UMC Version of Energizer Bunny

UMC Version of the Energizer Bunny!

"Same Sex 'Union' Bunny"

Music Title: Deep Purple

The People Called Methodist

"I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out." -– John Wesley

[Works of J. Wesley, Vol. 13, Letters & Writings, P. 320]

The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
--- Isaiah 24:5 (NKJV)

It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.

--- Psalm 119:126-128 (NKJV)

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

--- 2 Timothy 4:3,4 (NKJV)

UMC Version of Energizer Bunny Index

The Little Critter Identified :-)

You've seen him haven't you? That little bunny with his drum -- he just keeps GOING and GOING!

BUT in the United Methodist Church we have a new version of that bunny -- ours could be called the "Same Sex 'Union' Bunny" -- he (or is it a she?) just keeps on hopping along and shows no sign of slowing down, much less quitting!

After the Jimmy Creech Caper (details at UMC's Creech Caper) -- 'union' ceremony for 2 females -- complaint filed -- trial -- acquittal -- full CUP of publicity running over -- leave of absence, etc, things seemed to settle down for a brief time.

Then in August '98 came the Judicial Council decision which ruled that it would be a chargeable offense for a UM pastor to perform a same sex 'union' ceremony. The decision brought forth a flood of responses, pro and con. What follows is a historical record which includes news releases and comments as the same gender coupling crowd throttled up to a full head of steam!

What better place to start exerting "pressure" than with the UMC bishops? Take a look see at Bishops Urged to Support Same-Sex Unions -- if you were a bishop, would you feel more than a little guilty after reading that epistle?????

But hey, not to worry folks -- we'll fix it all up with another dialogue session -- that's in vogue these days, you know -- so get ready and prepare yourself by digesting Dialogue on Homosexuality!

What Jimmy Creech started back in the spring of '98 has created an avalanche resulting in the same gender coupling crowd with its clearly defined agenda rolling like a juggernaut! They are intensely resolved to see the UMC Book of Discipline statements on homosexuality changed so that same sex coupling and "union ceremonies" that are performed will have the approved "blessing" of the United Methodist Church! This in turn will greatly help to give public sanction to that particular lifestyle. And this will be yet another "milestone" on the quest for the status of "legal" marriage in the eyes of state and church! GC2000 at Cleveland OH was an experience with a few "firsts" -- bishops participating in open demonstrations and protests -- a couple bishops arrested (one twice!) -- and a group coming on the scene to keep it all stirred up, known as Soulforce! Since the BOD stance was basically maintained at GC2000, Soulforce people have indicated what they will do between now and GC2004 -- it's A Declaration of Unholy War!

And, as always, here is what it comes down to -- will the UMC change its Book of Discipline and essentially say yes to


or hold the line and say THIS?

OK, OK! I guess I deserve to be in the middle of this shootout since I sowed some "seed" decades ago, and now it's "harvest time!" Seed does sprout, grow, and ripens, you know! If you don't know what I am referring to, then you need to check out the Special Place Circuit Rider set up for me -- that's not the real name, however. You will have to wait until you get there to see what it is called :-))

As things got pretty rowdy at times at the 2000 General Conference in Cleveland, Ohio it can be expected that GC2004 at Pittsburgh PA will be a real HOOT! Lots of time for same gender coupling folks to work on this, even as pressure is brought to bear on other denominations -- disruptions and antics of various kinds took place at gatherings of the Presbyterians, the Episcopalians, and the Southern Baptists during summer 2000! Write it down and don't foget it -- this is a WAR! Those that refuse to see it as such are worse than that creature that sticks its head in the sand to try to avoid trouble!

Order "no-no" same gender coupling union badges!

After Creech, there is life - his name is Greg Dell!

Yes, the next same gender coupling advocate to take center stage was Greg Dell -- details of his naughty act are given in Pastor Charged with Performing Same-Sex Union.

