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1997 Stewardship Report on the United Methodist Church

Annex C, Appendix 1 | Annex C, Appendix 2 | Annex C, Appendix 3 | Annex C, Appendix 4 | Annex C, Appendix 5 | Annex C, Appendix 6 | Annex E, Appendix 1 | Annex E, Appendix 2

Annex C, Appendix 1

The United Methodist Church
The Methodist Building. 1307 Glenwood Avenue
Post Office Box 10955
Raleigh, North Carolina 27605-0955

January 18, 1989


My dear Sisters and Brothers:

On March 10-11 the Raleigh Religious Network for Gay and Lesbian Equality will sponsor a conference in Raleigh at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. This conference is designed to equip us as pastors to minister more effectively and more meaningfully to gay men and lesbians and their families in our congregations and in the larger community. The topic for this conference will be "Homophobia in the Religious Community."

This letter is my endorsement of this event and my encouragement to you to avail yourselves of this opportunity to enhance your understanding of the fears, the hate and the hostility toward homosexual persons and their families. These emotions are expressed in so many painful and destructive ways in our churches and society. Homophobitis an urgent pastoral care issue which we need to address. You will be receiving more data and information about this conference from the Network in the near future.

May God continue co bless and use you as you seek to be in a ministry of caring concern to all persons in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ.

Resident Bishop

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Annex C, Appendix 2

Raleigh Religious Network for Gay and Lesbian Equality
2501 Clark Ave. Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

June 6, 1988

Dear Colleague,

Looking at this letterhead you are probably wondering, What Now!. What can I do? Could I support this group? We have wondered the same and have come together over the past year with common pastoral concerns. You know full well how these times have stretched all of us in the ministry to look at issues that face our congregations, among them being human rights for all people. This issue of homosexuality has knocked at the doors of all religious people.

The Raleigh Religious Network for Gay and Lesbian Equality is a group of concerned laity and clergy who desire to:

  • create a climate of support for basic human and civil rights for gay man and lesbians;
  • develop an understanding of religious traditions, beliefs and values that shape attitudes toward homosexuality;
  • explore ways to provide pastoral care for lesbians, gay men and their families; and
  • establish a network of resources and interaction and on-going support for those involved in this special ministry.

We invite you to join our efforts. We formed this network as a result of the Raleigh City Council hearings on sexual discrimination last summer and to further the understanding of the passing of the anti-discrimination ordinance last November. To this end we sponsored a conference in March of this year and anticipate another in 1989. We do this in hopes of furthering understanding of this issue within a religious context.

Since the early 1970's the gay and lesbian community has observed events to celebrate Lesbian and Gay Pride. The event this year is a march planned for Saturday, June 25 in Raleigh. Among the events surrounding the march is a call to the North Carolina Legislature to:

  • adopt a statewide antidiscrimination ordinance regarding sexual orientation;
  • repeal the Crimes Against Nature Law (CAN);
  • protect persons with AIDS (PWA'.s) and HIV antibody positive individuals through legislation;
  • provide funds for AIDS education;
  • enact a "hate crimes" statistics law to include sexual orientation;
  • legalize and recognize lesbian and gay relationships;
  • preserve parental and adoptive rights of lesbians and gays; and
  • recognize the inherent worth and dignity of all people.

While we have particular ecclesial and theological stances upon which we concern ourselves, nonetheless these often invisible if not absent members of our congregations ask for our support for these civil rights.

Please be as positive and supportive an you are able. with all the publicity surrounding the June 25 march in Raleigh, please keep in mind the sons and daughters of your congregation who might be there, actually or in spirit. Your response to the media and to your members can keep this particular concern in a pastoral light, exhibiting the compassion that all sons and daughters of God deserve.

We will keep you informed of our efforts from time to time. Should you care to join us for our meeting or care to comment on our work, please contact us at the above address.

Jimmy Creech, Chairperson
Raleigh Religious Network for
Gay and Lesbian Equality

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Annex C, Appendix 3

Colorado Convention Center
Denver, Colorado

Newsroom coordinated by United Methodist News Service. a unit of United Methodist Communications

TITLE: Bishops Express Pain Over Gay Issue
SEARCH: homosexuality, gay, lesbian, ordination

April 18, 1996

General Conference '96

Fifteen bishops express 'pain' over church policy on gay, lesbian issues

DENVER (UMNS) -- Fifteen United Methodist bishops -- 11 active, four retired -- released a statement here April 18 expressing "pain ... over our personal convictions that are contradicted by the proscriptions in the (Book of) Discipline against gay and lesbians within our church and within our ordained and diaconal ministers."

Nevertheless, they affirmed their commitment to uphold the Discipline of the church.

"We believe it is time to break the silence and state where we are on this issue that is hurting and silencing countless faithful Christians," the bishops say. "We will continue our responsibility to the order and discipline of the church but urge United Methodist churches to open the doors in gracious hospitality to all brothers and sisters in the faith."

Portions of the Disciplinary paragraphs to which the bishops refer say:
-- the church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers the practice "incompatible with Christian teaching";
-- " self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve The United Methodist Church";
-- no churchwide money may be given to any "gay caucus or group" or be used to "promote the acceptance of homosexuality."

