When Are UMC Bishops Going To Come Clean?
News and Comment
February 17, 2006
First the News
The following is one of several announcements that appeared on The Reconciling Ministries Network "Flashnet" on February 16, 2006. These e-newsletters of the RMN are later archived at http://www.rmnetwork.org/flashnet/.
Now for the Comment
In fairness to Bishop Sherer, I have written her via e-mail to ask if this event has her endorsement and if not would she be asking the RMN to retract this statement implying her endorsement. Unfortunately, I have since found out that Bishop Sherer is attending the World Council of Churches in Brazil and will not be able to reply for at least two weeks.
Such announcements bring up the issue of endorsements by bishops for such events. Sometimes it is difficult to ascertain whether a bishop really does endorse an event publicly, privately behind the scenes or not at all. This is nothing new. Back in 1993 with the "Re-Imagining Conference" supporters were claiming to have the endorsements of bishops yet no bishops were ever named. Even as of 2005 when a debate took place between leaders of the Women's Division and the leaders of Renewal (The Good News women's division) the Women's Division of the UMC were still claiming episcopal support for that event without naming any bishop in particular.
If bishops are going to support such events as they sometimes do (see
examples of Carcano and Minnick at
need to do so clearly. If they are not endorsing these events
retractions should be demanded or statements clarifying the bishop's
position should be issued. As for this event, it will go by
with Bishop Sherer's implied endorsement. If the endorsement is
real it flies in the face of the "incompatibility" wording of The BoD
towards homosexuality. If the endorsement is not actual then an
episcopal office has been used unwittingly.