Recently Read: Bishop responds in Northern Illinois

Sally in Sonoma _300Bishop Sally Dyck, the episcopal leader of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference, has written an open letter to her flock addressing the Council of Bishops statement on Bishop Melvin Talbert, and the ongoing debate on the inclusion of GLBTQ persons in the life of the church:

I love this annual conference. But I don’t want our annual conference, which is made up of diverse but divided beliefs on human sexuality, to exhaust our resources of time, focus, energy and money (up to $100,000 if it goes to a trial) on filing complaints against clergy who are following their conscience. Frankly, I don’t want my resources of energy and focus to be exhausted by people filing complaints against each other or me. I will be announcing in the near future some evening, open gatherings where we can discuss how we can reframe this conversation, based on Acts 15.

via  Constant Contact

Click here to read the full letter.

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7 Comments on "Recently Read: Bishop responds in Northern Illinois"

The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
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The most poignant yet damning statement in Bishop Dyck's eloquent letter is the simple sentence, "I want us to find a negotiated way forward so that we can love our neighbors as ourselves." It is damning because it acknowledges that the church is preventing us from fulfilling Jesus's great commandment. Rather than encouraging us to live in accordance with God's teaching, the church, through the BoD, is making that, if not impossible, far more difficult than it should be.


I find this pandering to the African churches especially galling. They are dictating UMC policy. At the very least, we could follow the practice of the Methodist Church in Britain, which acknowledges that there is a disagreement within the church about human sexuality, including same-sex marriage. That acknowledgement not only has the virtue of being the truth, but it has helped avoid the schism that we will be undergoing.


I'm hoping for the day when the US bishops state that our rules against gays are wrong and will no longer be enforced in the US. let the rest of the world do what they want.

Dan Boyd

How will this Annual Conference respond to the teaching in Acts 15 where the new Gentile belivers were instructed to avoid sexual immorality? What interpretation of pornea will they accept? How will they discuss the separation of Paul and Barnabus that occurs toward the end of this chapter? Will anyone be allowed to bring Romans 1 and 2, written by Paul, into the discussion. If separation occurs through this annual conference's discussion, who claims the status of "Paul?" Who claims to be "Barnabus?"

Susan West

Our God uses the word abomination! That is the strongest, yet. You can use the word love all you want. God loves the sinner, but hates the sin. He does not and never will condone this kind of behavior. And woe to the leadership of the churches who follow the way of the of the world!

Ben Cathey

Acts 15:39 – "Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated." 🙁

Rev. Jena Teer
The actions and decisions of the UMC that are being made here shall be recorded and shall historically have far greater repercussions than we shall ever know. As a United Methodist I am called to remember "Open Hearts Open Minds….." I am firmly convinced that if we will love all people as we have been commissioned and introduce people to Jesus and the the fire of the Holy Spirit like Wesley did, the Holy Spirit will give discernment to each individual as to what is the will of God for their life….. Let God be God!!! that is unless we… Read more »
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