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Good News Urges General Conference to Have Straight Talk on Real Problems

The Executive Committee of Good News in the spring board meeting issued the following press release:


Good News Urges General Conference to Have Straight Talk on Real Problems

WILMORE, KY -- The Executive Committee of Good News, a renewal movement within the United Methodist Church, meeting here April 13 and 14, urged General Conference delegates to have honest, candid discussion about whether the Book of Discipline remains a binding book of order and discipline for all of United Methodism.

"In light of the actions of the Committee on Investigation of the California-Nevada Annual Conference and the accompanying remarks of Bishop Mel Talbert claiming the annual conference is 'a more basic and fundamental covenant' than the Book of Discipline," said James V. Heidinger II, President and Publisher of Good News, "delegates in Cleveland need to have straight talk about whether United Methodists remain willing to abide by their Book of Discipline."

"This issue is especially critical in light of the Connectional Process Team (CPT) and Churches United in Christ (CUiC) proposals which will come before the delegates," Heidinger added. "Should the church spend major amounts of time considering these new structural arrangements when it should be giving careful attention to its deep division over basic doctrinal and moral issues."

The Good News leaders also deplored the words and actions of Rev. Thom "White Wolf" Fassett, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society, who has spoken out publicly opposing the United Methodist Men's support of the Boy Scouts of America, who have refused to accept homosexual scout leaders; Fassett has also been both vocal and visible in helping raise funds for legal expenses of Juan Miguel Gonzalez in his efforts to have his son, Elian, returned to Cuba. While only the General Conference has the authority to speak for the United Methodist Church, these public advocacy actions have given Americans the impression that Fassett is speaking officially on behalf of the United Methodist Church. Reports of Fassett's actions have angered thousands of United Methodists, who do not agree with his actions in either the Boy Scouts case or in his efforts to have young Elian Gonzalez returned to Cuba.

Good News also reviewed and reiterated its seven-point renewal agenda for the upcoming General Conference. Those seven issues are:

  1. Renew Doctrinal Integrity;
  2. Retain Membership Vows;
  3. Return to Voluntary Financial Support;
  4. Reject the Connectional Process Team Report;
  5. Reform Judicial Procedures for Bishops;
  6. Retain Present Standards on Homosexuality; and
  7. Reject Partial-Birth Abortion.

If you have any questions about General Conference, please visit our web-site at http://www.umdecision2000.com . This site is dedicated solely to General Conference, and provides information on specifics for the 2000 meeting. We will soon be posting ways that you can get daily (or as often as we can get to them) updates from General Conference.

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