Greg, who did a "ceremony of blessing" for 2 men back in September '98, was finally brought to trial on March 25, 1999 -- [details in Greg Dell Trial] -- from his point of view he was in a win - win situation -- if found guilty, he'd be a martyr for the cause, and don't worry, folks -- he'd have lots of support and he'd never starve to death -- and if acquitted, "Hail, the conquering hero!" And just do what Creech is doing -- run all over the country, speak in churches, make money in the process, and promote the same-sex union agenda -- ah, that bunny really has a lot of energy, doesn't he -- or is it she???

On 99/03/26 Greg Dell was found guilty by vote of 10 to 3 of violation of "Rule and Order of the Church" and 13 to 0 on specific charge of performing a same-sex ceremony. The penalty is a bit detailed, but basically his Elder's orders were to be suspended July 1, 1999 with the penalty being stayed until July 5th so Dell can fulfill commitment to do a heterosexual wedding on July 3rd. His Elder's orders will be suspended until he signs a document agreeing to comply to the Discipline's requirement of not doing same-sex covenant ceremonies or the prohibition against the same is lifted by General Conference or the Judicial Council. A flood of news releases on this one, so check out the Affirmation, In All Things Charity, and Cornet links at A House Div\/ided -- a lot of lurid details here and it ain't pretty my friend! Also, if you desire, you can check out the UMNS Up-to-the-Minute details of the trial as given by United Methodist News Service.

Also -- not too surprising as to what Greg Dell said following the "trial" (??) - see Dell Stands Firm -- and, horror of horrors, Jimmy C. is in a state of "shock" -- for shock details go to Creech "stunned" -- oh my, poor, poor baby :-((

Ah, a question???? How is it a guy can be found guilty, yet the penalty is delayed, and everything just goes on as normal as before -- he still is pastor of the congregation, still draws his salary and all that stuff -- would this pattern be the same if a pastor had been guilty of adultery with the same kind of hard core evidence as in the case of Dell's offense? Ooops, just wondering out loud again -- if nothing else, the UMC sure demonstrates how to be inconsistent!!! In Dell's case, look for all kind of shenanigans to take place between now and July 1st. Ooops - looks like it has already started -- Dell has made a "statement" -- details at Dell Decision!

And now this! Our boy Greg is going to appeal -- see Greg's Appeal -- this thing is resembling our fouled up civil justice system more each day -- now who taught who in how to do it???? Didn't I tell you of this possibility over at The Process!?

The appeal date was set for August 9 ('99) -- read details at Committee Sets Date for Dell Appeal. Well the big day came and went and we were informed that the decision on the appeal will be handed down within 30 to 60 days!

OK, the Appeals Committee handed down its decision -- details given at Appeals Committee Decision on Dell -- interesting, but not surprising -- suspension was adjusted to June 30, 2000! Either way, Dell is the winner -- was that date set in anticipation that General Conference will radically change the Discipline so that homosexuality is no longer considered incompatible with Christian teaching, and same gender coupling unions will be given the "green light?" And if not, Greg Dell will still be back in business with he couples and she couples lining up at his door waiting to be joined in "holy union!"

And finally the "big day" arrives, and with a bit of hoopla and favorable coverage from our "no lines in the sand" media, Greg returned to Broadway UMC as pastor -- details at Dell Returns to Pulpit -- want to speculate how he will advance the S.G.C. "agenda" between now and GC2004? And whether he might be doing some more of those "union" ceremonies?

S.G.C. = same gender coupling

After Creech -- after Dell -- there is Don Fado & Co!

OK -- if you are going to do a big thing, do like El Presidente' in DC does -- get lots of publicity in advance -- let the whole world know that you are ending your "affair" and now you are going to make it legal -- think I'm exaggerating? Well then, take a peek at Two Church Leaders Plan Their Same-Sex Union
The big date was set for January 16, 1999 Cornet had issued an appeal for support of this event -- look into their Circle of Love page for details -- not only support and prayer for the "event" but for the "union!"

