Father's Day Canceled Again In West PA UM Pulpits
From: Clayton Harriger [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, May 01, 2006 8:48 AM
Subject: W PA Conf pastors absent again for second time on Father's Day 2006
I can't remember if I mentioned this to you last year or not. Anyway, for the second year in a row Bishop Tom Bickerton is adamant in demanding that all pastors in the W PA Annual Conference be present at the ordination service on Father's Day, June 18th, at Grove City College in Grove City PA. That is the closing day of the conference and will involve about 700 or so active pastors plus we retirees are expected to be in attendance as well.
I wrote to the bishop about this debacle last year and when I found out there was to be a repeat this year on Father's Day, I wrote not only to him, but included each of the 10 district superintendents in the letter also.
I have received no response from the bishop -- one DS wrote back and tried to justify the bishop scheduling the ordination on the morning of June 18th and expressed the "hope" that I would attend the ordination. One pastor recently wrote me and said how frustrated he was with this -- he is young and just getting started -- he said the service was over 3 1/2 hours long and it took him about the long to get back home -- he arrived at his home at about 5:30 pm on Father's Day last year -- quite a way to celebrate the occasion with his wife and young children, wouldn't you say? And all because of a rookie bishop who is heady with power and apparently wants to do some grandstanding before all the preachers and lay delegates on Father's Day!
Details of the letters plus information encouraging the lay folks of the W PA Conference to register their protests with the bishop and superintendents about requiring their pastors to be at conference rather than in their churches on Father's Day is located at www.crrange.com/lett23.html. I am hoping and praying for a literal storm of protests to take place on this matter. The DS who wrote me claimed that he had not heard one word of objection in this issue of pastors being away from their pulpits on Father's Day -- maybe the new bishop has been successful in so intimidating the people that even the laity are afraid to speak up!
God's best to you and family in these days, and I am sure you will have a blessed time in celebrating Father's Day with the family and your people -- much different than the UM pastors of the W PA Annual Conference!!!!
Still contending at www.crrange.com Clayton
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