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Dear Friends,

We have much to be thankful for as we witness the move of the Holy Spirit in our Conference and enjoy His refreshing.

Bless you all.

Jane Bonner, EPEC

email me if you have any questions.

We Believe in the Church! by Rev. Tom Lambrecht
https://wesleyancovenant.org/march-3-2017-blog/

Observations from the Wesleyan Covenant Association©
http://www.bishopmikelowry.com/observations-from-the-wesleyan-covenant-association/

MY THOUGHTS ON THE WCA MEETING IN CHICAGO
http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/7773/my-thoughts-on-the-wca-meeting-in-chicago

The Wesleyan Covenant Association
http://www.wesleyancovenant.org/

United Methodists Standing Firm
http://standfirmumc.org/

A MESSAGE TO GLOBAL UMC FROM UMC AFRICA INITIATIVE
http://s3.amazonaws.com/Website_Properties/A_MESSAGE_TO_THE_GLOBAL_UMC-FROM_THE_UMC_AFRICA_INITIATIVE.pdf

No Choice But Talking About Breaking Up
http://goodnewsmag.org/2016/06/no-choice-but-talking-about-breaking-up/

Do We Need Another Layer?
http://peopleneedjesus.net/2016/03/03/do-we-need-another-layer/

The Coming Shattering of the UMC
http://unsettledchristianity.com/the-coming-shattering-of-the-umc/

New York board welcomes gay clergy candidates
http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/new-york-board-welcomes-gay-clergy-candidates

Married lesbian recommended as Provisional Deacon
http://bwcumc.org/married-lesbian-recommended-as-provisional-deacon/

No Sign of Unity Based on Integrity
http://goodnewsmag.org/2014/12/no-sign-of-unity-based-on-integrity/


Older News Articles of Interest:

Just Resolution achieved, dialogues continue
http://epaumc.org/news/stories/2014-october-resolution-dialogues

Bishop responds to Judicial Council ruling on Rev. Frank Schaefer's reinstatement
http://epaumc.org/news/stories/2014-bishop's-response-judicial-council-ruling-schaefer-reinstatement

Judicial Council hears arguments on Schaefer case
http://epaumc.org/news/stories/2014-Judicial-Council-hears-appeal-of-Schaefer-reinstatement

MethodistCrossroads.org: Integrity and Unity
http://www.methodistcrossroads.org/?p=1/#menu-integrity-unity

Update: Schaefer case appealed to Judicial Council
http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/schaefer-case-appealed-to-judicial-council

Complaint received for Philly same-sex union
http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/complaint-received-for-philly-same-sex-union

Sister believes in Jesus’ love for lesbian sibling
http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/sister-believes-in-jesus-love-for-lesbian-sibling

Minister's defrocking remains an issue for United Methodist bishop
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140216_Priest_s_defrocking_remains_an_issue_for_
United_Methodist_bishop.html

Scars and hope emerging from Schaefer trial, struggle to resolve United Methodist same-sex wedding laws
http://umcconnections.org/2014/02/10/pain-felt-around-schaefer-trial/

As Eye See It: WAYNE, PA: Rev. Frank Schaeffer's Marriage of His Son Brought about Own Demise
http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=18443#.UvjvLvldUfV


A Response to the December 16, 2013 Petition to Bishop Peggy Johnson of EPA Conference

Today, a number of clergy of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church are presenting a petition to our bishop calling upon her to make certain public statements and commitments on the subject of sexuality and church discipline. This petition is a direct result of the actions of 36 members of our conference on November 9, who co-officiated at a same sex wedding, contrary to our United Methodist doctrine and discipline, and in violation of their own ordination vows.

  • We agree with the petitioners that persons who self-identify as LBGT are, as our church teaches, “persons of sacred worth,” and affirm our desire to be in ministry with and for all persons, without regard to how they may define their sexuality.
  • We deny that statements in our Book of Discipline are discriminatory. The Discipline identifies practices, not persons, as incompatible with Christian teaching. Behavioral standards for those who seek ordination in our church apply equally to all persons, however they may define their sexual preferences. Nor is it discriminatory for the overwhelming majority of United Methodists worldwide to believe that God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman.
  • We also desire to avoid costly and painful judicial processes, and yearn to avoid further church trials. But this will require, at a minimum, that those who have willfully broken their ordination vows publicly confess that they should not have done so, and pledge to refrain from doing so again as long as our rules remain as they are.

We call upon Bishop Johnson to use her authority as an episcopal leader to hold these colleagues accountable to their ordination vows, modeling the gracious and transforming love of Christ, which both invited all people into his flock, and challenged all people to the highest standards of holy living in a fallen world.

The Eastern Pennsylvania Evangelical Connection.

December 16, 2013

To download a doc file of this statement, please click here.


A Statement from the Evangelical Connection of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church

A Call to Accountability

Recently it was announced that 31 local United Methodist clergy are planning to conduct a same-sex wedding in our region this month. Such a ceremony is contrary to the stated position of our global United Methodist Church, and is specifically prohibited by church law as outlined in our Book of Discipline. Our Church’s declarations that "the practice of homosexuality… [is] incompatible with Christian teaching," and that "sexual relations are affirmed only with the covenant of monogamous, heterosexual marriage" (161F), are consistent with the definition of marriage offered to us by Jesus Christ in Matthew 19, and with the worldwide consensus of the Christian Church for 2,000 years.

The immediate question before us, however, is not that of sexuality but of accountability, community and integrity. In ordination, every United Methodist minister enters into a solemn covenant with fellow clergy and the laity, and vows to abide by our rules. The right to dissent from those rules and work to change them is unquestioned. But those entrusted with ordination have no right to break those rules unilaterally in their official roles, or seek to do so without consequence.

We have a process we call "holy conferencing," in which representatives and leaders of our church meet regularly at the local, regional and global levels to prayerfully discuss and debate difficult issues, set policies, and enact rules that govern our common life. This process is public, democratic, and always open to revisiting questions previously decided. This process represents the common covenant that binds us together, and holds us accountable to one another.

Having failed thus far to persuade our church through its process of holy conferencing to change its teachings, these 31 clergy have chosen to break their covenant with fellow clergy and the laity of the United Methodist Church. They have also made it clear that their intended action is designed to paralyze our system of accountability, and render our Book of Discipline inoperable, by placing impossible strains on the financial and human resources of our community. We grieve over the potential of this intended action to threaten the very fabric of our unity.

We implore these colleagues to reconsider their intended course; to consider the grave harm it will inflict on the covenant that binds us together as United Methodists; and to reflect on the irreparable damage it will render to trust, community, and collegiality among us.

We further call upon our bishop and all our fellow United Methodists in Eastern Pennsylvania to reaffirm their commitment to our common covenant, to pray for these dissatisfied brothers and sisters, and to work to maintain both the unity and integrity of our beloved Church.

November 1, 2013

To download a pdf file of this statement, please click here.


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