And finally, the big moment -- it made headlines -- religious and secular as expected -- catch the romantic details in Cal-Nev Clergy Celebrate 'holy union' for 2 Women.

Jeanne Barnett, Lay Leader of the Cal-Nev Conference of the United Methodist Church and Ellie Charlton, member of the Board of Trustees of same conference were "joined" in a "union ceremony" on January 16, 1999. After a 15 year "relationship" the two women had not only their pastor, Don Fado, performing the "ceremony," but a gang of least 150 other pastors who had indicated their "..readiness to co-celebrate the Barnett-Charlton union with Fado." This number kept growing after the initial announcement and at a point were referred to as "clergy saints" -- no kidding, check out some links at A House Divi\/ded! You can read past details of what led up to this happening in Sacramento CA --

and just as a malignancy won't go away over time by ignoring it or making excuses for its existance, so it is with the same gender coupling campaign in the UMC!

Hmmmm -- according to the August ruling by the Judicial Council it is now a chargeable offense for a pastor to perform a same-sex union ceremony and to hold such a ceremony in his/her church! Are you familiar with the procedures to be followed here? First, someone has to file a formal complaint on the offense/s, then an investigating committee has to check it out as to whether there are grounds for bringing charges based on the complaint, and, if so, then a trial with 13 elders in full connection sitting as "jury." As noted at Circuit Rider's Cauldron, don't be surprised at how some of these trials turn out -- sort of like a fox on trial for breaking into and creating a bit of chaos in the chicken coop -- the judge is a fox, the defense lawyer naturally is a fox and the members of the jury are foxes! The prosecutor's chance of winning is about the same as a snowball's chance of survival in that Place which is vehemently denied by a number of theologians and pastors, and the outcome is somewhat predictable -- change identity of the players to a UM minister on trial for performing a same-sex union ceremony which is now regarded as a chargeable offense. Oh, oh, do you see the possibilities of the system getting bogged down a bit? Is there a kind of strategy being implemented here with that intent in mind, along with the hope that the "opposition" will finally say, "Oh, what's the use -- instead of "fighting" them, let's just join them!" Ah, just wondering out loud a bit on these things -- keep eyes and ears open on this and don't forget -- General Conference Y2K is fast coming upon us!

As of 99/02/02 (Phil’s Big Day!) there had been a complaint filed against only 1 pastor who was involved in the January 16th Sacamento ‘holy union’ ceremony celebration. UMNS #34 of January 25 revealed the pastor to be David M. Holmes of Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was one of the over 150 clergy participating in the event celebrating the ‘union’ of the 2 females. UPDATE -- well, well, wouldn't you know -- guess what? Just like the civil justice system -- this "technical loop hole" thing works in the church too -- read UMNS Release #237 for those "technical" details as spelled out by a bishop!!

Time marched on for a while and then an interesting development -- a pastor and members of his congregation filed complaints against the Cal-Nev group of clergy involved in the Jan. 16th event -- read Methodists Complain About Lesbian Union -- notice, it took a bold pastor and some of his people to do this, rather than the bishop and his cabinet!! But then again, now that the "loop hole" deal in Iowa has sort of set a precedent, could it be that a big bunch in CA will really get off the hook?

Well, how about that? Mike Goodyear's DS filed compliants against him -- do you get an uneasy "gut feeling" that there is more to this than meets the eye? Mike and members of his congregation were the folks who had filed complaints against Fado and Co. in regard to that January 16th 'union ceremony' grandstand act -- complaint was filed on January 21st -- nothing much has really come of that yet, but then Mike's DS filed a complaint with Bishop Talbert against Mike! And it seemed that the DS was really hot to move this -- ah, just an irritating question at this point -- why not the same zeal in moving on Fado et al??? Perish the thought -- no, on second thought, don't perish it -- is there something called hypocrisy rearing its repulsive head in this situation? Ooops - there we go again -- doing a little wondering out loud -- meetings have been held on this in an attempt to get issues resolved -- more yet to come. It appears that this thing is now a done thing -- nothing more to report :-))

