Yes indeedy, folks --
sometimes truth is stranger than fiction,
especially in church happenings around the USA!
The People Called Methodist
"I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out." -- John Wesley
The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
--- Isaiah 24:5 (NKJV)
It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.
--- Psalm 119:126-128 (NKJV)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
--- 2 Timothy 4:3,4 (NKJV)
Behind the Scenes Peek Index
Ah, a bit curious, eh? CR says he's feeling more like an investigative reporter these days! What follows is a reporting of strange, but true, church happenings around the good old USA! You know, the nation that has a pledge of allegiance to the flag which at one point says, "...one nation, under God..." and on its coins and currency has an inscription that says, "In God We Trust!" One quickly can get the impression that the old saying about something being "rotten in Denmark" should be changed to something "rotten in the church!" Anyway, CR says he will not divulge his sources on some of the following items -- reporters for the "free press" do that all the time, right? Just go ahead now and peek through the telescope at certain places -- you never know what you might see, especially on some of those links you'll come across!
Since we got a whole truckload of this "peek" material, it has been necessary to add a second area. So after leaving here you can slip on over to Peek #2! Enjoy!
Just when you felt you had become familiar with the account of the Exodus as reported in the Bible book by that name, it is painfully obvious that another kind of "exodus" has been taking place, especially within the borders of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church! If you aren't too familiar with this new kind of "exodus" we have some links here for you to pursue in getting information about pastors and congregations leaving the United Methodist Church in recent months. Go to:
United Methodist News Service #380
Details on those who have left, with emphasis on evangelicals staying.
Civil rights, ecclesiastical wrongs...
Article on abuses taking place in the Cal-Nev Annual Conference!
At the recent New England Conference the following is part of a "declaration" which was read -- be sure to pay particular attention to the fact that it is being vowed to teach this to the children:
We commit to proclaim that homosexuality (no less or more than heterosexuality) is compatible with Christian teaching.
As clergy we will preach this from our pulpits and expose our parishioners to the fullness of the Scriptural witness on related matters in our Bible studies.
As lay people we will teach it in our Sunday School classes and tell it to our children.
WE AFFIRM that loving, monogamous, intimate relationships between persons of the same or opposite gender, are an expression of God's love.
As pastors we will affirm relationships of persons who come to us (whether of same or opposite gender) who seek the affirmation of the church community on relationships which bear the signs of God's love. We will also enable all couples to celebrate rites of union, regardless of gender. We affirm the willingness of retired colleagues and others in the New England Conference to assist in this important pastoral responsibility. We further affirm the historic charge of United Methodist clergy to be in ministry according to their best discernment among the people entrusted to their care.
As lay people we will offer support to same-gender couples and their families in our midst as fully and whole heartedly as we support opposite gender couples and their families. We will support the use of our buildings for celebrations of persons covenanting to love one another as life-partners.
WE AFFIRM that persons of all sexual orientations are equally called to ordained ministry.
As clergy we will affirm God's call to ordained ministry as experienced by candidates for ministry regardless of a person's sexual orientation and welcome them into the clergy covenant.
As lay persons we will similarly affirm that call and we will offer ourselves fully in mutual ministry with pastors of our churches regardless of that person's sexual orientation.
As those who serve a God who sees the affliction of the oppressed, who hears their cry, who knows their sorrows, and who comes to deliver them, we have no other option than to attach our names to this Declaration. To do otherwise would be to deny the witness of the scriptures and to turn our back on our United Methodist heritage.
Full text at New England Declaration
And this has come in from the Western Jurisdiction Conference which met the second week of July 2000 with a majority of delegates supporting what could be described as a "thumb of the nose" and a "sticking out of the tongue" at GC2000 decisions! Go to:
Western Jurisdiction Declaration
The Rev. Mark Roland Kemling announced that he plans to perform a union ceremony for two men in Omaha, Nebraska on June 3, 2000. The announcement came on the day in which the General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted to maintain the prohibition against minister conducting same sex union ceremonies. At least two other ministers in the Nebraska Conference have agreed to stand with him during the ceremony, to offer their support. We'll keep you updated as "news" from this latest escapade becomes available!
Yep, he did it! Details were reported in an Omaha newspaper and at the time of the reporting there were other links provided including the couple featured in Creech's episode for 2 women, who have split up with one of them undergoing a gender change! Whoooiieee -- the soap operas couldn't keep pace with this!
Finally something did happen as Bishop Martinez announced near the end of June that a complaint had been filed against Kremling -- interesting thing is that neither the bishop nor a ds initiated the complaint -- the person was not identified! Aren't you impressed how fast the hierarchy acts to see that the BOD standards for clergy are upheld? Details on the article are found at United Methodist News Service #303. Oh, BTW, there is mention of another "complaint" matter that took place in New England which has been "resolved" -- when a word like that comes from the episcopal level, well -- just think of Washington DC and all that goes on in that town!
