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Heretical UM Bishop Ducks Dialogue Prescribed By Review Team

For Immediate Release                                                                    August 25, 2003

Contact:  nicvoice@nicvoice.org

Brenda Klockenga           (815-459-6244)

The grass roots laity movement challenging the dismissal of the complaint of heresy against Chicago Methodist Bishop Joseph Sprague continued at the Downers Grove Public Library on August 12th.

NIC VOICE editor Brenda Klockenga made another presentation of "Watershed Moment", the slide show that compares Bishop Sprague’s beliefs on the virgin birth, Jesus’ having been born the Son of God, Christ’s having died for our sins and the resurrection of the body with the teachings of the Bible and the Methodist Book of Discipline.

“The reactions from this lively audience of about fifty people ran the spectrum from surprise, incredulity and disbelief to acquiescence, judgment-making and determination to take action -- but there was general consensus that there is a pressing need to continue deeper discussions about our essential doctrinal beliefs," said Mrs. Klockenga.

 Apparently, a few individuals may have attended the presentation for the express purpose of challenging the views presented.  "Because ‘Watershed Moment’ is designed to present a balanced combination of quotations from Bishop Sprague, the Holy Bible and the UMC's Book of Discipline, it is difficult for dissenters to disagree with the content,” explained Mrs. Klockenga.  She continued, "About all anyone can raise dissent about is their interpretation concerning the intent of the words and the possible meaning of quotations from any one of these three sources.  It is difficult to argue with the logical intent and meaning of such quotations".

“In fact,” she continued, “when those who hold the progressive view of Bishop Sprague see the Articles of Faith of the UMC’s Book of Discipline compared with Bishop Sprague’s statements, they are shocked to learn that these Articles may not be changed because they were ‘cast in stone’ with the foundation of the denomination.”

“Bishop Sprague has been invited to attend all of our presentations and to share the platform,” the NIC Editor explained.  “So far, the Bishop has been unavailable.  We hope that he will make himself available for a series of two-sided discussion of his views.” 

Those who wish to view the presentation can download it from www.nicvoice.orgNIC VOICE encourages local Bible study groups, Sunday School classes and churches to use the Microsoft PowerPoint™ presentation to stimulate discussion of “the future of our church,” Klockenga said.

Those in the Northern Illinois Conference who would like a member of NIC VOICE’s lay network to make a presentation at their church may contact NIC VOICE via the web site with their requests.

Already scheduled are presentations at:

Wedron United Methodist Church on Tuesday, September 16, at 7:00 PM.  Darrel Rader, Lay Leader FUMC Woodstock, IL, and alternate delegate to Jurisdictional Conference, is the presenter.  For additional information, contact Karen Michelini at karenmichelini@yahoo.com or at (815) 638-2090.

Pecatonica United Methodist Church, Fifth and Washington Streets; Pecatonica, IL, on Sunday, September 28, at 7:00 PM. Brenda Klockenga, Lay Delegate to NIC Annual Conference FUMC Crystal Lake, IL, and editor, NIC VOICE, along with John Crissman, Lay Delegate to NIC Annual Conference, XXX, Grays Lake, IL, will be presenting.   For additional information, contact Rev. Tom Kingery at pecumc@aeroinc.net or at (815) 239-1110.


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