The 11 active bishops signing the statement were: Judith Craig, Ohio West Area; William W. Dew Jr., Portland (Ore.) Area; Calvin D. McConnell, Seattle Area; Susan M. Morrison, Philadelphia Area; Fritz Mutti, Kansas Area; Donald A. Ott, Michigan Area; Sharon Zimmerman Rader, Wisconsin Area; Roy I. Sano, Los Angeles Area; Mary Ann Swenson, Denver Area; Melvin G. Talbert, San Francisco Area; and Joseph H. Yeakel, Washington Area.

Retired bishops signing the statement were: C. Dale White, Newport, R.I.; Jesse R. DeWitt, Naperville, Ill.; Leontine T.C. Kelly, San Mateo, Calif.; and Melvin G. Wheatley Jr., Laguna Hills, Calif.

# # #

Full text of the bishops, statement:

We the undersigned bishops wish to affirm the commitment made at our consecration to the vows to uphold the Discipline of the church. However, we must confess the pain we feel over our personal convictions that are contradicted by the proscriptions in the Discipline against gay and lesbian persons within our church and within our ordained and diaconal ministers. Those sections are paragraphs 71F (last paragraph); 402.2; 906.12; and footnote, p. 205.

We believe it is time to break the silence and state where we are on this issue that is hurting and silencing countless faithful Christians. We will continue our responsibility to order and discipline of the church but urge our United Methodist churches to open the doors in gracious hospitality to all our brothers and sisters in the faith.

-- Tom McAnally

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Annex C, Appendix 4


    "... every passage which speaks of homosexual behaviors is clear, unambiguously negative and morally hostile towards them (the actions themselves) .... Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Romans 1:18-32, I Corinthians 6:9-10 and I Timothy 1:8-10 condemn them directly, while Genesis 19, Judges 19, II Peter 2:6-10, and Jude 7 do so indirectly."
    -"Blessing the Unblessable", by Professor David A. Seamands, Good News Magazine, November/December 1992.

    God's standard for the human race in terms of sexuality -

    --Genesis 1:27; 5:2: "male and female created he them...... It was God's plan for sexual relations to be in the form of man-woman union, man and wife becoming "one flesh" (Gen 2:24).
    -"Is Homosexuality an Alternate Lifestyle?", by David Jeremiah, The Rebirth of America, The Arthur S. Demoss Foundation, 1986.

    -"Because man's sexual identity is defined by God, because his orientation is ordained by God, and because his sexual activity is circumscribed within a heterosexual marriage context, homosexuality cannot be viewed merely as a variant sexual preference or accidental variation within creation (akin to left-handedness) .... Instead, it represents a choice, in some sense, to set one's desires and satisfy one's physical drives in a way contrary to God's appointment and creation. There is no natural homosexuality, for homosexuality is precisely a perversion of nature (understood as God's design for human relations). Homosexuals are made, not born; their disorder is developed contrary to their God-given identity, learned in opposition to the created order."
    -Homosexuality-A Biblical View, Greg L. Bahnsen.
    Source of the plague of AIDS; average life expectancy-41; with AIDS factored in, age-39.1. 43 percent of homosexuals have had over 500 encounters; 28 percent have had over 1000 (Kinsey); with the threat of AIDS, sexual contacts average 47 per year, 76 during pre-AIDS years (American Journal of Public Health); six times more likely to attempt suicide, and 35 percent are alcoholics (Journal of Homosexuality); 78 percent have been infected by some form of STD (American Public Health Association); 67 percent of all AIDS cases are directly attributable to homosexual conduct, and 50 percent of male homosexuals in San Francisco are now infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS - up from 7 percent in the early 1980s (Center for Disease Control).
    "Like Christ, we must have compassion on the sinner while at the same time we are condemning the sin .... Dr. Melvin Anchell said that whoever decided to call homosexuals "gay" must have had a terrible sense of humor. They are lonely, guilty, often depressed people. Their only hope is Jesus Christ, and we must be His caring ambassadors to them .... The hope of the homosexual today is the same as it was in Paul's day. Jesus Christ can and will wash away any sin. The sin of homosexuality is not a stain too deep to respond to the cleansing power of his blood."
    -Jeremiah, Rebirth.

"I'm very scared to die such a young man. I'd like a little more time. I lived in the fast lane. If only God will give me a break."
- 28-year-old man infected with AIDS, TIME, August 12, 1985

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Annex C, Appendix 5


forwarded by fax from FUMC member 03-26-98


March 23, 1998


Dr. Jamie Jenkins, your District Superintendent has informed me of your recent decision to redirect some of your General Church apportionments to other United Methodist ministries. I want you to know that I am disappointed in your action. It is my hope and prayer that this decision will be short term and that Marietta First United Methodist Church will once again be 100% supportive of the benevolent ministries of our Church.

I have been particularly disturbed by the "Report on the Doctrinal Integrity of the United Methodist Church" compiled by your Ad Hoc Committee. I have read the document and found it to be biased, unbalanced, and full of half-truths. It makes- me wonder if your Ad Hoc Committee ever intended to be fair in its "investigation" of the issues confronting our denomination. Obviously, some of the concerns raised by your leadership about our Church are also troubling to me. However, when any group uses one-sided statements to make a generalized judgement, it is unfairly playing on people's fear and bias in order to advance a particular point of view. Frankly, I had expected better.

I am also concerned about your decision to redirect monies to Camp Glisson and the UGA Wesley Foundation. I understand your intention to "keep it within the family", but to divert these funds to those fine United Methodists ministries puts both of them in an awkward ethical dilemma. It is not right for these programs to prosper at the expense of other ministries of our Church or to build their buildings "on the backs" of those who are denied their rightful support.

