lot about our history, process, and church culture. I had my theology and my faith challenged, and came through the experience believing more than ever that the presence and the voice of United Methodists needs to be strengthened here and around the world. I also had a chance to grow in areas I hadn’t thought about; I can now keep up with real-time texting with the best of them, and I can go from taking notes to taking pictures to looking up petitions on my iPad in the blink of an eye. I approached this request to blog with fear and trepidation, and found myself loving the experience. Sharing with Trinity folks back home made me feel connected and not alone, and for that I thank you. See you at church!