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UMC Bishops Responses to the Dammann Trial Verdict

This response matrix and chart has been prepared by the laity of the United Methodist Church by individual laity from various conferences and by NIC VOICE and Faithful Christian Laity.  It reflects concern for the bishops responses to the serious issues raised by the not guilty verdict in the Karen Dammann trial, as well as the dismissal of charges of heresy against Bishop Sprague.  It is provided as a way to communicate the aggregate of the responses of the bishops to these situations.  If there are any missing statements or updates/comments on the response matrix and chart, please send these to Faithful@FaithfulChristianLaity.org or to nicvoice@nicvoice.org

Summary of Analysis: 

Note  - The statistics are based on the number of bishops responding, not the total number of bishops:

·         No bishops indicated that action should be taken to identify false teachers or to prune away withered branches in either the case of the Karen Dammann trial verdict or the dismissal of charges of heresy against Bishop Sprague.

·         Five of the bishops commented on the Bishop Sprague doctrinal issues (three of concern, two of support).

·         Forty-three (out of 50 US bishops) bishops have commented on the Dammann Trial verdict or the issues raised, either by direct statement or comment on dealing with these issues at GC in March and April 2004.  The following bishops have not been included in the matrix as of 4/21/2004 (no statement found):

§         Columbia Episcopal Area - Bishop J. Lawrence Mccleskey
§         Pittsburgh Episcopal Area - Bishop Hae-jong Kim
§         Kansas Episcopal Area - Bishop A. Frederick Mutti
§         Missouri Episcopal Area - Bishop Ann B. Sherer
§         Albany Episcopal Area - Bishop Susan M. Morrison
§         Boston Episcopal Area - Bishop Susan W. Hassinger
§         Phoenix Episcopal Area, Bishop William W. Dew Jr.

·         63% of the bishops indicated by their statements on the Dammann Trial verdict that the unity of the UMC was of overriding importance.

·         36% of the bishops indicated by their statements that the Dammann Trial verdict was in error.

·         58% of the bishops indicated by their statements that there should be continued dialogue on the issue of full inclusion of those who are practicing homosexuals.

·         72% of the bishops indicated by their statements that they would uphold the current BOD.

·         79% of the bishops indicated that this issue should be addressed by General Conference.

We urge you to contrast what the Bishops responses are with Our Lord Jesus Christ’s stern warnings to the Churches:

Revelation 2: 18 "Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are bright like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze: 19 "I know all the things you do – your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things. 20 But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman – that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet – to lead my servants astray. She is encouraging them to worship idols, eat food offered to idols, and commit sexual sin. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she would not turn away from her immorality. 22 Therefore, I will throw her upon a sickbed, and she will suffer greatly with all who commit adultery with her, unless they turn away from all their evil deeds. 23 I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve. 24 But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching ('deeper truths,' as they call them – depths of Satan, really). I will ask nothing more of you 25 except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. 26 "To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, I will give authority over all the nations. 27 They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots. 28 They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star! 29 Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

Revelation 3:14 "Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen – the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation: 15 "I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, 'I am rich. I have everything I want. I don't need a thing!' And you don't realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18 I advise you to buy gold from me – gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. And also buy white garments so you will not be shamed by your nakedness. And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I am the one who corrects and disciplines everyone I love. Be diligent and turn from your indifference. 20 "Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends. 21 I will invite everyone who is victorious to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. 22 Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches."

We welcome your comments and will post them on the Faithful Christian Laity Discussion Forum provided for this purpose: http://www.faithfulchristianlaity.org/discussion/viewtopic.php?t=90 (section for comments).

There are three ways that you can post on this Forum:

1.      Click here to register:  http://faithfulchristianlaity.org/forum.htm#Faithful%20Christian and post your comments after your registration has been confirmed.

2.      Send an email  to Faithful@FaithfulChristianLaity.org. Your comment will be posted with your name.

3.      Send an email to Faithful@FaithfulChristianLaity.org and request your comment to be posted anonymously.

All comments must abide by the Faithful Christian Laity Forum Registration Agreement Terms. 

NIC VOICE has created an email address which will email every United Methodist Bishop your message. Just click on the email address bishops@nicvoice.org, type your message, and send your message to them all. (All messages submitted to the above address will be reviewed by the website administrator prior to sending.)  You can also download address labels and email addresses as well:

·  Download Address Labels for UMC Bishops
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·  Download Email Addresses for UMC Bishops
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