Your decision not to pay specific General apportionments also places your appointed clergy in a difficult position. Paragraph 619 of The Book of Discipline requires that these staff people be paid "exactly proportional" to the percentage paid on these ministerial support items. Although this paragraph is often overlooked, those who strictly follow The Discipline and Order of our Church will reduce the salaries of appointed staff accordingly.

It is my hope that in the days to come you will reach a better understanding and appreciation for our common ministry together. I am committed to seeking both truth and unity within our Church but I cannot stand by quietly and allow Marietta First United Methodist Church to proceed in a direction which I believe to be negative and contrary to the expressed will of the North Georgia Conference. Your church is not an independent congregation. You are intricately connected to the North Georgia Conference and the National and Global Church through a vital covenantal web of interactive relationships. Be assured that I want to work with you in the days ahead and that I look forward to the time when you can affirm the full ministry our Church.

I am acutely aware of the controversy and division this issue has created within your own congregation but I am also distressed beyond measure at the negative impact your decision is already having within our Conference. I fear this consequence of your action may not have been fully understood or considered in your discussion and voting.

I regret that we stand at this point in our relationship, and I am deeply grieved at the frustration and anger that resides in some that have been parts to this action. I hope that the foundational principles of our Church which for over two centuries have guided and aided our mission as a people of Jesus Christ in the Wesleyan movement will again be embraced by your church in the near future. It is my earnest prayer that this action of your Charge Conference will be reconsidered and reversed. As your Bishop, know that I will continue to love you and work with you to seek reconciliation and God's peace. Let us all agree to be in prayer and Christian conversation in these days to come.

In Christ, G. Lindsey Davis

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Annex C, Appendix 6

Membership in the United Methodist Church

The following data is offered for information purposes to you. One area of concern for those of us in Concerned Methodists is the continuing loss of members from our United Methodist Church over the past twenty seven years - 2,292,816, or an average of 85,919 people per year, 7,077 per month, 1,634 per week, or 232.5 per day, for every one of those years. (The average size of a church in mainline denominations is 155 members.) The yearly summary is as follows:

Year Membership Net Loss
1969 10,789,624* First Year Tracked
by CM+
1970 10,671,774* 117,850
1971 10,509,198* 162,576
1972 10,334,521* 174,677
1973 10,063,060* 271,461
1974 9,957,710* 105,350
1975 9,861,028* 96,682
1976 9,785,534* 75,494
1977 9,731,781* 53,753
1978 9,653,711* 78,070
1979 9,584,771* 68,940
1980 9,519,407* 65,364
1981 9,457,012* 62,395
1982 9,405,164* 51,848
1983 9,332,712* 72,452
1984 9,266,853* 65,859
1985 9,192,172* 74,681
1986 9,124,575* 67,597
1987 9,055,145* 69,430
1988 8,979,139* 76,006
1989 8,908,741* 70,398
1990 8,853,455* 55,286
1991 8,789,101* 64,354
1992 8,726,951* 62,150
1993 8,650,383* 76,568
1994 8,588,116 62,267
1995 8,538,808 49,308
1996 8,496,808


*Source of these figures is the General Minutes of the Annual Conferences of The United Methodist.Church,(Evanston, Illinois, General Council on Finance and Administration, 1969-1993.

+1969 is the first year that is being tracked by Concerned Methodists

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Annex E, Appendix 1

MARCH 22, 1992

When the 1988 General Conference authorized a task force of unbiased persons, lay and clergy, to study the feasibility of relocating the General Board of Global Ministries from its current location in New York City, I went back home from St. Louis feeling that the whole process would be handled with integrity. After all, the 15 persons an the task force were carefully selected by our bishops. There were 3 chosen from each of the 5 jurisdictions within the United States. All were strong church leaders, and I was fully confident that their findings would be those in the best interest of our church. I was also very pleased to learn later that 5 of the 15 persons selected by our bishops for this important task force were either past or present directors of the General Board of Global Ministries, thoroughly familiar with the present location of the headquarters in New York City.

The Task Fares not on numerous occasions over the past four Years. They hired the firm of Price Waterhouse to assist then in their study. These highly respected church leaders gave unselfishly hundreds of hours in studying the issue at band. They spent approximately $70,000 fulfilling the task that our 1988 General Conference assigned then to do. After they completed their thorough research, the Task Force voted overwhelmingly that it was NOT ONLY FEASIBLE to move the GBGM out of New York City, but they also recommended that IT SHOULD BE MOVED. It is highly significant that 2 of the 3 representatives from the Northeastern Jurisdiction on the task force voted that it should be moved, minimizing the accusation that there was a regional prejudice.

While the General Conference Task Force was making their study, I can assure you that as Chairman of the GBGM Finance Committee, I was prepared to accept whatever recommendation this group of highly qualified and conscientious persons brought forth. However, I learned very quickly that many of ny colleagues on the executive staff at 475 Riverside Drive were not nearly as open. I could hardly believe my eyes when I discovered that certain of these staff persons were beginning to mobilize forces to discredit the findings of the Task Force long before the findings were even revealed. I heard arrogant, condescending voices regarding the workings of the Task Force, and I had a bard tine correlating the criticisms of the Task Force with the fact that the 15 persons on the Task Force were carefully selected by our bishops and highly qualified. It then became apparent to me that the general Conference Task Force had not been shown the decency of having their report placed in the hands of the directors before there were powerful organized efforts to discredit their recommendation. As I listened and observed all of the unfair treatment directed toward the Task Force and the arrogant disregard of their recommendation, I decided that someone should have the "guts" to stand up and be counted. Be assured that I knew when I chose this course of action that I would have very few supporters among the 178 directors of the GBGM. However, I never dreamed that key executive staff at 475 Riverside Drive would go to such great extremes to mobilize forces against me and question my integrity.