More time slips by and FINALLY a complaint (not CHARGES) filed against 69 pastors in CA UMNS #157 --once the complaint is filed, then a Committee of Investigation has to determine whether the "complaint" warrants bringing "charges" -- whoa, looks like Bishop Talbert, who is already on record as opposing the present ruling of the Judicial Council regarding pastors doing same-sex ceremonies, is trying to put pressure on jury members in advance, when and if they ever get around to a trial on this thing! Just read the very last paragraph of his statement in the news release -- see what I mean?????

Well now -- Speedy Gonzales (ze fastest mouse in all of Mexico!) would have a problem here -- read all about it in The Sacramento "68" -- seems that #69 wasn't present at the big shindig, so now it's just the "68" -- oh well, do you agree that Speedy would not fit in with this crowd?

Hey, hey! Take a peek at Sacramento "68" - "Pass the Hat, Please!" This bunch has their own web site now and is soliciting funds -- notice how the check is be made "Payable to....." Ummmm - wonder if I got into some kind of trouble and began running funds through my church to pay for my legal expenses, would my bishop and his cabinet go along with that???

As could have been expected, the final "verdict" amounted to the Sacramento gang getting off the hook due the committee finding no grounds upon which to bring them to trial!! What more can be said except what has been said at Requiem!

Oh Lookie! We've Come Full Circle - back to Creech Again!

Hey! Hey! He's at it again! Jimmy did another one -- willfully and brazenly in defiance of the Discipline and Judicial Council ruling concerning pastors doing same gender ceremonies -- this one at Chapel Hill, NC -- read the advance news release on it at UMNS Release #222 -- but on other hand, sort of puts some of us to shame doesn't it -- this guy is willing to stand up for what he believes publicly, while we gripe and growl in our little groups privately, but won't go public and yell out about the unholy invasion of the church by persons for whom God's revelation means nothing! Bombard the bishops and the media groups -- scream and protest in spite of the negative labels they hurl back at you!

Oh, by the way -- want to see pictures of that big event? Just hop (like our bunny) on over and view "The Happy "Couple"????? Ooooops! The pictures must have been removed or the site where they appeared has evaporated or something -- just picture 2 guys in tuxedos and jointly holding a knife in their clasped hands cutting their wedding cake -- does something for the digestive system doesn't it???

Finally! A complaint has been filed against Jimmy -- details in UMNS Release #291. Ummm -- wonder why it took a month, and then his bishop is not involved in filing the complaint? He'll just start the "process!" Jimmy did attend the Nebraska Annual Conference in early days of June, but word has it that he was not voted "Most Popular Preacher of the Year!"

Ah, at last, it has been announced that Jimmy will go on trial again! He has issued his own press release which you can read at Press Release by J. Creech in which he stated,among other things, that

"The trial will be an act of violence against lesbian, bisexual and gay persons, and a betrayal of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and all who participate in it will be complicit."

You can check out United Methodist News Service #490 at Daily News -- ah, the saga of the UMC's Creech Caper continues!

Special Announcement: Jimmy Creech was convicted on 99/11/17 and had to surrender his ministerial credentials! As mentioned elsewhere, UMC's Creech Caper! this was a win-win situation for Jimmy -- no way he could lose -- now comes favorable publicity for the "martyred" one -- probably a book written -- speaking engagements galore -- and lots of money to be pocketed in the process! Jimmy has been "all over the map" -- he pops up at ministerial trials, takes part in protests, was arrested at GC2000 in Cleveland, and is very active in Soulforce which has made A Declaration of Unholy War! between now and GC2004 at Pittsburgh PA!

Hey! There's a New Kid on the Block!

