Skip to comments.United Methodist Council of Bishops Pastoral Letter [Self-Loathing Alert]
Posted on 01/09/2010 4:37:28 PM PST by mbarker12474
Virginia bishop Charlene Kammerer urges everybody to read and study this toxic letter here:
The letter itself is here:
Gods Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action A Pastoral Letter from the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church1 Gods creation is in crisis. We, the Bishops of The United Methodist Church, cannot remain silent while Gods people and Gods planet suffer. This beautiful natural world is a loving gift from God, the Creator of all things seen and unseen. God has entrusted its care to all of us, but we have turned our backs on God and on our responsibilities. Our neglect, selfishness, and pride have fostered: pandemic poverty and disease; environmental degradation, and the proliferation of weapons and violence.i Despite these interconnected threats to life and hope, Gods creative work continues. Despite the ways we all contribute to these problems, God still invites each one of us to participate in the work of renewal. We must begin the work of renewing creation by being renewed in our own hearts and minds. We cannot help the world until we change our way of being in it. We all feel saddened by the state of the world, overwhelmed by the scope of these problems, and anxious about the future, but God calls us and equips us to respond. No matter how bad things are, Gods creative work continues. Christs resurrection assures us that death and destruction do not have the last word. Paul taught that through Jesus Christ, God offers redemption to all of creation and reconciles all things, whether on earth or in heaven.(Col 1:20ii) Gods Spirit is always and everywhere at work in the world fighting poverty, restoring health, renewing creation, and reconciling peoples. Aware of Gods vision for creation, we no longer see a list of isolated problems affecting disconnected people, plants, and animals. Rather, we see one interconnected system that groans in travail.(Romans 8:22) The threats to peace, people, and planet earth are related to one another, and Gods vision encompasses complete well-being. We, your bishops, join with many global religious leaders to call for a comprehensive response to these interrelated issues. We urge all United Methodists and people of goodwill to offer themselves as instruments of Gods 1 The 2004 General Conference of The United Methodist Church called for the Council of Bishops to publish new documents and a study guide similar to the Councils landmark call in 1986, In Defense of Creation: The Nuclear Crisis and a Just Peace. This is the Councils response to the General Conference action (The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church 2004: Replace In Defense of Creation with new Document and Study Guide"). 2 Pastoral Letter (English), adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA. renewing Spirit in the world. First, let us orient our lives toward Gods holy vision. This vision of the future calls us to hope and to action. For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.(Jer 29:11) Christs resurrection assures us that this vision is indeed a promise of renewal and reconciliation. As disciples of Christ, we take Gods promise as the purpose for our lives. Let us, then, rededicate ourselves to Gods holy vision, living each day with awareness of the future God extends to us and of the Spirit that leads us onward. Second, let us practice social and environmental holiness. We believe personal holiness and social holiness must never be separated. John Wesley preached: The gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social. No holiness but social holiness.iii Through social holiness we make ourselves a channel of Gods blessing in the world. Because Gods blessing, care, and promise of renewal extend to all of creation, we can speak today of environmental holiness as well. We practice social and environmental holiness by caring for Gods people and Gods planet and by challenging those whose policies and practices neglect the poor, exploit the weak, hasten global warming, and produce more weapons. Third, let us live and act in hope. As people in the tradition of John Wesley, we understand reconciliation and renewal to be part of the process of salvation that is already underway. We are not hemmed into a fallen world. Rather we are part of a divine unfolding process to which we must contribute. As we faithfully respond to Gods grace and call to action, the Holy Spirit guides us in this renewal. With a resurrection spirit, we look forward to the renewal of the whole creation and commit ourselves to that vision. We pray that God will accept and use our lives and resources that we re-dedicate to a ministry of peace, justice and hope to overcome poverty and disease, environmental degradation, and the proliferation of weapons and violence. With Gods help and with you as our witnesses