"Hi! Stinky is my name, and politics is my game! It doesn't matter whether you talk the Democrat/Republican kind or the church kind, they both emit an odor that I and my relatives find very attractive -- well, the church kind is a lot stronger, so we really prefer it over the stuff at Washington DC! By the way, I've observed in the fox family, that they really look out for one another -- when one raids the chicken coop and is charged, and later brought to trial, the jury is packed with foxes and they bring in a "not guilty" verdict -- or if it just gets to the "bringing charges" stage, they may simply dismiss the whole thing and say there aren't "sufficient grounds" for a trial. Seems like this "fox syndrome" has infiltrated the United Methodist Church!"
Here we are, getting a good start into 2001 and guess what? They finally wrapped up the Kremling debacle -- seems the Committee on Investigation felt there were no grounds to bring Mark to trial for doing the same gender coupling ceremony, which he performed as reported????? Mark and his "counsel" had some things to say about all this -- look at Kremling Trial Results & Statements Use the reverse feature on your browser to return to Peek Behind the Scenes!
Hang on to your seats -- all kind of "conversions" going on these days, even in the higher eschelons of the church -- are we on the brink of another nationwide "awakening" -- a "revival" that will shake this country from the Atlantic to the Pacific? Check out some of these astounding "conversions" as testomonies are given in UMC Episcopal Endorsement of Same Gender Coupling! Yes, the "converts" tell it in their own words!
The same gender coupling folk had a big splash at General Conference with what is known as the "Shower of Stoles!" To quote from an earlier news release on this:
"Any LGBT person of faith may submit a stole. Many of the stoles in this collection are from ministers, elders, deacons, diaconal ministers, church musicians, Christian educators and seminarians. Stoles presented by United Methodists for the General Conference will be dedicated in a worship celebration at First UMC of Cleveland at 1:30 on the afternoon of Sunday, May 7. Stoles may be submitted anonymously. One viewer commented on visiting a showing of the Shower of Stoles, "What struck me was how many of the stoles were anonymous! The need to submit a stole without one’s name being public is a painful indictment of the church – that persons faithfully serving their denominations must hide their name out of fear of attack or harsh treatment by supervisors....."
Nothing is left to the imagination as to what you are to do to prepare for this event. This will be the beginning of a pepetual journey in "stole telling" all over the country -- think not? Read it for yourself -- these people are well organized, dedicated, and have a number of bishops, district superintendents, and the powerful mainstream media behind them. As noted at points throughout the Range, if you even so much as look cross-eyed in their direction you are automatically branded as a "bigoted homophobe" -- and that's when they are being kind to you! I won't attempt to quote the rest of the stuff! Now, don't you feel just a little teensy weensy bit guilty?Quote continued....
"It is important to include your story with the stole. A brief clear statement is more important in telling your story than the most elegant artwork. Be sure to include your name (unless anonymous), denomination, where you are from, and your service to the church. Stoles given to the collection for GC will become a permanent part of the Stoles Project and will travel after GC continuing to tell the story of the vital contributions LGBT persons make in our churches."
Do you get the picture now? Oh, in case you are wondering -- LGBT means "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered" persons! Full details of the planned stole affair are at GC Shower of Stoles. To get a picture of how well organized this group is, take a look at the following: Affirmation and what the Reconciling Congregations Program is about these days: RCP Home Page; Table Talk, p. 1 and Table Talk, p. 2. Kind of puts those who claim to be "evangelical" to shame, doesn't it?
Bishop Susan Morrison, along with leaders of other religious groups of various stripes, has given support to a court ruling earlier this year in Vermont that in essence is giving sanction to same gender marriage. Details can be found in a news release at: Same-Sex Couples - The Vermont Ruling.
In light of the publicity generated by the news article, Bishop Morrison felt it most imperative to put out a message to be shared in the churches of the Troy Conference over which she presides. Below is the text of that message to which UM's within her conference are being exposed.
[Beginning of Bishop Morrison's message, dated 00/01/21]"We are learners, we are teachers,
we are pilgrims on the way.
We are seekers, we are givers,
we are vessels made of clay.
By our gentle, loving actions
we would show that Christ is light,
in the humble, listening spirit,
we would live to God's delight."
I was contacted regarding a statement in support of legislation being proposed to acknowledge long-term covenantal relationships between people of same gender. The statement is consistent with my position throughout my ministry as being one of mercy and justice for all of God's children.
I would point out that several years ago, Troy Annual Conference sent a resolution to General Conference to change the Church's stand on union services.
