Cal/Nev's Retribution Is Disobedient Bishop's Personal Agenda Over Discipline
Here is a letter we recently sent to the bishop and all clergy members of our conference, protesting the injustice of Kyle Phillips' appointment. Kyle has written numerous letters very eloquently in protest of his appointment, we felt that we needed to weigh in as well, we are all in this mess together.
In His Hands, John
To our colleagues in the California-Nevada Annual Conference:
Much has happened since our open letter of March 9, most of it unhealthy, inappropriate and deeply disturbing. The release of that letter has led to one of the writers (Kyle Phillips, currently pastor in Tehachapi) to be targeted for an act of retribution: an appointment which is against Kyles will, his congregations will, and, we firmly believe, against Gods will.
It is also clearly against the procedures mandated in the Book of Discipline (paragraphs 431-433). We have included a copy of Kyles letter to his district superintendent for background information. Please read and consider it before you read the remainder of this letter.
We were all amazed and deeply saddened by the following: a clear violation of Kyles rights; the choice by the bishop to pursue a personal agenda over the Disciplines procedures; and a blatant disregard for a vital congregation.
Tehachapi Valley UMC is bearing the wrath that has been aimed at their pastor for speaking out in opposition to the stand made by the conference leadership. Now, the so-called "longstanding covenant commitments for inclusiveness and justice of the California-Nevada Annual Conference" ring hollow!
The rocks will cry out if we do not prophetically do so against this unprecedented abuse of power and disregard of faithful United Methodists nationwide. That one has been singled out for this punitive act gives us no comfort. We stand in solidarity and decry this act as a grievous offense within the life of the United Methodist Church.
Such violations of the trust relationship, upon which our covenant is based, do nothing but threaten its very existence. We have no desire to be unnecessarily divisive, but we must not stomach further abuse. We dare not validate this vendetta, and allow Kyle to hang alone. We must rise to the occasion, as General Conference did not. We must follow the path of love and justice, and call for repentance and accountability from our Bishop and conference leaders who demonstrate their unwillingness or inability to operate within the boundaries of our covenant.
God is at work around the world in unprecedented ways. If we are to seize the day on behalf of our great denomination and catch the wave of this great Awakening, we must not participate in the darkness. The systemic evil is so deeply embedded in our connection that there has been no massive outcry! God, forgive us! We who claim to be the inheritors of an earlier awakening effectively must not abort the even greater movement that He desires to birth.
If you are in fundamental agreement that an injustice has been done, email or write one of us to add your name and support.
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