While I continued to observe actions aimed at never giving the Task Force recommendation a fair hearing, I received a telephone call from Mr. Jim Steele, than editor of The Christian Advocate serving the Alabama-West Florida and North Alabama Conferences. He asked if I would write an article on "Why The GBGM Should Relocate from Now York City." In an effort to off-set what I perceived to be an assassination of the Task Force Committee report, I chose to write the article.

No sooner had the ink dried on my article did I become a target of vicious criticism. Just 30 minutes before I left home coming to this meeting, I received in the mail a letter that had been mailed to all directors with the names of the officers of the GBGM listed at the end. The letter blatantly accused me of using inaccurate information in my article. Upon arriving at our GBGM meeting here in Stanford, Connecticut, I was shocked to learn that the very substance of the article was developed by Betty Thompson, staff member of GBGM at 475 Riverside Drive, with the encouragement of Randy Nugent and the assistance of his secretary, Rene Wilbur. After the Cabinet at 475 Riverside Drive had an opportunity to scrutinize the document, it was THEN mailed to the GBGM officers for their editorial revisions. As a matter of record, I want it clearly understood that this letter calling into question my integrity was basically written by a staff employee at 475 Riverside Drive who is totally opposed to relocation, and yet her name does not appear anywhere on the document.

In an effort for truth to reign supremely, I would like for those across the church to hear my side of the story. I challenge the news media (outside of 475 Riverside Drive) or any investigative reporter to check out my responses and allow all of the delegates to the 1992 General Conference to discern for themselves who is telling the truth.

I would like the sunshine of truth to break through on each of the following issues where I was accused of providing inaccurate information.

    In pointing out the wastefulness of the GBGM located in such an expensive environment, I pointed out in my article that "one executive who was terminated with the GBGM was given a severance package of $500,000 over 5 years." This one statement has created a storm of protest among the key executives at 475 Riverside Drive, so I hope and pray that the truth of this matter might be made clear to the whole world of United Methodism.
    On May 13, 1988, 13 members of the Executive Committee of the World Division met in Denver, Colorado. One of the main issues addressed at that meeting was the fact that Peggy Billings, Deputy General Secretary of the GBGM, was not being renominated to bar position. The minutes of that meeting in Denver contain these words, "It was agreed to establish. upon completion of a contract satisfactory to Peggy Billings and the GBGM, an account in the amount of $300,000, to cover World Division commitment to the funding of the Project on the Church, Society, and Ethics, to be paid out in terms of the contract. Source of funds: Collins Funds, in the category of administrative expenses of the World Division, one of the two categories for the use of Collins Funds agreed upon with the Collins family and designated by Directors: missionary retirement benefits and World Division Administration."

    On May 21, 1988, the Executive Session of the Women's Division minutes Include the following paragraph.
    1. That "The Church, Ethics, and Society Project Plan" be approved. It was voted.
    2. That funding of the above PLAN be in the amount of $100,000 annually, for a 5 year period, with 40% paid by the Women's Division and the balance (60%) to be paid by the World Division; and that the source of funds for the Women's Division share be the Excess/Deficit Fund. It was voted."

    The United Methodist Reporter shared an article with its readers that was provided by the United Methodist News Service. It was headlined, "Two Global Ministries Executives Given New Church-Related Projects." Among other things the article states, "Two high-ranking officials of the United Methodist Church's General Board of Global Ministries who were not renominated to their positions last spring will take on new church-related projects...At its 1988 spring meeting, the board's personnel and nominating committee, in a closed door session as required by the Book of Discipline regarding personnel matters, decided against renominating the two executives for another term in the fall."
    Regardless of how one seeks to explain the $500,000 (one-half million) appropriation over 5 years, the simple truth is that a staff member who was not renominated, or in my understanding "terminated as head of a division was "given" a position that offered a "package" of $500,000 over 5 years. When I used the word "package," I also had in mind not only salary, but also pension, insurance, transportation costs, research, seminars and other related costs pertaining to the project.
    Yes, I was present in Denver, Colorado on May 13, 1988 when the initial action was taken. I did speak out at that meeting. I clearly recall that the only matter to be decided at that meeting was whether or not the $100,000 appropriation per year would be open-ended or limited to five years. The "wheels were greased" for the half-million allocation to support a person AND project, the recipient of which was one who had not been renominated as head of a division. One bishop on our Board that I highly respect explained this an a "sweetheart deal", but I think the the whole thing was sour and rotten to the core.
    The Church and Society Project la now 3 years old, and I have not heard it mentioned the first time. Where Is there a periodic progress report on the Project? How is the project progressing? What will be done with the final report? Will it be publicized for the GBGM to use? What contract was finally agreed upon as acceptable to the author and GBGM? Why was she not renominated to her position an Deputy General Secretary of the GBGM?