I signed this statement not as in "in your face" argument toward those who disagree with my position, but as a supportive pastoral affirmation for those who feel marginalized.
Let us approach one another, remembering that we are one in Christ's redeeming love; that God's table is open to all, even in our disagreements; and that in all things, nothing separates us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.[End of Bishop Morrison's message]
For those who wish to respond to this message Madam Bishop can be contacted at: Bishop Morrison
There were United Methodist pastors in on this little escapade also!
A meeting of 19 pastors who formally protested Bishop Morrison's public "support" of same gender coupling with Madam Bishop took place on March 28th. Anything significant accomplished? Doubtful, since bishops can create a quicksand pit real fast with "talk", but time will tell.......
[Return to About This Dialogue Thing!]
"The Wedding: Now More Than Ever" was billed as the largest same gender coupling demonstration in history and was held on April 29, 2000 at the Lincoln Memorial at 10:45 AM. MR. Jimmy Creech, well known United Methodist layman, was a featured speaker. Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry, founder and moderator of the UFMCC, announced back on 00/01/27 that Mr. Creech would be addressing the "couples" who are gathered for the event. Details on who and what is behind this can be found by clicking on that very familiar object you use on a daily basis, and you can see for yourself ---
News reports gushed with glowing accounts of the gathering of at least 1,000 "couples" (term used very loosely) at the Lincoln Memorial to "exchange vows" and then the big "March for Equality" on Sunday, April 30 in DC. Estimates of the crowd range from 200,000 up to maybe a million, the latter figure touted by an organizer of the march -- well, you could expect that couldn't you? Certainly one of the featured highlights of the event was a huge screen video presentation of El Presidente addressing the same gender couplers and bragging that his was the most inclusive administration in history, having appointed more than 150 openly gay people to important government posts! Ah, proving for the umpteenth time that Bill Clinton is the modern counterpart of King Ahab of ancient Israel, or King Manasseh of ancient Judah, or quite possibly both of those characters rolled into one!
Euclid Avenue UMC in Oak Park IL has made a statement that is being sent all over the territory. This was approved by the Administrative Council and affirmed by Charge Conference action on 00/01/16. Included in the statement are the following words:
"Euclid will remain faithful to its mission, which is to follow in the reconciling ministry of Jesus as an inclusive, justice-seeking community. We will continue to welcome all people regardless of color, ancestry, age, gender, disability, family status, or sexual/affectional orientation."
Question? With the addition of the word "affectional" may we now say that in its simplist form we are being told that "Sex is fun with anyone, anywhere, any time?" And all this under the blessing and encouragement of the church? Whoooeeee! Ain't this a real HOOT???? If you want to send a comment to Euclid UMC you can do so by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sacramento 3 Ring Circus Concluded! Want to read the new style obituary of the United Methodist Church? Details at Cal-Nev Decision. As mentioned in some mailing I did, I don't want to say, "I told you so!" but I will! Check what I meant by that at Just Wondering! -- note reference to the fox on trial for messing things up in the chicken coop, with the judge a fox, jury peers are foxes -- well, you get the picture don't you?
For more, read a commentary on this by going to Requiem! There is also a Post Script of souces of additional information as the fallout from the Sacramento Fiasco Par Excellence rumbles on!
But hang on, faithful ones -- Almighty God has yet to make His personal response to all this -- ah, by the way, did you note that appeal made at the beginning of this area -- something about God taking some action because certain brazen individuals have chosen to make His law void! He will write the last chapter in all this, will He not?
Below is information placed here as the time for the hearings approached and all kind of activity was happening -----
OK, the event below has passed and now we wait! Details in a kind of summary report are given in Affirming Hearing Process -- if one did not know better, you could easily conclude that this was not even as serious as a church group trying to decide whether blue jeans or shorts are more acceptable to wear at a Sunday School picnic! And when you discuss it, you have to make sure that no one is offended by anything you might say! A few more days and the investigating committe will issue its recommendation -- mild, mild slap on the hand, anyone????????????????????
FINALLY, something is beginning to happen! On February 1-3 open public hearings will be held for 67 UM clergy of the Cal-Nev Annual Conference at Community UMC in Fairfield CA. This has come about as a result of something in which they were involved a long time ago, back in January 1999! The same gender couplers are giving a lot of attention to this and making appeals for support in various ways. Need a review as to what led up to this? Then click on the link below and refresh the memory -- hold on to your tummy too!!
Here's How It Started!
The same gender coupling troops are rallying to support their
their heroes in this -- light candles and all kinds of stuff!
Click on the candle for details --
Ah, I had a candle left over from Christmas!
Want to see some of those involved in the "holy union"
event, as some proclaimed it to be?
Then just hop on over to 'Union' Doers
It must have been slapped together quickly --
-- the grammer and spelling are a bit shoddy!
