LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Clarifying statements in UMC article
Published 10:07 am Monday, April 10, 2023
Quotations in the article, “Stanly Churches Vote to Disaffiliate with United Methodist Church,” which was published on Jan. 20, 2023, insinuate that The United Methodist Church will be changing its theology and doctrine, and even Scripture found in the holy Word of God.
This is simply untrue.
The doctrines of The United Methodist Church are not changing and will not change. As people of God who are deeply grounded in Scripture, we believe the Bible is the primary source for Christian life and faith.
This belief is affirmed in our foundational documents and doctrinal standards.
The Western NC Conference provides resources, support, and oversight for 956 United Methodist churches in the western half of the state.
The 36 churches aligned with The National Center for Life and Liberty that filed suit against the Conference are seeking to depart from The United Methodist Church outside of the process approved by the denomination.
This suit has since been dismissed by the NC Superior Court.
Disparaging and untruthful statements by many involved in this suit are the true distractions that undermine the mission of all our churches, including those who will remain United Methodist and those who will not.
We are also aware of statements from these churches encouraging others to withhold tithes and missional giving, and their bringing of complaints against individual leaders, fellow Christians and authorized bodies of The United Methodist Church.
Finally, in the same article, Rev. Cliff Wall references a petition the Western NC Conference passed in 2019. Rev. Wall claims the petition says “the traditional position of the church was ‘evil, unjust, and oppressive.”
Again, this is simply untrue. The petition states that the church will work to combat forces of evil, injustice and oppression.
We believe, as United Methodists, that tearing down systems that are unjust and oppress others, and fighting the forces of evil, is both the Good News of Jesus Christ and the call of every Christian. This is a part of our baptismal covenant “to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”
The full text of that petition can be found on page 7 of the petitions in the 2019 Annual Conference Journal which is available at www.wnccumc.org.
We as United Methodists in Stanly County want to continue to partner in ministry with all who seek to follow Jesus Christ in our community including those who are no longer a part of the United Methodist Church.
We remain committed to sharing the Gospel with all people and to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Rev. Laura H. Auten, Uwharrie District Superintendent
Kathy Odell, Uwharrie District Layleader
Rev. Maegan Habich
Rev. Eugene Moore
Rev. Jill Rhinehart
Rev. Jennifer Orr
Rev. Jim Pyatt
Rev. David Cochran
Rev. David Lowe
Rev. David Talbert
Rev. Ron Hartman
Rev. Mark Barden
Rev. Caitlin McAlhany
Rev. Kaye Fry
Dr. Rev. Kevin Taylor
Dr. Rev. Doug Hume
Rev. Richard Clough
Rev. Cindy Furr