Ok Wow I just had a really really big break through moment. I just read a friend/colleague's blog and I also listened to the first ever young people's address and when I got up to do some of the chores that I need to do I just had a breakthrough. I know why conference encourages me more than it drains me. It shows me how passionate we are about our denomination. Rather I agree with where the passions are placed is not it important but there are a lot of us there who are desperately passionate about our church.
And I can stay a part of this church and become an ordained member of its clergy because I to am passionate about this church. I am passionate about the church but I am NOT the church. I am me I represent my spirituality and my faith, I represent Christianity, i represent the United Methodist church, but the I am not the United Methodist church. I am simply a valuable piece of the body. I can still represent my visions and dreams wholly and with integrity even when i am in direct disgorgement with the church. In the same way that i feel that I can pastor/lead a church of varying views and opinions.
I envision an church that will never be unified in the way that we would like to be, but unified in the idea that we are all God's children. We all need to walk with Christ. We need to love wholly and fully.