Name: Marge Kimbrough
Role: Lay delegate
Local Church: Cliftondale UMC
Legislative committee: Church and Society II
Q: How would you compare your experience in Tampa with your previous experience at General Conference?
A: I am very disappointed. Overall, the leadership was sub-par.
Q: How so?
A: We kept putting off and avoiding the most critical issues. From my sub-committee, on Church and Society II, to the plenary sessions, we spent so much time on the less important topics we never got around to the bigger issues of the day. We should have been moving people toward decision-making and we did not.
Q: What specifically should have been addressed that was left on the table?
A: There were a large number of issues on my committee that were never brought forward. It was like, ‘Ok, it is 9:30, so let’s go.’ In the plenary, we weren’t given enough time to study the details of the restructuring plan (Plan UMC), to understand it or to reconcile some of the inconsistencies in it. We desperately need restructuring, but it should have been given more time for discussion and debate. It was not thought out well enough.
Q: What other issues were not properly addressed?
A: The whole controversy over human sexuality. We went out of our way to avoid the biggest concern that causes the most hurt and pain in the church - the wording over homosexuality being inconsistent with Christian teaching. We didn’t want to deal with it. Many people just wanted to eliminate that one word and it was never addressed. We need to work harder to bring people into the church and let the Spirit transform lives.
Q: So, you think there was a lack of leadership?
A: Yes. And we should have never called for a break during the demonstration yesterday morning.
Q: What would you have done?
A: I would have called the police and cleared the hall.
Q: What positive decisions do you think were made here?
A: I am supportive of the elimination of guaranteed appointments.
To read more about Marge, please find her bio here.