    The overarching question that I would like to raise regarding the whole matter of severance for Peggy Billings and bar project is simply this, "HOW COULD AN APPROPRIATION OF THIS MAGNITUDE (ONE-HALF MILLION DOLLARS OVER 5 YEARS) BE GRANTED WITHOUT EVER BEING PRESENTED TO THE BOARD FINANCE COMMITTEE?"

    The officers of the GBGM in their letter to all of the directors falsely allude that I did not raise the issue related to the severance pay and project at the May 13, 1988 meeting in Denver. That is incorrect. I raised the issue then, and I continued to raise the issue throughout the quadrennium.

    On May 27, 1989, 1 received a letter from Harry A. Newman In Atlanta, then Field Representative for Mission Cultivation of the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Dr. Newman wrote, "Rumor has it (and I certainly believe it to be true) that those who have been asked to resign from the GBGM during the past months have uniformly received significant cash settlements.. often reported to be in the nature of thousands and thousands of dollars. It seems a bit unusual to me that we are willing to reward those who we have decided to replace because they are no longer fulfilling the needs of the organization while adopting in my own case a policy which penalizes me rather severely because of the unplanned and actually unavoidable death of my wife. My thinking may not be completely clear, but it seems to me that we are penalizing those who are still performing their duties in a completely satisfactory manner and rewarding those who have not done so."

    On June 30, 1989, I wrote a letter to Mr. Steve Brimigion, GBGM treasurer, in which I stated among other things that it was very difficult for me as Chairman of Finance to explain to persons like Harry Newman the allocation of $500,000, regardless of the source of the funds, I asked Mr. Brimigion in my letter, "Where does the Finance Committee fulfill its responsibilities for the receipt of the funds of the Board when these kinds of decisions are made by other persons or groups?"

    I want to go on record once again as saying that no matter how one wants to explain the allocation of $500,000 to Peggy Billings for her salary, fringe benefits, project, and all related costs, the whole matter has a stench to it and is rotten to the core!

    The officers of the Board in their letter to the directors took issue with my figures pertaining to the cost of Board meetings. As we prepare to begin a new quadrenniun, I would like to invite the readers of this article to carefully scrutinize the attached financial forms distributed by Mr. Steve Brimigion, GBGM treasurer, three years ago (1989), beginning a new quadrennium. This financial report includes the exact financial figures expended in 1988.
    Isn't it interesting that the 1988 spring, fall, and organizational meetings cost $1,039,000. Now we are saying that the Board will spend only $700,000 for two meetings in 1992.
    Perhaps, a close scrutiny of the 1988 expenditures will shed light on why this kind of unrealistic low figure can be projected. While we spent $l,039,971 on three meetings in 1988, we bad budgeted only $845,000.

    You will also note many other items that greatly exceeded the budget. The General Secretary's TRAVEL in that one year was $64,052 with an appropriation of $50,000. When a member of our Board Finance Committee asked Steve Brimigion bow this could happen, his response was, "Who am I to tell Randy that be cannot travel?"

    Immediately following the meeting in which these figures were received, one of our new directors at that time, Elizabeth Gioni, wrote a letter to Mr. Steve Brimigion in which she included these words, "Unless there is accountability at all levels of the organization which contributed to the $l,000,000 over budget for 1988, we surely are going to witness some mess! Even a quick perusal of the 22 page document of 1989 and 1990 appropriations for Board-wide Priorities, Meetings, General Administration, Treasury, and Services shows exorbitant overspending an meetings plus travel and contingencies in just about every office from the General Secretary down.
    I would have thought that significant overspending in any area would require prior approval of at least the Finance Committee, if not the full Board of Directors."

    As one reflects upon these figures, it to very obvious that United Methodists across the world have every right to be concerned about the budget controls at GBGM.
    The letter from the officers of the GBGM to all our directors makes note of the fact that "the General Conference, not the Board, has determined the size and composition of the GBGM." While that it is true, be assured that our GBGM is a very powerful board with powerful influence at General Conference. If we were really serious about streamlining costs and providing more money for missions, we could easily go on record in support of petitions to General Conference limiting all Boards and Agencies to no more than 75 members. It is absolutely ludicrous that we have 178 members an our Board of Directors, some of which, oftentimes, come from the very same town and very same church.
    Our GBGM cannot blame the General Conference for the multitude of committee meetings, duplication of services, and general wastefulness that permeates nearly every aspect of our Board.
    The letter from the officers of the GBGM states that I express no concern at the cost of moving which has been activated at figures from $9 to $15 million dollars. One of the significant points that the General Conference Task Force is seeking to make is that no matter what the costs, they are able to present facts and figures showing that the costs will be "recoverable".
    When key leaders of GBGM learned that the General Conference Task Force recommended relocation, the arrogance of our Board was once again portrayed. Steps were taken immediately for us to request that GCFA and GCOM conduct an independent study. By our Board's action, it was decided that if GCFA and GCOM refused to do it, we would go ahead and pay for the $25,000 study. It should not surprise anyone that GCFA and GCOM refused to do it.

    I would like to refresh the memories of all of our directors that the very last speech that Spurgeon Dunnam made on the floor at our October 1991, meeting, he spoke about the sheer "arrogance" of our Board spending $25,000 for such a study. He alluded to the negative reaction this would have among our constituencies across the church, spending $25,000 for such a project while we are saying to the same people that we do not have sufficient funds for other purposes. I think Spurgeon Dunnam was prophetic in his remarks!

