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UMC Clergy Call for Re-commitment of Baptism and Clergy Vows - Feb 21

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The recent "holy union" ceremony co-officiated by some 150 clergy, most of them United Methodist, was yet another sad example of the lawlessness that is taking place within our denomination. Numerous renewal groups have issued statements expressing their concern over the events unfolding throughout United Methodism. These events are made all the more critical as General Conference 2000 draws near. We can expect a firestorm of additional lawlessness by the pro-homosexual forces in the coming months.

In their response to the "holy union" ceremony, The Confessing Movement Within The United Methodist Church made the following statement:

"We call upon all clergy to renew their vocational calling, and all lay persons to renew their baptismal vows. The soul of our church is being threatened. When we were baptized and/or joined the church, when we were ordained as ministers, we vowed to uphold the teaching of Scripture, doctrine, and the discipline of our church. This we must do for conscience sake in ways we are guided by the Holy Spirit in the weeks and months ahead."

In order that we who are concerned about the direction of The United Methodist Church may respond to the Confessing Movement's initiative in an outward and visible way, I am calling upon United Methodist pastors and lay persons to observe Sunday, February 21 (the first Sunday of Lent) as a Day of Prayer and Renewal. The Congregational Reaffirmation of the Baptismal Covenant (UMH 50-53), with an additional rubric for pastors to renew their ordination vows before their congregations, would be a most appropriate service for this occasion. With the liturgy of the church being brutalized by those who wish to give their blessing to sinful behavior, I believe the celebration of this renewal service in United Methodist churches nationwide on the first Sunday of Lent would be an act pleasing to God and a positive step toward restoring dignity to the worship life of the church.

I hope you will join with me in this day of celebration, to the glory of God.

In Christ,
James A. Gibson, Pastor
Marshallville United Methodist Church
Marshallville, Georgia

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