A note sent to Rev. Mike Goodyear
My name is Rev. Brad Wilson. I have the blessing of being one of your fellow evangelical christian pastor's in a VERY liberal UMC conference. I am in Northern Illinois under the "rule of Discipline" as interpreted by Bishop Sprague.
Know that you are being lifted up before the Throne of Grace even as you read this little note. As with the world in general, it is doubtful we will ever meet this side of heaven, but please know that you are not alone in your struggle against the 'principalities and powers.'
Just as a small idea, have you thought about refusing to acknowledge the beginning of the process of your own 'complaint supervision' until such time as the MULTITUDE of complaints before your own are dealt with in the same "due process?" If the same process and time line is not used for the charges against Fado and crew as is being forced upon you, then due process is NOT being followed in CA. If those in charge of the process are not willing to put into writing the process that they are using then due process is NOT being followed in CA. If due process is not being used then the whole proceeding against you is nothing but a "witch hunt" and those in charge of the hunt should themselves be brought up on charges for failure to follow due process.
As to the charges against you, I think that there is only one that is disciplinary, that of 637.4 if I'm reading it correctly. But what about the first part of 637.4. Has your conference published ANNUALLY the report of those churches who have failed to pay proportional pension and benefit apportionments? If not, how can you be charged with that which has not been overseen by your conference? Does your conference print in its statistical reports a SEPARATE line item for those same pension and benefit apportionments? Did not your church pay 10% of it's apportionment? If so, is the portion of the pension and benefits part of your apportionment greater than 10%? You can claim that it was paid and that the Conference Treasurer failed to acknowledge YOUR FAITHFULNESS TO THE DISCIPLINE. If I read the Discipline correctly, every pastor of every church that has failed to pay it's apportioned pension and benefit dollars and yet pays it's pastor in full, is liable to these charges. Have the rest of the pastors of churches who fail to pay their pension and benefit apportionments in full been charged with this violation of 637.4? One would think that this would happen every year in every conference of the UMC. Yet I have never heard of a pastor charged under this paragraph.
I really don't expect you to write me an answer to these questions, but it is my hope that you will take the time to check them out. I know that MY conference is in big trouble on these counts as they do not publish yearly an accounting of churches who fail on 637.4, nor do they publish a separate line item in the statistical reports for this same item. Check out your own conferences practices very carefully. If your conference does not comply, then your church would be unable to comply and therefore the charges against you have basis and foundation.
At any rate, we are keeping you and your family(?) in our prayers.
May the Grace and Presence of God the Father and of His Son our Lord and Savior Jesus the risen Christ, and the Holy Spirit be with you know and forever. AMEN.
I'll be 60 in July, but if things don't change, I'm outta here. Johnny Paychek stated it rather succinctly: "Take this job and shove it" -pension and all! I hope it's not "To your tents, O Israel!", but it's looking more and more like it, amen?
This is the war Mike has wanted for a long time. He made it clear at the ERF meeting in the winter that he did not want to wait for General Conference or for the whole UM evangeilcal movement to move in concert.
As an evangecal myself in this same Conference, I'm not sure it is wise to make Mike's cause the darling of the national UM movement of the moment.
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