    Although I, like Spurgeon Dunnam, was strongly opposed to the allocation of $25,000 for our own study, I asked Steve Brimigion, our treasurer to keep me as Finance Chairman abreast of any action regarding this study. On March 19, 1992, one day before coming to this spring meeting, I receives in the mail a letter from Steve Brimigion, informing me that the general counsels of the church had declined the request of the GBGM to conduct a study of relocation costs. He then states in his letter, "We have retained PHH Pantus Company as consultants to accurately estimate the cost of any move GBGM might have to make."

    Who did the treasurer consult prior to hiring this firm? How are we to put any confidence in a $25,000 study made by a firm selected by persons adamantly opposed to relocation? When will the study be held? What purpose will it serve?

    If the main reason for not relocating the GBGM is financial, would you not expect the Treasurer and General Secretary to at least consult the Chairman of the Board Finance Committee regarding our Board's response to the whole issue? I have never been asked by the Treasurer or General Secretary to be a part of any group chosen to respond to the report of the General Conference Task Force.
    The officers of GBGM take issue with my stating that the majority of the staff of the GBGM comes from the Northeast. I would like for the record to show that the Report of the General Conference Task Force states, "Approximately 70% of the applicants for executive level positions and half of those employed in recent years have come from residents of the Northeastern Jurisdiction."
    The officers of the GBGM attack my statement that the theological and philosophical persuasions of the staff at GBGM are far different or "out of touch" with those of us within the Southeast. Once again, I call to your attention an exact quote from the Task Force report, "The New York City location is at one edge of the United States membership of the United Methodist Church which compounds the perception that it is theologically and philosophically remote from the mainstream of the United Methodist Church."

    The one great proof of the fact that the GBGM in "out of touch" with the people of the Southeast can be clearly seen in the whole relocation issue. While upwards of 90% of the GBGM directors would probably vote against relocation, I will predict that the delegates from the Southeast will vote strongly in favor of relocation.

    Who are the strongest and loudest critics of the GBGM within the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Tragically enough, it in those former missionaries who have served unselfishly for many years under the auspices of the GBGM and now have grave misgivings about the actions of our GBGM.

    The fact that the Southeastern Jurisdiction has traditionally been an enthusiastic supporter of missions speaks more of the faithful, generous people called United Methodists in our area fulfilling the mandate of Jesus Christ rather than strong support of the actions of GBGM.
    The officers of the GBGM in their report take issue with my reference to "many, many thousands of dollars" that will be expended to "lobby"' delegates at General Conference.
    The unbelievable "lobbying" efforts on the part of the GBGM forces have already begun with letters having been sent to delegates all over the world. I have attended three previous General Conferences, and I have seen firsthand the powerful political pressure of the GBGM. I only want the "grassroots" of United Methodism to clearly understand in advance of General Conference that when the GBGM plans a huge reception for delegates in one of the most expensive hotels in Louisville, they are creating an "unequal playing field" in an atmosphere where important decisions are to be made. It will be terribly, terribly difficult for particular delegates who are beholden to the GBGM and staff for funding to resist the pressure that the lobbying forces of GBGM will put upon then regarding the relocation issue.
    What will be the cost of the reception? What will be the source of these funds?


I am presently serving in my ninth year as pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Montgomery, Alabama. During those nine years, our church has been recognized by our Conference Board of Missions for having given more money to United Methodist missions through Advance Specials than any of the 720 churches of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. We have within our church what I feel is the strongest United Methodist Women's organization of any church within our Conference. I have never served a church that did not pay 100% of its World Service and Conference Benevolences. Within the past few weeks, two GBGM missionaries have spoken from our pulpit where I am privileged to speak each Sunday. On May 24, 1992, TiM and Carol Crewford, GBGM missionaries to Mozambique, will speak in our church. Last weekend, our church hosted the Cuban Shalom Choir that sang in our church on three occasions and spent two nights in the homes of our church members. It was a marvelous experience for us! Our church during the past year has sent Volunteers in Mission teams to Costa Rica and Jamaica. I have been down in the front line trenches as a District Superintendent, strongly encouraging members of local churches to support all of the United Methodist mission programs. I have spoken for our United Methodist Women on a local, district, and conference basis, strongly supporting their gifts to missions.
I have served as President of the Alabama-West Florida Conference Council of Finance and Administration, as well as Chairman of the Council on Finance and Administration for the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Never in all of my life has my integrity been called into question by stating that I provided "inaccurate information." Since my integrity has been called into question. I would love for the news media (outside 475 Riverside Drive) to let the light of truth shine upon each of these matters contained in my article.
I must return home tomorrow to officiate at the funeral of one of our most faithful members, Roonie Gentry. I deeply regret that I will be unable to stay for the remainder of our spring board meeting to defend myself from any other attacks upon my truthfulness.
As I come to my final general board meeting after serving on this Board for 8 years, I must confess that it has been a very disillusioning experience. I have experienced a very difficult time as a local pastor seeing widows on fixed income giving sacrificially to the mission programs of our great church while at the same time as chairman of the Board Finance Committee knowing that we appropriated $500,000 for a person and project when that very person had not been renominated as the Deputy General Secretary of the World Division. I have equally been disillusioned by 178 directors spending over $300,000 for a week's meeting in New York City and the sheer arrogance of appropriating $25,000 for our own study for relocation that flies in the face of the one authorized by the General Conference.
Although Don Messer and I do not agree on the issue of relocation, I think that he is right on target when he says that as a GBGM, "We can win the battle and lose the war!" I do not know how the final vote will be in Louisville on the matter of relocation. My life and ministry will not be changed one way or the other if the Board does not relocate. However, I want to go on record as saying that if this GBGM continues to arrogantly resist General Conference mandated task force recommendations such as the one regarding relocation, you can rest assured that the World Service dollars will continue to drop all across the world of United Methodism.

