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SE Regional Lay Leaders Squeak Protest Against Sprague Heresy By Complimenting Other Bishops


January 27, 2003

To: Southeast Jurisdiction College of Bishops

From: Southeast Jurisdiction Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders

Statement of Support and Concern

We express our appreciation to our episcopal leaders who have offered clarification and dialogue to laity and clergy regarding the recent address by Bishop Sprague concerning the nature, personhood, divinity, humanity, incarnation and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We believe this discussion is critical to the future of the UMC. We also believe it is within the authority and responsibility of our bishops to address such issues and to give their advice and understanding to the church.

We also believe our general church has serious and dramatic internal disagreements regarding Christian doctrine that are tearing at the very fabric of our denomination.

This wide divergence in interpretation of doctrine has become detrimental to our working in covenant with one another as the United Methodist Church. Mutual understanding of our core theological doctrine is essential to our ability to commit to one another in Christian fellowship and to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

We support the historic theological beliefs and Wesleyan heritage of the United Methodist Church.

The continued affirmation of our historic theological doctrine and Wesleyan heritage needs to be among the most significant work of our Episcopal and clergy leadership as well as among our laity.

The North Georgia Annual Conference Board of Laity unanimously adopted the following resolution at itís regular scheduled meeting on November 10, 2002:

Whereas Bishop Joseph Sprague in a speech at Iliff School Of Theology restated doctrines which speak about the nature, divinity, humanity, and mission of Jesus Christ; and,

Whereas Bishop Timothy Whitaker and Bishop Marion Edwards have written responses which are in keeping with mainline Wesleyan thought, and

Whereas the Conference Board of Laity of the North Georgia Annual Conference has concern that some of our church leaders are moving away from the historic doctrines of the church; and,

Whereas the vast majority of United Methodists hold to Wesleyan thought concerning the nature, personhood, divinity, humanity, incarnation, and resurrection of Jesus Christ;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Conference Board of Laity of North Georgia Annual Conference goes on Record as commending Bishop Whitaker and Bishop Edwards for their reasoned, scholarly papers; and,

Be it further resolved that the aforementioned Board of Laity appreciates the witness of our Episcopal leader, Bishop G. Lindsey Davis, and supports and encourages his continued dialogue upholding the Wesleyan tradition of The United Methodist Church.

Attested to this 11th day of November, 2002 by: Joe M. Whittemore, chair and conference lay leader Dick Williamson, secretary of the board

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