Monday, May 23, 2005

I received quite a shock when I went to church yesterday. Seems the pastor had quit, forced to by the fact that the District superintendent and the Bishop felt that he (the pastor) was not running the church in accordance with rules set forth in the Book of Discipline. The Book of Discipline reads slightly like Deuteronomy or Leviticus - rules and endless "explanations" of rules... Some of feel that the rules tend to support those who are in power and one of our members feels that the pushing out of the local pastor is a ploy to practice some nepotism on the part of the District superintendent, since the church has to accept a pastor, be it local, deacon or elder, who has been appointed to the church by the Bishop. It's odd because the church as a whole (not necessarily mine in particular) seemed always to me to be the most liberal of the Protestant churches. I've been at this one for nearly 20 years and I've seen seven pastors go through. Four of them left for personal or health reasons. Those were usually the pastors that the congregation was the most satisfied with. I've searched through the denomination websites and found very little of the rules that are allegedly set in stone . Guess I'll have to find a print version of the Book of Discipline and see if I can figure any of it out. I have found that I would not need a Bachelor's Degree to become a pastor in the UMC....
A shame, really, that the denomination is run by so many men with agendas, other than to keep the church whole and helping others, because that's really what Jesus wanted his disciples to do.

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