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First United Methodist Church, Littlefield, Texas Gives Notice


March 29, 1998

To Bishop Alfred L. Norris
7920 Mountain Road
NE Albuquerque, NM 87110-7805

Dear Bishop Norris,

We, the administrative council and congregation of the First United Methodist Church of Littlefield, Texas, believe that our denomination is in crisis.

We believe that the connectional nature of our church is threatened because of the verdict in the church trial of Rev. Jimmy Creech. We believe it is wrong for a pastor to go against the teaching of Holy Scripture, the will of General Conference, the Discipline of our church and the specific directions of his bishop without any consequence. To allow a pastor to disobey our church's law or to interpret it to fit his own agenda, undermines the very fiber of our connectional system.

We believe this crisis calls for strong leadership in our general church. We look to you, our Bishop, for such leadership. We ask that, first of all, you and the cabinet clearly articulate your position on this matter. Then, we ask that you and the other bishops call an immediate session of the Judicial Council to rule on this decision. If this does not occur, then we ask that the Council of Bishops call a special session of the General Conference before our church breaks apart.

We also believe that if there is no such leadership or attempt of such leadership, then the covenant of our connectional system will be broken and therefore we will be released of any financial obligation of apportionment or asking.

We believe in giving beyond our local church. Our church has always taken our giving through apportionments and askings very seriously. Historically we have paid one hundred per cent. However, we cannot continue to support ministries that condone behavior that is contrary to Scripture, orthodox belief and church law.

As we have said, we believe our church is in crisis. Our hearts grieve as we believe that this wound, if left untended, will be mortal. We now look to you for the pastoral leadership our conference and denomination need at this critical time.

We believe, that God will triumph. We know that the church of Jesus Christ will continue with or without us. Our hope and prayer are that the United Methodist Church will be healed and will experience renewal out of this dark time.

Prayerfully submitted,

Rick Ingram George Price, Chairperson, Pastor

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