It was announced during GC2000 that there would be another one of those "ceremonies" at Omaha! Is there something in the drinking water there? Anyway, Mark Kremling did a "union" thing for a couple of men on June 3, 2000 and it took quite a while before a complaint was filed -- and then, it didn't come from a DS or from his bishop! Details at Complaints Filed -- the article also mentions a situation in New England that supposedly was "resolved" -- just never know what will break loose next, do you? Again, don't try holding your breath on the Kremling case -- and will Mr. Creech put in an appearance?

Mr. Jimmy Creech, Missionary Par Excellence!

However, it must also be said that Jimmy is a good same gender coupling "missionary" - he has exerted influence on other UMC pastors -- for a good example of that go to Waun's Commitment "Testimony" -- Maurine Waun is a member of the W. Pa. Annual Conference and has authored a book which will help the same gender coupling crusade -- no response from Bishop George Bashore (Western Pa. Annual Conference) who has said on occasion that he supports the present wording of the Book of Discipline! And there was no comment on the book until he went into retirement following the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference 2000! But then a very "favorable" thing happened at the W. Pennylvania Annual Conference in June 2000 so that negative comments about that book were to be avoided at all costs! See Lesson in Compromise!

Ms. Waun and others have signed a Statement of Commitment which includes the following --

"We publicly state that we will celebrate rites of union with all couples, regardless of gender, as part of the pastoral responsibilities consistent with the gospel and spirit of Jesus Christ, entrusted to us by The United Methodist Church."

In her commitment statement Ms. Waun declares --

"The mainstream institutional church is condemning of homosexuality, where it should be condemning of promiscuity, ragardless of sexual orientation. One way to encourage loving, committed, long term relationships is to bless them-- gay or straight. I hope that the United Methodist Church can take the lead in this regard, and remove the negative language altogether in our Book of Discipline."

Well now -- if, as Ms. Waun suggests, we should start blessing those "loving, committed, long term relationships" no matter if they are "gay or straight" why bother with a marriage ceremony at all? Just bless whoever shows up at the door with couples (a he/she, she/she or a he/he) simply stating that they are in a "committed, loving relationship!" Of course, this could get a little complicated down the road -- suppose a female shows up with her German Shepherd and states that they are in a committed, loving sexual relationship? Or a male shows up with a young heifer and says the same thing? And they want to have their "union" blessed by a UMC pastor! Uh, uh, uh -- you can't say the Scripture forbids that possibility now, since the Leviticus passage that condemns same gender coupling has been ruled as not applicable, and of course that is where the sexual thing with animals is mentioned too! So bring on the committed couples, whether people with people, or people with animals :-(( Whoooeeeiii -- are we headed for another qualifying entry in the Guiness World Book of Records? See it now -- the headline -- "A UMC First -- pastor conducts 'union' ceremony for Pansy Freespirit and her German Shepherd, Rex -- couple has been in a committed loving relationship for 2 years!"

Hey! You think that's crazy talk? Well, 35 years ago when I was in the ministry but a few years if someone had said, "You know, the day is coming when pastors will be doing same sex union ceremonies in our churches!", the response would have been, "Aw, come on -- it'll never happen in the Methodist Church (or EUB) -- your brain got fried from being out in the sun too long!" Well guess what? Mr. Fried Brain would have been right on target!

Want to see what some future headlines might be if General Conference 2000 fouls up in "speaking for the church?" Go to United Methodist News from the Future!

However, there is something you can be doing in the meantime in the midst of this same gender coupling binge that is going on -- how about writing to the bishops and ask them what they are going to say and do in light of these developments! Good News Magazine has provided a listing of the bishops, addresses, fax and telephone numbers at United Methodist Bishops -- in a bit of a different format the Unofficial Confessing group has provided this information at List of UMC Bishops go ahead, write that letter NOW! Hey -- don't forget, they are accountable too -- time to shake them a bit on this practice of trying to straddle the fence all the time!

