Divorce, Vendetta, And Feminist Homosexual Politics Bring Cries Of "Resign" For Anti-church New England Bishop
With Bishop Hassinger we have a politician who has run amuck, blindly pursuing a political agenda at the expense of the best interests of the New England Conference, especially at a time when the Conference is in desperate need of serious spiritual leadership.
There is the appearance of a political vendetta, in the situation of Rev Steven Zarecki we have a pastor who has faithfully and effectively served for almost 25 years and is now being relentlessly persecuted for almost a year now on charges that have not been disclosed, perhaps for the reason that they are so spurious and lacking that they could be for no other reason than to simply push Rev Zarecki out of the ministry.
It would seem that since Rev Zarecki has not toed the political line that he is being hounded out of the UMC. Charges that we were told that were so serious have taken over a year to be hashed out and what has resulted is mediation that has seen Rev Zarecki put on a leave of absence. It would certainly not be out of the question to conjecture that it was hoped that Rev Zarecki would simply be intimidated to turn in his credentials. When he didn't the process was dragged out and when it finally had to be addressed the charges seemed to be not as serious as indicated or completely without basis.
During this year, Rev Zarecki has been under virtual house arrest at the Pearl St UMC parsonage. By doing this, Bishop Hassinger has deprived two congregations of a full time pastor, while forcing two congregations to pay for a full time pastor. This saga started with threats and unspecified accusations. There were promises that there would be an immediate church court trial etc, yet nothing has ever been determined. What started out as a promise that would rival the greatest court cases of the century (one thinks of Johnny Corcoran, "if it doesn't fit you must acquit", but what is it that doesn't fit? Where are the bodies? Where is the carnage?) But it has petered out into mediation behind closed doors where Bishop Hassinger has apparently dictated terms and has failed to spell out any reason why. Needless to say if this were perpetrated against anyone but a middle-aged, white, male, there would be an uproar. The bottom line is that this is not acceptable.
There have been other occasions of Bishop Wolf Hassingers misuse or abuse of office. (What is it about the middle name of Wolf?) First we have Thomas Wolf Fawcett who abused his position as Secretary of the UM General Board of Global Ministry by speaking on behalf of the UMC when he had no business doing so, and now we have Susan Wolf Hassinger who abuses ministers in our conference and uses her position for political purposes.)
For example a ballot referendum question in the state of Maine, which was placed on the ballot by initiative petition (i.e. concerned voters went out and got thousands of signatures of registered voters on a petition to put this question on the ballot). This referendum would deny special minority preferences to homosexuals that had been granted by the Maine state legislature. Bishop Wolf Hassinger ordered, ordered, UMC ministers in the state of Maine to preach against the passage of this referendum question. This in flagrant disregard of UMC policy, and could even jeopardize their tax exempt status. Can you imagine the uproar if pastors were to preach to ban abortions if there was such a referendum question?
During the last annual conference Bishop Wolf Hassinger announced that finances for the year were down, again, and membership for the year was down, again, for the ninth straight year (oops did I say straight). But yippee, skippee, the New England Conference has the highest percentage (not number, just percentage) of women pastors of any conference in the UMC, which prompted wild applause. Did all these people get left back in the 80's? I mean then we got our stockings in a twist over this stuff. But this is old. It seems Bishop Wolf Hassinger is more concerned about continually dividing a badly divided church, over an issue that has run its course. What we need is a spiritual leader who is concerned about bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to New England, which is badly in need of the gospel. Bishop Wolf Hassinger seems to be more concerned about the gospel of homosexuals, feminists and whatever liberal political football there is to kick around.
We have also seen Bishop Wolf Hassinger engage in bloody fights with those who have poured their heart and soul into their church and tangibly supported the Conference. When they chose to pull out of the UMC because they could no longer stomach the abuses being perpetrated in the New England Conference and the failures of the New England Conference, Bishop Wolf Hassinger stripped them of the church that they and their forbears, had poured their lives into.
Due to the unfortunate and rather extreme circumstance of a divorce that Bishop Hassinger has had to experience, she has apparently found herself in a possibly dysfunctional situation. Obviously we don't know for how long, but we also don't know how this has affected her judgment and ability to lead. We can see the results and what seem like mindless persecutions that have been pursued in the Conference.
In most situations like this the leader involved will chose for their own best interests and the best interests of the organization they lead, that they normally chose to resign. If they don't chose to do so, those in leadership positions must take responsibility and step in to guide this leader to make this decision.
Since Bishop Wolf Hassinger cannot or will not do the job that was conferred upon her, spiritual leader of New England United Methodists, it is past time that she resign. She needs to do so quickly before further injury is inflicted on the body of Christ. We can no longer tolerate being lead by social experimenters impersonating as Christian leaders.
We need a bishop who will articulate a vision of reaching out to the lost, who will unite this church (men, women, black, hispanic, homosexual, everyone) "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 4:28
Who will move us into the 21st century? Where and when will we rise and shine as Christians in the darkness? When will clergy not have to live in fear if they do not adhere to a social dogma? When will we celebrate new members of the body of Christ, which is now being decimated by a wrongheaded social agenda? "I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of na´ve people." (Romans 16: 17-18)
It is time that we divest our selves of the cancer that is growing in the New England Conference, that is sapping the strength of the church to do true ministry, that puts up obstacles in the way of those who wish to carry the gospel of Christ into the darkness.
It is past time that Bishop Wolf Hassinger resign the office she currently holds for the good of the church so that we may look to Christ to put us on the course He would have us follow and not the course of those who espouse their limited, divisive and prejudiced social agenda.
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