According to reporting from Heather Hahn (UMNS), United Methodist bishops find themselves “off the map” as they try to navigate a way forward through the church’s impasse over homosexuality, said Bishop Bruce R. Ough of the Dakotas-Minnesota area. “There is currently no larger or intractable barrier to the mission, unity and vitality of The United Methodist Church than the matter of homosexuality,” the Council of Bishops president said November 6, in his fall address to 127 of his episcopal colleagues.
From our vantage point, it is noteworthy, but not surprising, that the Council of Bishops addressed this “intractable barrier” by inviting Bishop Karen Oliveto, the controversial episcopal leader of the Mountain Sky Episcopal Area, to preach one of the opening sermons before their gathering. Oliveto, of course, is married to another woman and has been publicly forthcoming about performing more than 50 same-sex weddings prior to becoming a bishop last year. It remains a mystery how this preaching invitation helps create unity or strengthen the mission, unity and vitality of the denomination.
To read Heather Hahn’s news story about the challenge before the Council of Bishops, click HERE.
Why is the Council of Bishops even allowing her in the room? As an unlawfully consecrated bishop she should not be any where near this meeting. Giving her a forum is the same as endorsing her legitimacy as bishop.
The fact that the Council of Bishops invited a person who openly defies the book of discipline, whose election to Bishop was declared invalid, but not ordered removed, by the Judicial Council, proves just how far apart the Bishops are from the laity and where they are leaning for the 2019 General Conference.
I am very disturbed that Oliveto (I will never call her Bishop) was allowed to speak. There is no justification for this. That fact that she was speaks volumes about where the Bishops stand on this matter. I really do not see and good ending to this schism.
Our Bishops seem to have evolved into little more than a secular, left leaning social activist group, especially with relation to the LGBT movement. So much so that they seem to have essentially snuffed out any blowback from what’s left of an orthodox contingency. Or, are there any orthodox Bishops present in the UMC today? What in the world has happened to our church? Shocking!
I hope which ever option is chosen at the next General Conference churches will be allowed to leave for reason’s of conscience without having to pay an exorbitant amount of money to be free from this yoke of apostasy. The current United Methodist Church is nothing more than a PAC for the Democratic Party and is guilty of being friends with the world.
The Bishops invite Oliveto to preach at their meeting – and then they have the gall to tell the rest of the church to avoid being divisive and honor our connection and our Book of Discipline? This is why so many of us have no respect for most of the Bishops, and the Council of Bishops as a whole. They have failed in their apostolic duty to lead the church.
Clearly we are at an impasse when a member of the faith can’t preach. Yes I know she is not consecrated in the appropriate manner and yes I know that the Judicial council basically punted the issue. But ANY member should be able to preach before the COB. There is nothing special about this group aside from their titles that dictates that you or I and any other member could not preach before them. But lets be clear this fight is over. The Conservative movement has clearly the numbers on their side and political power to dictate what will happen going forward. It time for moderates like myself and liberals to come to terms with this and start planning what to do after 2019. Many of us are going to have to find new church homes and for moderates the pickings are very very slim. Or we decide to stay home and watch Joel Osteen…..that is a joke…. Either way the future of the UMC is clearly as a conservative movement which will be based in the South with a remnant of congregations everywhere else. While it saddens me I get it The bible is clear and if you read the bible as inerrant its very very clear. Our communion is coming apart. Maybe both sides leave stronger but like all battlefields I and others will be left behind to pickup the pieces of our lives and move on.