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Old 11-09-2005, 12:00 AM
Tessa D. Russell
Posts: n/a
Default Judicial Council decisions

A few days past the Judicial Council's decision to uphold the VA Pastor's decision, I am hoping we can initiate a dialogue in this forum about what decisions like this mean for those of us preparing for Ordination in this denomination. I have to begin by saying how disheartening it is for me as a Methodist to feel as if our denomination is moving further and further apart and that the Church at large (through this Judicial decision) is showing itself to be a place that does not have "Open Minds, Open Hearts and Open Doors."

Responses??? Anyone feeling disenchanted and angry as well????
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:27 PM
Jeff Markay Jeff Markay is offline
Young Squirrel
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3
Default Judicial Council

Hello Tessa,

Glad to see this forum is up and running. Thank you for suggesting this idea at our last United Methodist Luncheon. I am dismayed by the Judicial Council ruling, heartened by the Council of Bishops response, and hopeful that this might be a wake up call to the church. I am in discussion with some folks here at Drew to set up a forum/luncheon when we United Methodists can discuss this latest move in the church.

Keep the faith,

Jeff Markay
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Old 11-17-2005, 04:24 PM
Jeff Markay Jeff Markay is offline
Young Squirrel
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3
Default follow up to the discussion at todays Lunch/Panel


I can only imagine the many and diverse thoughts that people want to express after today's lunch where we discussed the Judicial Council Decisions, the Council of Bishop's response, and where to go next. We did not have enough time to do this conversation justice. What are your thoughts?

Jeff Markay

United Methodist Liaison,
Drew University Theological School
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Old 11-17-2005, 04:47 PM
Calvin J. Miller
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Default My Feelings

I am serving as a Licensed Local Pastor, and I am extremely apprehensive about sharing these decisions with my congregations. They have not come up yet and I haven't mentioned them because I am not sure how I should do this. I will probably end up sharing with my Administrative Boards first and then go from there. Personally, I feel as if we are slamming the door in people's faces.
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:14 PM
Natalie E. Finch-Howard Natalie E. Finch-Howard is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 14

I'm curious as to where further "discussion" on this issue will take us as a denomination. I honestly don't know where to put myself on the side of the division, as today's luncheon showed this topic to be a heated one but also one of no allowance of middle ground(?). I'm also curious to see the implications and meanings this will mean for congregations. Will they even care? What about churches ALL over the country? What will they think of the decision? How do the laity respond to the decision? I now understand the position of those students and faculty at Drew who were at the luncheon today, so what about other seminary students different places?

Personally, I think some fury could be fueled towards looking at how we evaluate people for membership and how we teach or not teach potential new members as well as our youth what it means to be a United Methodist and what commitment that means in terms of being part of that church community.
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:22 PM
Heidi Tierney Heidi Tierney is offline
Young Squirrel
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1

I am extremely saddened and ashamed by the decision of the Judicial Council. I do believe it is very important to talk about this with our local church families, sooner rather than later. I went to the Raritan Valley's Day with the Bishop, Laity session, this past Monday. I asked the Bishop about this decision and the first thing Bishop Devadhar did was to ask the laity present if they knew what I was talking about. I am estimating an attendance of 80 people, of those 80 people, 15-20 people were aware of this decision. I was amazed that 2 weeks has gone by and less than 25% knew of the decision. Of that 25%, I imagine less than that actually understood the decision, and were able to grasp the ramafications. I urge everyone to have an open dialoge with thier local churches, ignorance is not bliss and is very oppressive.

Grace and Peace My Friends
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:58 PM
Cleante Apollon
Posts: n/a
Default UMC Judicial Council ruling

tessa, thx for suggestiong this forum. as i stated at the meeting earlier, i'm truly sickened . . . angry . . . frustrated . . . ashamed . . . i'm not sure my vocabulary is extensive enough to relay my feelings.

i had to sit down and really pray over this, and pray that god would continue to guide my responses and reactions. there's this side of me that wants nothing whatsoever to do w/the umc -- i'm tired of being told i'm not worthy, not good enough, i'll burn in hell, etc., etc., etc.

then there's the side of me that is reminded that approximately 40 some-odd years ago, rosa parks stood up by sitting down. i don't have any answers . . . i have, as i'm sure, many others do, tons and tons of questions. i'm tired of being in a closet -- as a believer, as a woman, and as crusader for civil rights.

the central question is how do we go about making a change? if letters are being written -- i'll sign. if marches are being made -- i'll march. if calls are being made -- i'll talk.

earlier today, i was hurt . . . i'm still hurt. but i refuse to be imobilized by that hurt. whatever i can do to assist in overturning this edict . . . count me in
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Old 11-30-2005, 12:33 AM
Tom A. Pasmore
Posts: n/a
Default More discussion needed

These issues are so complex that the 45 minutes of discussion couldn't hope to do justice to these topics. I believe that we have to continue dialogue on these decisions, if nothing else, to formulate a plan to create change in the church and our world as a whole. The biggest issue that I had with our discussion was its very linear and philosophical nature. While we ranted about changing the rules that are on the “books”, did anyone mention how we start changing hearts and minds? I know it’s just not that simple. Even if the judicial council decision were overturned tomorrow, the much more difficult work of reconciliation and healing will still have to be done. There are deep divisions within our church and within all of our congregations that need to be addressed. There are also deep divisions within my own theology and understanding of God’s plan that need to be addressed. You see, while I completely agree with Dean Samuel’s assessment of our church’s “modern relevance” to teenagers and young adults, her take on the Beth Stroud case and mine do not agree. The inclusiveness that we desire has to embrace the people that have polar opposite opinions to our own. Jesus calls us to love the privileged, the marginalized, the oppressed, the oppressor, the homosexual, and the homophobic all at the same time. We don’t get a say in how God hands out grace. All we can do is live out the grace filled life that aspires to the very Wesleyan concept of Christian Perfection. All of us need repentance. So where do we go from here? There is so much more to talk about here than I can fit in this tiny blog, but let’s continue the conversation as a community and see where it takes us. I know the view will be worth the climb. Shalom.
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Old 11-30-2005, 03:53 PM
Tessa D. Russell
Posts: n/a
Exclamation Holy Crap

I think the title of this posting explains how I feel on some of these issues. While I agree with Tom that God calls us to love each other, I also am having a real hard time feeling right now that the church is continuing God's reign on earth. I also feel that we cannot excuse those who deliberately hurt others in the name of God, that is not a loving act, it is hypocrisy. When did it become ok for us to take the Bible and discern for God who is worthy of God's love? In response to what Natalie said earlier, perhaps it is not the criteria for membership that needs to be reevaluated but the criteria for Ordination and by proxy the rulings of the Discipline which we are ordained to uphold. If in truth we are called to do God's work, how and why is it that human beings are deciding who can become the next member of this elusive Methodist Country Club we seem to be creating. In UM Doctrine, Polity and History we are reading of the church's history surrounding the division of the church around two issues, slavery and the ordination of women. The vitriol, hurtful language and rhetoric surrounding those issues is reminiscent of our current issues surrounding homosexuality. If we don't learn from our past, we are doomed to repeat it, isn't that what some wise person said? We have not learned and we are doomed to repeat again the same pain for yet another group of people and it hurts us all. I'm not calling for the church to divide, rather I am calling us as future leaders to search our hearts to really examine what we mean when we say that "all persons are of sacred worth."

Last edited by Tessa D. Russell : 11-30-2005 at 03:58 PM. Reason: forgot something
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