GBCS – Cultivating a culture of respect

HenryCroweEditor’s note: Yesterday we ran a commentary about the action of Mr. Bill Mefford, a staff member of the General Board of Church and Society, which failed to recognize the response from GBCS General Secretary Susan Henry Crowe regarding that behavior. That statement is included below:

The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) welcomed LifeWatch into The United Methodist Building prior to the Right to Life March. Rev. Paul Stallsworth serves as the President. I participated in a meaningful service of worship. I appreciate the convictions and public witness of our brothers and sisters.

Affirming human dignity is central to the witness of Jesus Christ. Christians are called to watch over with care the lives of all persons and creation.  We must strive to lead by example through our words and actions. We seek Christian compassion when we fall short in our actions with one another.

A recent action involving a staff member of GBCS did not reflect our culture of respect, openness and hospitality.  Appropriate conversations and action have been taken. We at GBCS recognize the special responsibility we have to cultivate respect, trust and hospitality among those who hold a variety of opinions on social issues.

One of the marks of United Methodism is a spirit of openness and dialogue. We seek to continually encourage open dialogue through hospitality and respect. These are principles that we intend and foster with all persons who seek to live out their Christian faith and convictions through social action.

“We commit ourselves to stand united in declaring our faith that God’s grace is available to all, that nothing can separate us from the love of God. In that confidence, we pledge to continue to be in respectful dialogue with those with whom we disagree, to explore the sources of our differences, to honor the sacred worth of all persons, and to tell the truth about our divisions as we continue to seek the mind of Christ and to do the will of God in all things.”

Preamble Social Principles of The United Methodist Church


—The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe
General Secretary
General Board of Church & Society
The United Methodist Church
January 23, 2015

UMReporter Staff

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8 Comments on "GBCS – Cultivating a culture of respect"

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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Keith Wells

Mr Mefford should be terminated now. His behavior is childish and representative of much of the political arm of the UMC “the GBCS” it should be just GBS ,,as they have nothing to do with the church. Just what does GBCS have to do with making disciples ? Not much I can see. This will only be cured when the money stops flowing, eventually the folks paying the freight will wake up,, maybe.

George Nixon Shuler

Human resources issues are private.


Our discipline recognizes that life begins before birth, clearly seen in the phrase “when life conflicts with life”. There was a service that morning for the Life Watch contingent. Abortion is a serious decision whichever side you might be on. Yet somehow Bill Mefford is mining the comedic potential in this march. Unbelieveable! Imagine the cry for blood if we were to show up at the Gay Pride parade with signs mocking LGBT advocates.

George Nixon Shuler

The difference is LGBT persons are people.

Richard Hicks

If you decide to be offended, don’t let someone live rent free in your head. Cut off your money to that business. The Special Advances offer a wide variety of spots for the money you have been given to manage. Thank you, Richard F Hicks, tithing on the gross since June, 1979

Wes Andrews

And this is the reason Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe is the director. She is very effective at putting a compassionate smiling face to an agency that supports the death solution for women in crisis, abortion. I suspect that the more honest attitude of the agency is in the actions and words from “the staff member of GBCS.” This is not the first time that people in the agency have shown that they are much more committed to proclaiming progressive ideology, than in proclaiming the Good News.


“Dr.” Henry-Crowe does not have an earned doctorate degree….another example of the lack of transparency of the GBCS.

Simply put, the GBCS is a left-wing political organization that uses the church for funding.

George Nixon Shuler

Same thing.

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