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Commentary


Christ United Methodist Church of Memphis TN Barnabas Committee Activities Time Line July 1998 to Feb. 1999

JULY 6, 1998: Administrative Board of CUMC accepts the Barnabas Plan and authorizes formation of The Barnabas Committee.

JULY 12, 1998: Barnabas Committee named; Tom Dyer and Dick Ross, co-chairs, Bobby Brown, Mark Forrester, Mike Glenn, Anne Howedeshell, Ben Landess, P.D. Miller, Jack Moore, Spencer Moore, Hank Shelton, Phoebe Smith, Marla Steepleton, and Carole Yarbrough, Rev. James Loftin was assigned as staff liaison.

JULY 21, 1998: Initial meeting of Barnabas Committee. The Barnabas Plan was reviewed and a number of Action plans adopted to be initiated by August 8, 1998 (see attachment) The concerns agreed upon by both the majority and minority report of the Task Force on Apportionments will form the basis of a “positional paper” that will be shared by the Barnabas committee with other groups and other churches.

JULY 24, 1998: A letter was sent to the United Methodist Judicial Council by the committee expressing concerns over the upcoming decision on whether or not the Social Principles statement prohibiting same sex unions is binding.

JULY 30, 1998: Tom Dyer, Dick Ross and Hank Shelton (the latter by telephone) met with Bishop Carder to review the Barnabas Plan as well as CUMC concerns with events leading to the formation of the Barnabas Committee.

AUGUST 11, 1998: In conjunction with the Prayer Ministry of CUMC, a call to Prayer was held in Wilson Chapel at CUMC. Prayers were offered for the healing and renewal of Christ Church and the United Methodist Church.

AUGUST 9, 1998: Letters were sent to members of the Executive board of the General Board of Church and Society, and to Joyce Sohl, Deputy General Secretary of the Woman’s division of the United Methodist Church, stating the opposition of the Administrative Board of Christ United Methodist Church to their membership in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive choice. A copy of the resolution passed by the Administrative Board was included. While 14 letters were sent only 4 replies were received. Copies of all can be found in the Barnabas Room.

AUGUST 25, 1998: Second meeting of the Barnabas Committee- Prayer and thanks were expressed for the work of the Judicial council of the United Methodist Church in reinforcing the UMC Discipline’s stand on the prohibition of homosexual unions in our churches and by our pastors. A Barnabas Room on the third floor of the Dunnam building at Christ Church now exists for collection and distribution of information affecting the Barnabas Plan. It was agreed to write Bishop Carder and invite him to meet with the Barnabas Committee at its next meeting.

SEPTEMBER 24, 1998: Third meeting of the Barnabas Committee. Bishop Carder, our District Superintendent, Shirley Lynn, and Dr. Bill Bouknight joined us for a dinner meeting. A follow up letter from the Bishop can be found in the Barnabas Room advising us of his recommendations.

OCTOBER 5, 1998: Fourth meeting of the Barnabas Committee. Hank Shelton presented a report on his attendance at a meeting of the General Board of Church and Society. He reported that a large majority of the members of this Board supported an agenda to remove all language pertaining to homosexuality from the UMC Book of Discipline. He expects no change in philosophy of the Board’s stand on Homosexual Unions and its support of the RCRC under new leadership that will take place in 2000. OCT. 25 (Cont.) Four sub-committees were formed: 1.Resolutions committee; Hank Shelton and Anne Howdeshell. 2.Barnabas Room: Carole Yarbrough 3.Conference Support: P.D. Miller 4.coodinator for Oct. 29 forum: Marla Steepleton October 29th was selected as date of a church wide and conference wide gathering to hear from Drs. Dunnam and Bouknight.

OCTOBER 29, 1998 Informational forum on state of our denomination sponsored by the Barnabas Committee held in Seabrook Hall at Christ Church. Dr. Bill Bouknight and Dr. Maxie Dunnam spoke on the strengths of the United Methodist Church as well as some serious concerns. Over 300 were in attendance including some from sister churches in both Memphis districts.

NOVEMBER 9, 1998: Fifth meeting of the Barnabas Committee. Discussion related to the concerns that can be addressed by resolutions and how they should be presented at Annual and General Conference. It was decided that once resolutions are developed they will be shared with Lay Leaders throughout the conference.

JANUARY 7, 1999: Sixth meeting of the Barnabas Committee. Resolutions suggested by members discussed and those accepted were given to Hank Shelton to be written in proper form.

JANUARY 11, 1999: Seventh meeting of the Barnabas Committee. Resolutions reviewed and approved. (See attached)

FEBRUARY 2, 1999: Barnabas resolutions presented to CUMC Administrative Board for approval. One modification was made to the Lifewatch resolution on Abortion and all others passed.

FEBRUARY 7, 1999: Eighth meeting of Barnabas Committee. Discussion focused on how to gain support in our conference for the resolutions.

FEBRUARY 17, 1999: Dr. Miller wrote Rev. Shirley Lynn requesting a list of Lay Leaders in our district so that the Barnabas Committee could solicit support for the resolutions which were approved by the Administrative Board.

MARCH 3, 1999: Received District Lay Leader list from Rev. Shirley Lynn.

MARCH11, 1999: PD Miller sent Resolution 811 to Rev. Donald Jones in Mayfield Kentucky.


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