Thanks for listening!

Dr. Karl K. Stogall, Chairman
General Board of Global Ministries
Finance Committee

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Annex E, Appendix 2

by Reverend Max Borah
Sesser, Ill. 62884

After a year and a half of correspondence with the GBGM, we were accepted as missionary candidates and asked to attend three weeks of missionary orientation. This was on very short notice - one week - but we jumped at the chance, feeling that after waiting so long in the application process we had better not seem hesitant now. Orientation took place July 6-29, 1983 at Stony Point Center, a beautiful Retreat Center about 60 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River.

There were 33 candidates going to several different countries: Ecuador, Uraguay, Argentina, Tonga, Zaire, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, among others. We represented a variety of occupations: ministers, teachers, doctors, nurses, airplane pilots, and maintenance. We were of different ages: from fresh out of college to retirement age. And, as we were soon to find out, we also represented very different theological perspectives. I was very interested in the fact that they were sending a missionary to Ecuador, since I had been told in some of our earliest correspondence with the Board that they "have no mission personnel there." We had inquired about service in Quito because I had been there with OMS on an Evangelism Crusade and found the potential for evangelism there almost unlimited.

As I came to know the head of the Latin American Office, I began to understand why Patty and I wouldn't have been considered for service in Ecuador. All, and I do mean all, the people going to South America are strong liberation theology people. The wife of a pastor going to Argentina told me that the reason they had been so attractive to the Latin American Office was because of the interest they had and belief they held in Liberation Theology, which she said was obvious in their application. It was this same group which literally booed President Reagan during a news conference that was broadcast during orientation.

Each morning began with what was called "Biblical Reflection". In fact, to me. it was neither Biblical nor reflective. Our Biblical Reflections speakers were quite liberal theologically. Two of them had been expelled from their homelands (Korea and Chile) for political involvement. These were the two who spoke more than any of the others. Dr. Ran Wan Sang, an exile from South Korea, encouraged us not to be afraid to become politically involved in our host country. One of his Biblical Reflections studies was on the parable of the Good Samaritan. According to him this story shows us how people are enslaved by oppressive governments and multinational corporations. We, as missionaries, should be like the Good Samaritan and help free people from such oppression. He told us that "if you are expelled from your host country for political involvement, you will inherit eternal life." He openly admitted, "I am a Marxist."

The exile from Chile, Dr. Joel Gajardo, let us know in no uncertain terms that most, if not all, of the trouble in Latin America was due to the United States' foreign policy and multinational corporations. Marxism was praised, as was Nicaragua, Cuba, and the former Marxist government in Chile. He told us, "You cannot separate social action and evangelism because social action is evangelism."

Only twice do I recall our Biblical Reflections leaders having prayer with the group. We went through day after day together without seeking God's guidance for what we were doing.

One thing which came through clearly as Orientation continued was that the GBGM has no doctrine of sin. They simply ignore the influence and effects of sin in the world and speak instead of injustice. Injustice is sin to them. And it is that from which we. as missionaries, are to help deliver others.

It doesn't take long for one to realize that the theology currently in vogue in the Board is totally alien to that of Wesley and traditional Methodism. At best, the theology of the GBGM is a "mongrel", incorporating Universalism, a generous amount of Secular Humanism, and Liberation Theology. From what I could see, no Weslyan Theology was present at all.

Our main subject of the day covered a variety of topics. We were introduced to many of the agencies, publications and personnel which are part of the GBGM. We found this both interesting and helpful. World Division staff personnel gave us an overview of the different areas of the world, including their respective priorities, goals, and perspectives for Latin America, Africa, Western Europe, China, and the Pacific Islands. Dr. Harry Haines gave a very challenging presentation to us.

We were informed about packing, income taxes, salary, pensions, health insurance, and the children's educational endowment, all of which I appreciated. To me, the most helpful speaker during Orientation was Dr. Duvon Corbitt, former missionary to Zaire. He spoke to us about potential health problems, ranging from dysentery to cerebral malaria to how to deliver a baby; and topics from how to light a gas refrigerator to how not to go crazy when you are dealing with a new language. Unfortunately, very little time was spent on such vital information. While only two hours were allotted Dr. Corbitt to discuss tropical diseases we would confront, two days were allotted to discuss the International Monetary Fund. (We all wondered just how that was going to help us in any significant way.)

On one occasion we were to hear a presentation on some of the other faiths we would confront. A former United Methodist missionary to Egypt spoke to us about Islam. We were very interested in this because there were many Muslims in our assigned country. His knowledge was vast and I enjoyed his presentation, but we were dismayed at the advice he gave us for dealing with them. "We shouldn't try to convert them," he said. "We should leave the converting to God." We should just "be friends" to them because "both Islam and Christianity reflect the glory of God." We were also told going to the field to convert the people to Christianity was a part of the 18th century, but thankfully we have outgrown that now.

