Name: Jane Brooks
Role: Clergy delegate
Appointment: Rome First UMC
Legislative committee: Superintendancy
Q: This is your fourth time as a delegate to General Conference. What is different about 2012?
A: We are dealing with a lot of fallout from challenges with the world-wide economy. It is forcing us to take a hard look at cost-saving, downsizing and various ways to save money. But there are other reasons for us to make adjustments. We need to be sure our church remains relevant, flexible and can respond quickly when circumstances call for it.
Q: Do you feel more optimistic or worried as you consider the future challenges faced by the church?
A: I am optimistic. It is God’s church and is led by the Holy Spirit. But we do have challenges. We need to revitalize. I have heard some things here that sound a little too much like gloom and doom, but I do not feel that way.
Q: You were on the Superintendancy legislative committee, which has been a hot topic here. What were your discussions like?
A: They went very well. It was important for us to understand the significantly different perspectives from delegates from the Central Conferences. Delegates from other nations would often let us know when the issues we were facing were particular to the U.S. We had some discussion about term limits for bishops, yet the Central Conferences already have a variety of different rules in place for bishops. This is a non-issue for them.
Q: Do you think, looking forward, we will continue to see some differences in how Central Conferences and the conferences in the U.S. are administered?
A: Yes. I think it makes sense. We have to take into consideration cultural context and the different needs. But we worked well together. Our committee was able to share different perspectives and thoughts.
To read more about Jane, please find her bio here.