Chinese-American UM leaders respond to controversial appointment maneuvers

According to a press release, the National Chinese Caucus (NCC) of the United Methodist Church urges “all parties involved in the process of appointment to maintain a spirit of peace and goodwill toward those who hold differing theological and ethical values, while awaiting the decisions of the General Conference on the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation.”

The United Methodist Chinese ethnic caucus has been consistently supportive of the denomination’s long-held views on marriage and human sexuality. The group issued a statement of support for the adoption of the “Traditional Plan” at the 2019 Special General Conference.

The goals of the caucus are to “advocate for the development and concerns of our ethnic Chinese-American churches within The United Methodist Church, and to formulate strategies for the missional priority of our local congregations.”

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PRESS RELEASE

May 10, 2021

We received published reports that five theologically conservative senior pastors were moved from their theologically conservative congregations to other appointments when neither party requested a change: one in North Georgia Annual Conference, one in Greater New Jersey Annual Conference and three in California-Pacific Annual Conference. Four of the affected pastors are Korean.

Subsequently, the President of the National Laity Association of the Korean UMC expressed in a letter to Bishop Grant Hagiya of the California-Pacific Annual Conference, that their theologically conservative Clergy and churches were being persecuted. This matter also generates deep concerns in the ethnic minority, including Chinese, clergy and churches.

While wide deference is given to the authority and accountability of Bishops (Chapter Three, Section IV, Specific Responsibilities of Bishops), the Book of Discipline specifically states, “Consultation is a process whereby the bishop and/or district superintendent confer with the pastor and committee on pastor-parish relations, taking into consideration the criteria of para. 427, a performance evaluation, needs of the appointment under consideration, and mission of the Church” (para. 426). This same paragraph continues, “Consultation is not merely notification.” Further, para. 426 (1) of The Book of Discipline states that “The process of consultation shall be mandatory in every annual conference.”

Therefore, we urge all parties involved in the process of appointment to maintain a spirit of peace and goodwill toward those who hold differing theological and ethical values, while awaiting the decisions of the General Conference on the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation.

Executive Committee
National Chinese Caucus
The United Methodist Church

Comments

  1. John Loper says

    The BOD is a lame-duck document of compact that has already proved it’s “worth” or lack thereof, in the ongoing church war for righteousness. Let us not play at words, all stakeholders understand the language of the Discipline concerning the appointment process. The “process of consultation may be mandatory in every annual conference” but because of the “wide deference given to the authority and accountability of the Bishops” they are free to interpret that authority pretty much as they choose. I had a DS friend of mine who once reminded me that he had “a pastor to punish every church and a church to punish every pastor.” As in every other human institution where sin reigns in the flesh, the Bishops are simply exercising the power that has been given them to do what they believe they should do in this instant. In this way, all appeals to a well-intended “spirit of peace and goodwill” will amount to little more than dilly-dally gum-flapping and righteous indignation.

  2. D Stevens says

    That “process of consultation” may be as simple as a yearly questionnaire/ document. In my conference, that seems to be the major part of the process at least.

  3. Rev Dr Sandra Heer says

    My opinion: Bishop are DS are afraid all the conservative ethnic churches will leave the Conference and take these churches with them after the split. This is their way of maintaining control.

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