Bishop Jones issues statement on Cynthia Meyer complaint

Bishop Scott Jones of Kansas helps lead a discussion on the “worldwide nature of the church,” during the United Methodist Church’s pre-General Conference news briefing at the Tampa Convention Center in Florida.

Wichita, KS — Bishop Scott J. Jones of the Great Plains Episcopal Area has issued a statement regarding the status of the complaint and investigation regarding the Rev. Cynthia Meyer, who openly admitted being in a committed relationship with another woman to her congregation in January. Jones said that the Bishop’s Way Forward proposal does nothing to change the current provisions in the Book of Discipline forbidding LGBTQ persons from serving as ordained ministers, and as such, the investigation process for Meyer will continue.

Prior to the General Conference meeting, Jones had announced that the Just Resolution process offered by the Book of Discipline had failed and that the judicial process would continue. In Jones’ proposed resolution Meyer’s charges would have been dismissed had the General Conference removed the proscriptions against LGBTQ clergy. While some have interpreted the Council of Bishop’s proposal as a moratorium on complaints and church trials, Jones’ noted that the proposal contains no specific language of a moratorium, and in today’s statement suggests that the bishops will be “in conversation” about how to avoid these with no specifics on when that might happen or what that might look like.

Jones’ earlier Just Resolution statement also contained a provision for Meyer’s current congregation to consider withdrawal from the UMC should the General Conference fail to act on human-sexuality issues. “If the General Conference retains the rules…” Jones suggested in that document, “[I] will explain the process found in ¶2548.2 to a church conference of Edgerton United Methodist Church . . . to assess their interest in withdrawing from the UMC and retaining Rev. Meyer as their pastor in a new denomination.” Today’s statement offered no comment on whether that provision would still be honored by Bishop Jones.

Jones was elected to the episcopacy in 2004 and oversaw the merger of the Kansas East, Kansas West, and Nebraska Annual Conferences into the Great Plains Annual Conference. Jones is expected to be reappointed to a new episcopal area this year as he has served two terms in the Great Plains area.

Click here to read the full text of Bishop Jones’ statement.

Jay Voorhees, Former Executive Editor

The Rev. Jay Voorhees is the Executive Editor of The United Methodist Reporter and the Chief Creative Officer for CircuitWriter Media LLC which operates this site and MethoBlog.com. Jay is an ordained elder in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Jay has written on life and the practice of faith in The United Methodist Church at Only Wonder Understands since 2003.

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17 Comments on "Bishop Jones issues statement on Cynthia Meyer complaint"

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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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Nancy
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So we have two idolatries in the UMC: (1) Bibliolatry and (2)Unity above all, even if we are not at all bound in Christian love.

Paul
Guest

How completely depressing. How unChristlike. Retrograde. Unloving, and out of step with the council of bishop’s statement.

Nanette Traband
Guest

Why would be not all be bound in Christian Love?

Deborah
Guest

Nanette I don’t know what translation of the bible you read but Jesus never said he came to temper the jaw with love. He said he came to fulfill the law.

Nanette Traband
Guest

I was not quoting a translation of the three that I read. I was reiterating the discussion of a Bible Study session from several years ago. Love, was the very basis of Jesus’ life and work!

Deborah
Guest

Ok Nanette got it.

eric pone
Guest

And so the purge of moderate and liberal congregations begins. Why not just purge the entire group of churches? Afterall that is the what the conservative bishops are aiming for with this. They can use all of the pastoral language to hide it. A purge is a purge is a purge.

Phil
Guest

A conservative congregation UMC just left the denomination last year because of the failure of the leadership to enforce the BOD. If you think the leadership is united enough to conspire a “purge”, you haven’t been paying attention.

Bruce Davis
Guest

The idea that Bishop Jones is trying to purge any congregations is ludicrous.

Nanette Traband
Guest
In this Methodist’s opinion, none of the mess coming out of the General Conference and tearing apart my beloved U. Methodist Church is being handled in the way in which Christ would have handled it, let alone John Wesley. Jesus said he did not come to abolish the Law, but to temper it with Love! John Wesley’s picture of his Methodism has desperately changed since Aldersgate; however, I don’t believe he would agree to all the “doctrines and church laws” that have been written since. As I view the current unaddressed subject matter, Christ did not avoid lepers, criminals, prostitutes,… Read more »
Kevin
Guest

Who would be those superiors who are going to chastise Bishop Jones?3

Nanette Traband
Guest

I have to admit some ignorance about the hierarchy above Bishops. Do you mean to tell me Bishops are the end all be all at the top of the Methodist hierarchy?

Kevin
Guest

Bishops are at the top of the Methodist hierarchy. You could always file charges and see if his fellow bishops within his jurisdiction want to chastise him for complying with and upholding the Discipline. Good luck with that.

Nanette Traband
Guest
From what I read the Discipline is in flux. I can’t afford to sue anyone and would never file suit against anyone for anything. I just think such hostilities are premature. Christ was Love alienating a congregation doesn’t really scream that. Oh, and I am in the Midwest but under a different Bishop in another state a couple of states removed. I am just hurting to see my church at such an adversarial junction without allowing the time granted by the GC for work on the Discipline. I always come down on the Love that Christ taught for his church… Read more »
Wes Andrews
Guest

The issue is actually quite simple, Nanette. The progressives do not wish to respect the authority of Scripture or the authority of our BOD. The BOD has been consistent on its Scriptural stance regarding sexuality for forty years. The turmoil is coming ONLY from those (progressives) who disrespect and marginalize the voice of General Conference.

Jay
Guest

Wes, I disagree. It’s not simple. RMN is calling for Gospel obedience, which is in conflict with the Discipline. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the RMN movement, our church is broken and its not simple.

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