Here is a copy of letter which was sent to all bishops in the U.S. immediately following the 'holy union' event in Sacramento on January 16th. Response, what little there has been, has been interesting -- and maybe some take the position as did one years ago to whom I wrote about a controversial issue -- his response in a few terse words easily translated was, "Who are you to question us?" Ah, the adventure continues -- hee hee hee :-)

Dear Bishop X:

Now that the January 16th "holy union" ceremony for two females in Sacramento, CA has been conducted by the Reverend Don Fado and at least 150 other UM pastors "CO-celebrating" the event with him, how do you plan to address this matter?

Further, there were some pastors from other conferences who were directly involved by being there in person or "in absentia" and had committed to supporting this ceremony. What are you doing to determine if any of the pastors supporting this were from your conference, and if so, what action do you intend to take if they were counted as being "CO-celebrants" of this ceremony?

Will your actions and words on this act of defiance of the Discipline of the UMC encourage United Methodists to stay in the denomination, or give them added reason to leave the denomination, as a number are choosing to do?

Is it not so that among other things, Bishops of the UMC are to see that the Discipline of the UMC is enforced when it comes to pastors being guilty of blatantly committing chargeable offenses as defined in the Discipline and recently spelled out by the Judicial Council regarding conducting of a "union" ceremony for persons of the same sex?

Thank you for considering this inquiry.
Clayton D. Harriger
Retired Member in Full Connection
Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference
Web Site: Circuit Rider's Range

What kind of person should a bishop be?

For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
-- Titus 1:7-9 (NKJV)

Ah, what does that expression, "sound doctrine" mean? Will someone out there in the UMC wilderness define that for us? By the way, is the bishop of your conference well known for being an advocate of "sound doctrine" and rebuking the apostate elements that are trying to invade the United Methodist Church?

Ah, while on subject of bishops -- how many of them do you suppose conveyed their congratulations and best wishes to the following couples after their being joined in "holy union" by United Methodist clergy -- in the one case (at Bering Memorial UMC in Houston, TX), it may be the UM clergy were just present "giving their support" but did not actually engage in the act??? See photos of the happy "couples" at these links (in case you missed the links above):

Jeanne & Ellie!
Linda & Eleanora!

Interesting details are given at what is described as a "marriage" for Linda and Eleanora! Even the name, John Wesley, is invoked as part of the rationale in the bride and her bride taking to the streets!

Oh, yes -- check out another "significant" happening which took place on November 11, 1999 at Foundry UMC in Washington DC -- notice name list of participants and facilitators, sponsors, honorary advisors, etc. -- go to SOROL IV!

Meanwhile... that little bunny just keeps HOPPING and HOPPING and HOPPING along! Can it be stopped? Well, what are YOU doing about it? Some suggestions as to what you can do are found at What Can I Do?

A Post Script: A few of you may be inclined to say, "Didn't I see that bunny over at 1600 PA Avenue - DC? The answer is YES, it was probably the same one -- you see, it is likely the Clintons brought him (or is it her?) home with them from church -- you know, Foundry United Methodist Church, which the Clintons attended when they were White House residents, and where Phil Wogaman is pastor -- PW as some you know is also a very strong same gender coupling advocate! You don't believe that -- well, read the words straight from the horse's mouth at Phil's Adjectives!

A Selah Moment (stop and think about that!)

"For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry."
Psalm 73:27 (NKJV)

OK, I'm just one person -- what can I do in dealing with a mess like this? As mentioned above, you can fire off letters to bishops, but for more on how to get involved, how about taking a trip over to What Can I Do? Here you will find practical suggestions, tips, and helps as to what you can do -- voices coming from the "grass roots" level of our culture CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Comments anyone? Don't worry -- feel free to unload, if you must -- some have already done so, and now I'm picking a few pellets out of my hide! Jean said that my flak jacket was getting pretty well worn from all those hits, so I guess I'd better break down and get a new one! Just click on Penelope, our letter eating toad, who is charge of our mail room -- she's been promoted and given a pay raise for doing such a good job! In fact she is now in the salary range of UMC district superintendents, and that's a goodly chunk of change

Traveling Around Here and There on the Range :-)

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