Tonight’s service featured a double-header with two women preachers—the first Woman General Superintendent and perhaps the second. Both focused on social holiness—Christy Hontz Lipscomb on Samaria and Joanne Lyon the uttermost pats of the world.
The service kicked off with pastor Christy Hontz Lipscomb, who preached a nearest-to-possible perfect sermon that I suspect will be studied in future homiletics classes. Focusing on our own Samarias, she called us to cross over to nearby places where there are people with needs—as she and her husband Adam are doing in their own inner city church plant. Her sermon was in he genre of Seth Cook Rees and his son Paul Rees and anyone with any doubt that God calls and anoints women as preachers was sent scurrying for cover.
Christ’s sermon was followed by a second one from newly elected GS Joanne Lyon who started by commanding Megachurch pastor Karl Eastlack to go to the piano and accompany her as she led us in singing a half dozen camp meeting songs from the 1950’s emphasizing her power + Purity topic, then proceeded to do what she does best—weave stories into a sermon and inspire people to go somewhere and do something. It is amusing how GS Lyon commands strong men to do this or that—yesterday on her election she commanded the most aggressive reform-the-headquarters DS, Mark similarly. All these powerful men submissively obey her as if she is their new Mother Superior, which of course she is.
Immediately following the service there was a fancy reception for the Wilson bros. which offered long receiving lines to thank, shake and hug them and shorter lines for delicious snacks and coffee as well as roving waiters with little unhealthy things on balanced trays.
Tomorrow, Wednesday offers only a few hours to elect the GBA and complete a considerable number of memorials. Since the new GBA is empowered t decide on all memorials not considered there will be strong motivation to reduce the blowhards from long speeches tomorrow. The conference should end before noon. I will be inviting (and making some of my own) some after-the-conference post mortem observations in the coming week as we asses what this conference really means to Wesleyans. They will start tomorrow.