1. We as your bishops pledge to answer Gods call to deepen our spiritual consciousness as just stewards of creation. We commit ourselves to faithful and effective leadership on these issues, in our denomination, and in our communities and nations. 2. We pledge to make Gods vision of renewal our goal. With every evaluation and decision, 3 Pastoral Letter (English), adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA. we will ask: Does this contribute to Gods renewal of creation? Ever aware of the difference between what is and what must be, we pledge to practice Wesleyan holy dissatisfaction.iv 3. We pledge to practice dialogue with those whose life experience differs dramatically from our own, and we pledge to practice prayerful self-examination. For example, in the Council of bishops, the fifty active bishops in the United States are committed to listening and learning with the nineteen active bishops in Africa, Asia and Europe. And the bishops representing the United States conferences will prayerfully examine the fact that their nation consumes more than its fair share of the worlds resources, generates the most waste, and produces the most weapons. 4. We pledge ourselves to make common cause with religious leaders and people of good will worldwide who share these concerns. We will connect and collaborate with ecumenical and interreligious partners and with community and faith organizations so that we may strengthen our common efforts. 5. We pledge to advocate for justice and peace in the halls of power in our respective nations and international organizations. 6. We pledge to measure the carbon footprintv of our episcopal and denominational offices, determine how to reduce it, and implement those changes. We will urge our congregations, schools and settings of ministry to do the same. 7. We pledge, to the best of our ability, to provide the resources needed by our conferences to reduce dramatically our collective exploitation of the planet, peoples and communities, including technical assistance with buildings and programs, education and training, young peoples and online networking resources. 8. We pledge to practice hope as we engage and continue supporting the many transforming ministries of our denomination. Every day we will thank God for fruit produced through the work of The United Methodist Church and through each of you. 9. We pledge more effective use of the church and community webpages to inspire and share what we learn.vi We celebrate the communications efforts that tell the stories of struggle and transformation within our denomination. With these pledges, we respond to Gods gracious invitation to join in the process of renewal. God is already visibly at work in people and groups around the world. We rededicate 4 Pastoral Letter (English), adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA. ourselves to join these movements, the movements of the Spirit. Young people are passionately raising funds to provide mosquito nets for their siblings thousands of miles away. Dock workers are refusing to off-load small weapons being smuggled to armed combatants in civil wars in their continent. People of faith are demanding land reform on behalf of landless farm workers. Children and young people have formed church-wide green teams to transform our buildings and ministries into testimonies of stewardship and sustainability. Ecumenical and interreligious partners persist in demanding the major nuclear powers to reduce their arsenals, step by verifiable step, making a way to a more secure world totally disarmed of nuclear weapons. God is already doing a new thing. With this Letter and the accompanying Foundation Document, we rededicate ourselves to participate in Gods work, and we urge you all to rededicate yourselves as well. We beseech every United Methodist, every congregation and every public leader: Will you participate in Gods renewing work? We are filled with hope for what God can accomplish through us, and we pray you respond: We will, with Gods help! May Gods grace purify our reason, strengthen our will, and guide our action. May the love of God, the peace of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit be among you, everywhere and always, so that you may be a blessing to all creation and to all the children of God, making peace, nurturing and practicing hope, choosing life and coming to life eternal. Amen. i In 2002, Reverend Dr. William Sloane Coffin, referring to a political trio of threats said, A more likely and far more dangerous trio would be environmental degradation, pandemic poverty, and a world awash with weapons. The Chautauqua Appeal, with Joan Brown Campbell and Stephen J. Sidorak, Jr. ii Unless otherwise noted, all scriptural references are from the New Revised Standard Version published by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. iii Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739, ¶ 5. iv When
Christian perfection becomes the goal, a fundamental hope is aroused that the future can surpass the present. And a corresponding holy dissatisfaction is aroused with regard to any present state of affairsa dissatisfaction that supplies the critical edge necessary to keep the process of individual transformation moving. Moreover, this holy dissatisfaction is readily transferable from the realm of the individual to that of society, where it provides a persistent motivation for reform in the light of a more perfect way that goes beyond any status quo. Runyon, Theodore, The New Creation: John Wesleys Theology Today (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1998), p. 168. v A carbon footprint is an estimate of how much carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) is produced to support life activities including travel and home energy use. Carbon footprints are also applied on a larger scale to companies, businesses, and nations. 5 Pastoral Letter (English), adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA. vi In support of the many persons who have followed this project of the Council, an interactive multimedia website will have resources, educational materials, downloadable video clips and social networking: www.hopeandaction.org.
The letter itself is here:
Sorry for the wall of text.
Hey, Bish: You don’t speak for me!
He needs a double testicle implant...
Maybe that explains it...it is written as if by a first grade teacher.