The infamous "Sacramento 68" (now only 67) have their own web site
and you can see details there -- want to make a financial
contribution to the cause? They'll cheerfully accept it :-)
Sacramento 68 Union Conductors
Don't forget now -- more interesting stuff over at Peek #2!
While "Sweetheart Day" 2000 has come and gone, take a look at how the same gender coupling crowd really pulls out the stops each year now on Valentine's Day! Already plans are in the making for "Valentines Day Festivals of Love and Re-Commitment 2001." Check the link below for details and get an added bonus by seeing a photo of Linda and Eleanora following their August '99 "union" event as well as a cute pic of Jim and Larry in their "recommitment" service as conducted by "Pastor" Jimmy Creech!
Valentine's Day of a Different Kind!
As of January 20 there were 907 listed endorsements of a document identified as the "Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing." Out of these were 37 United Methodist clergy, including Bishops L. Kelly and R. Sano. Rev. Dr. Audrey Powers who has gained fame (or is it notoriety?) within the superstructure of United Methodism endorsed the document. She did resign her position and at the time admitted to being a lesbian -- however, on the document she is still erroneously listed as holding a certain position. We also should mention that a prominent UM layman signed as well -- he is Mr. Jimmy Creech! To see what this is all about, go to
A "Sexy" Document!
Read carefully and have your air sick bag close by when you do! For instance, try this statement -- the signatories call for:
"Theological reflection that integrates the wisdom of excluded, often silenced peoples, and insights about sexuality from medicine, social science, the arts and humanities."
Ah, just one little question here -- is this saying that what God has revealed about sexuality in His special disclosure about us human beings is NOT AT ALL to be considered??????
An interesting commentary has appeared in response to this -- go to
Liberal clerics praise the culture, pass the condoms!
Well guess what? After the big meeting in Junaluska (Fall '99) the group known as the "chief shepherds" of the UMC made statements and issued a "pastoral letter" which faithful and loyal pastors in the UMC were to share with congregations. What is it the boys & gals were up tight about this time around? Consider this:
How many of the UMC "chief shepherds" do you believe have enough backbone to take a good honest look at the following? We should have a vote counter setup installed here -- the vote taken as to whether or not you believe they take that look and then issue a strong "PS" to the "Children's Initiative?" You know, one that says something like this --
"We regret that we have not given proper priority
to the violent destruction of thousands of unborn
children on a weekly basis, and appeal to all those
involved in these acts of violence to immediately
terminate such involvement and financial profit!"
Here is what they "sweep under the rug,"
keeping lips absolutely locked, glued, and sealed!
OK - give it a try and see! Ask a bishop about gambling and he/she
will go on nonstop for a long time -- ask about abortion and
suddenly they come down with a major case of lockjaw!
And do you think they would voice any objections to a very profitable
"business" enterprise that is a spin off from the lucrative abortion industry?
Ah, just click on the baby parts icon and see what happens!
would the "chief shepherds" be interested and concerned about
FETAL Organ Harvesting
Hey! What's the matter? Afraid to click on that one?
Scared of what you might see? Almighty God sees it all the time!
We don't have a voting booth, but if you want to let me know your "vote" just send me an email by clicking on:
The voting should prove interesting! I vote that they would prefer the garbage bag recycle statement mentioned above as opposed to anything said on the destruction of the unborn!
"While affirming their unity in Jesus Christ, the bishops acknowledge they are still learning how to celebrate their individual diversity. 'Let no one mistake the Spirit's variety of gifts in our midst for any lack of common commitment to Jesus Christ,' they declare. 'Even though individual bishops may express their personal convictions, we are united in our desire to serve Christ, to lead the church faithfully, and to be a witness to the unity of the Spirit.'
While some in the church fear that diversity could lead to division, the bishops say this is a 'time to be quiet, to be united, to listen for God's guiding voice, and to learn from one another.'"
There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother. There
is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness.
--- Proverbs 30:11,12 (NKJV)
Special Announcement! Just to let you know that there are efforts being made to challenge some of the crazy stuff such you see happening these days in the UMC, take a trip over to Called to Higher Ground! -- examine the statement -- do your own kind of endorsing if you feel so led -- just remember, a number of bishops have already done their endorsement thing! United Methodist News Service has issued a release on the "Called to Higher Ground" statement -- see the release at UMNS #125.
OK, I'm just one person -- what can I do in dealing with a mess like this? How about taking a trip over to What Can I Do? for practical suggestions, tips and helps as to what you can do -- voices coming from the "grass roots" level of our culture CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Moving around here and there on Circuit Rider's Range
Moving around here and there on Circuit Rider's Range
Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001 Clayton D. Harriger