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Twice Arrested Bishop Sprague May Not Be Welcome Home

From: Michael L. Gonzalez gonzoml@concentric.net
To: jwarrene@surfsouth.com
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2000 7:14 PM
Subject: CALL to ACTION


The Bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, C. Joseph Sprague, is due to be assigned once again to the NIC in July 2000, just about two months from now. Based on his age, Bishop Sprague could remain in the NIC until the year 2008. Many devout Christians who have prayed for God's guidance, sincerely believe in their heart that Bishop Sprague can no longer lead the entire conference.

Bishop Sprague has aligned himself publicly and completely to only one segment within the church, and that segment is at odds with current church policy. He has claimed for himself the right to dissent from current church policy, but in his letter to pastors, he has asked that no clergy do likewise. Bishop Sprague can only cause further division within the conference--a conference already torn by the trial of Greg Dell and its aftermath.

Pray to God for guidance, and if you believe that a change in the Conference episcopacy is the answer, then let your voice be heard! "vox populi, vox dei" (latin: "the voice of the people is the voice of God").

Show your loyalty to the UMC by taking time to 1) pass this E-mail to everyone you know in the UMC, 2) compose a letter of your beliefs and send it (via U.S. mail) to the following persons who will be involved in the process of re-assignment of C. Joseph Sprague as bishop of the NIC. These persons will be moved by your letter expressing faith in God along with a reasoned position for your lack of support for Joseph continuing as bishop; name-calling and vitriol will not be persuasive, and will likely weaken the credibility of the effort made by so many others. Address separate letters to the following five people (to their home addresses indicated--there's no need to include their "title"):

Ms. Shirley Cook
806 Olive Road
Oxford, MI 48371
(Chairperson, North Central Jurisdictional Committee on the Episcopacy)

Rev. Myron F. McCoy
8441 S. St. Lawrence
Chicago, IL 60619
(NIC Representative to the Jurisdictional Committee)

Ms. Judith Siaba
2256 North Lamon
Chicago, IL 60639
(NIC Representative to the Jurisdictional Committee)

Ms. Bettie Lusk
3055 Bonnie Brae Crescent
Flossmoor, IL 60422-2027
(Chairperson, NIC Committee on the Episcopacy)

Ms. Harriet McCabe
9 W. Bailey Road
Naperville, IL 60565
(Chairperson, NIC General/Jurisdictional Conference Delegation)

If you are so led by God, ask these persons to detach themselves from the politics of the situation and consider re-assignment of Bishop Sprague elsewhere. The Northern Illinois Conference needs someone who can lead the Conference forward within the UMC, in unity, rather than continue to pull the Conference away as a renegade conference. A continued assignment of Bishop Sprague would further debilitate the Northern Illinois Conference, and so it is critical that the above persons understand the urgent need for action to address the situation.

Please send this E-mail to others ASAP (now, while you're thinking of it!), and send the U.S. Mail letters as soon as possible; receipt by the above persons before the Annual Conference the first week of June would be most effective. However, if your U.S. mail won't make this June date, then send your letters to arrive anytime prior to the North Central Jurisdictional Committee on the Episcopacy which is to meet July 14.

Acknowledgment of your actions is NOT necessary, but if you wish to receive a reply E-mail after the Annual Conference and after the Jurisdictional Committee Meeting, simply send an E-mail to ONLY ONE of the following E-mail addresses:

PassedItOn@hotmail.com (use this one if you passed this E-mail on to others, but will NOT be sending snail mail letters)

WillSendLetters@hotmail.com (use this one if you are sending snail mail letters, whether or not you passed this E-mail on to others)

Thank you and may God bless you and all of your loved ones

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