One full day was given to a presentation by Catholic sisters from the Maryknoll Order. Their approach was openly anti-U.S. and very pro-Cuba, pro-Nicaragua. Part of their presentation involved dividing the group into different countries for a "Global Village Simulation Game." Each person was assigned to represent a different country: some rich - some poor - the world was divided along these lines. It was a big joke that no one wanted to be assigned to represent the United States because they were obviously the "bad guys".

We were told over and over in many different ways by many speakers that the United States' foreign policy was oppressive, as were multinational (usually American) corporations and capitalism in general. A redistribution of the world's wealth was proposed as a possible solution to the world's problems, along with a "new world order" built along Marxist lines. We were even asked during a meeting of our primary groups to discuss whether we would admit to being a U.S. citizen when we got to our assigned countries.

As Orientation progressed it became very clear that the personnel at 475 were not really interested in sending missionaries. To me, it seemed as if they were more interested in their pet subjects, such as racism, sexism, peace with justice, etc. While it wasn't stated, it seemed as if they would have preferred not to be bothered by sending missionaries, and instead, be free to concentrate on their particular areas of interest. One got the idea that they were fooling with us because, as a part of the Board, that was expected of them. But their heart wasn't in it.

Twice during the Orientation, we were asked to raise our hands to indicate what theological perspective we each held. Of the 33 candidates, 8 identified themselves as of "evangelicals", maybe 4 or 5 as "liberals", and the rest as "liberation theology". Of the 11 seminary-trained missionary candidates, those who would be in seminary or influential pastoral positions, 10 were liberation, and one was evangelical.

The motivation for going as missionaries varied greatly among the group. Some were interested in bringing about world peace, some wanted to free people from oppression, some were just interested in other cultures, some wanted to use their position as a stepping stone for getting their masters' degree, some felt called of God, and some simply wanted to help people.

One missionary in Patty's primary group said that his biggest problem in becoming a missionary and going overseas was what he should do with the girl he has been living with for the past year. Should he give her a ring or break up with her? When he expressed some genuine guilt for having had the relationship in the first place, a woman in the group interrupted him, "Why, you don't have anything to feel guilty about," she exclaimed. "We're all sexual people; we all have to express ourselves somehow."

We were angered by the overwhelming liberation slant the Orientation had. Even the most liberal candidate commented on the lack of balance theologically. We felt our precious time was being wasted on political ideologies. We also resented being a captive audience for everyone in the World Division with a pet issue: racism, sexism, etc. For instance. we were told that because we were white we were automatically racist. PERIOD. No discussion. Being a racist resulted from our being white, and not from our attitudes and actions.

A great concern that we had about the personnel in the Africa Office was that as far as we knew, none of them, except Miss Patricia Rothrock, had any missionary experience beyond brief trips to Africa. We were being told how to be missionaries and what to expect by people who had never been missionaries themselves. We were told such things as, "Don't live in missionary compounds; live in the village with the people. Eat their food; be like them in every way. Don't have them work for you, etc." A missionary friend of ours who was raised in Zaire said that those who do such things not only get very sick very soon, but the nationals laugh at them for trying to be like them. A former missionary told Patty and me privately, "These guys don't know what they are doing."

From what I observed, people on the Board simply don't know what missionary life is like. As a result of this there is a gap between the personnel in the field and those at 475. The people in the field that I spoke with by-and-large find the Board a hindrance; a stone around the neck, and I can see why. We were more than a little uneasy when we realized that we would have to depend on these people should an emergency develop when we got to Africa.

We also found a disturbing lack of organization, communication and competence among the GBGM officials. We repeatedly received conflicting information regarding our assignment, For example, within a one-hour period, two officials from the Africa Office gave us two completely different job descriptions. No one could tell us for sure whether or not our future home had any electricity, whether water was available or not, and if we would have any transportation. This basic information was vitally important because we were going to a primitive and remote area 80 miles from any medical care. And, what is more frustrating, no one seemed interested in finding out for us, even after we made repeated inquiries. We ended up making several costly long distance calls to former missionaries from Sierra Leone to find out basic information, like what facilities were available, what to take, and what to expect in our future home. Methodism has has missionaries on the field for years. This Orientation and sending process should be down to a smooth-running, efficient operation by now, instead of the confusion and contradiction we experienced.

After the Orientation had ended we found we really knew little more about our assignment and what we should expect than we had known prior to it. I think the general feeling that I had was, "I've been cheated!" I gave up preaching at a Youth Institute that I very much wanted to do. What I got in return took three and a half weeks, but all that was applicable to us could have been done easily in one week.

My general impression, after several months to reflect on the whole affair, is that most of the personnel at 475 that I met were chosen on the basis of quota requirements instead of ability and experience. They seem to have little concern for the salvation of the lost, nor do they seem to have any concept of the uniqueness of Christ.

My personal opinion is that the Board is so involved in perpetuating itself and its programs that it has largely, if not totally, lost sight of why it exists at all. I firmly believe that any efforts at reform are going to meet with tremendous opposition at 475 (Riverside Drive, New York City). I have become convinced that our mission program, as it currently exists, is a dead body which doesn't know it yet. I came away from Orientation feeling very much like a kidney in a corpse, waiting anxiously to be transplanted before I too die.

After this experience I am convinced that the Mission Society for United Methodists is an absolute necessity, and that the GBGM will never be changed!

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1997 Stewardship Report | Annex A - Annex F | Annex G - Annex N | 1995 Stewardship Report

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