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UM Homofest Gets Local Church Leaders To Redirect Apportionments So Bishops Get The Message

From: RB [mailto:rbig@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2005 10:44 AM
To: jwarrene@ucmpage.org
Subject: misc

John---thanks for the thoughts and your offer to post a blurb for us on the Lake Junaluska topic. Below is a short one I wrote for this purpose--directed primarily to SEJ people for action. Please let me know when/where it posts. I think I'll see if Clayton Harriger will also post it on Circuit Rider:

This is for SEJ people who don't like the way the Wreckonciler meeting at Lake Junaluska was allowed to happen.

I talked to our bishop well in advance of the scheduled meeting date. He took the daring (not) step of "talking to Mr. Carr (Lake Junaluska Director) about it". Our bishop gets it--but---like too many, doesn't want to make waves.

I had several sharp exchanges with Mr. Carr. He was defensive, and ended up insisting what they did was right.

The SEJ controls Lake Junaluska. It is one of their retreat places.

I was looking for a way to help SEJ and Mr. Carr "get it right", when along came our 06 apportionments from our Conference. In there were two line items which directly deal with Lake Junaluska. One is labelled "SEJ Administration", the other "Lake Junaluska Restoration Fund".

Our Admin Council voted to accept the apportionments, with one exception: we took the money allocated to the SEJ Admin and Lake Junaluska lines out and moved their total to the Wesley Foundation line.

I am not, and never have been in favor of witholding general apportionments, especially if it's being done to make a statement. Most of our apportionments go for good causes. Witholding repeatedly and/or with an explicit statement can get your church and/or pastor in trouble (ask Charles Sineath).

But, the above strategy simply reprograms, and has the added benefit of being very selective as to target. If a bunch of SEJ congregations do this for several years, it may help our bishops and Mr. Carr to "get it".

Ron Biggerstaff

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