Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Will Large Liberal Congregation Leave UMC?
Juicy Ecumenism ^ | 07-28-2018 | Jayda Wyse

Posted on 07/30/2018 8:58:14 AM PDT by NRx

Glide United Methodist Church in San Francisco, California, may be on the brink of breaking away from the UMC. The church, as a whole, has systematically distanced itself from the governance and theological beliefs long held by the UMC, and yet has still clung to the title of being a United Methodist congregation, according to Bishop Minerva Carcaño.

Bishop Carcaño addressed an open letter to the California-Nevada Conference, outlining issues within Glide that she found to be troubling. She described Glide’s “Sunday Celebrations” as “uplifting concerts,” which “lack the fundamentals of Christian worship.” She went on to write that the congregants don’t want the church to be United Methodist or Christian in its practices. According to her, baptisms are performed “in the name of the people rather than from a Christian understanding of Baptism” and Holy Communion was abandoned for a number of years before being reintroduced, “with much resistance,” but only outside of the Sunday Celebrations.

Her allegations against Glide do not end there. In the letter, she says that Cecil Williams, a prominent retired pastor who led the congregation from 1963-2000, made “all decisions in the background of Glide.” According to a 2004 profile, Williams and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown “stood together in defense of militant communist Angela Davis, and again, prominently, in defense of the Rev. Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple,” with Glide (under Williams’s leadership) even presented Jones with a humanitarian award in 1977, the year before Jones led a mass suicide of 913 people. Williams later expressed regret for his misjudgment of Jones.

Bishop Carcaño said Williams keeps control through his handpicked selection of individuals serving on the Glide Foundation board. The foundation, running on a $12 million budget, provides social services such as meals, healthcare, support for single mothers, and training for unemployed adults. These are indubitably good things, but these works have eclipsed theological teaching. According to Jenny Strasburg, a writer for SF Gate, the “Glide Foundation runs the church.”

All this apparently happened under the nose of Karen Oliveto, who was senior pastor of Glide from 2008 until 2016, when the Western Jurisdiction provocatively voted to elect her as a bishop for their region of the denomination, despite her being an openly partnered lesbian activist, in open violation of the UMC’s ban on ordaining “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.” The legitimacy of Oliveto’s election and her right to claim the status of bishop remains hotly disputed in the denomination. But her supposed management of this large congregation was widely cited by her supporters as showing she had sufficient skills and experience to be a bishop.

However, Oliveto doesn’t seem to have led the congregation well, as there was major decline in attendance during her eight years as pastor. While claiming a rise in (apparently inflated) membership from nearly 12,000 to over 13,000 during Oliveto’s tenure, actual attendance dropped from 3,000 to 1,899.

Bishop Carcaño also reported, in an opinion article she wrote on June 28, that, she was initiating an assessment of the internal workings of Glide. The reasons stated included “the lack of an appropriate governmental structure and the lack of financial transparency.” For the duration of the assessment, she reassigned the remaining pastors to other churches. This temporary measure has the potential to lead towards reconciliation between the congregation and the annual UMC conference.

Glide’s response to Bishop Carcaño’s letter was to draft one of their own, stating that they “remain open to dialogue with the UMC,” but are determined to continue in its ways with or without the UMC’s support. In order to continue an affiliation with the UMC, Glide’s leadership requires the UMC to “[return] to the attitude of tolerance that [they’ve] enjoyed.”

In its responses, the church has also levied two allegations against Bishop Carcaño. First, they claim she is pushing a “conservative” agenda, even though Carcaño is well known for her outspokenly liberal views. During her time in the UMC, she has consistently urged the church to liberalize its views on sexuality. The second accusation is that it is “her mission to create more ‘Disciples of Christ’.” Glide leadership apparently believes it is a bad thing for a UMC bishop to strive towards helping individuals become followers of Christ.

Other responses given by the Glide community has included holding a rally at city hall, joined by the mayor-elect of San Francisco, London Breed. Meanwhile the national, purely secular, partisan, left-wing political group has gotten involved, with an online petition demanding that Bishop Carcaño reinstate the pastors.

When individuals flaunt lifestyles contrary to Scriptural teaching, it opens the door for endless misunderstandings of biblical texts. Glide Church is a clear example of what a Christian community looks like when that happens. Under Oliveto’s oversight, it appears that this congregation was hardly recognizable as United Methodist and was only loosely tethered to Christianity.

Until Glide is willing to come under the leadership of the UMC’s most basic doctrinal and structural standards, it should not be attached to the UMC name.

TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: california; glide; methodist; nsanfrancisco; sanfrancisco; umc

1 posted on 07/30/2018 8:58:15 AM PDT by NRx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: NRx

Met Williams once. A real phony.

2 posted on 07/30/2018 9:05:45 AM PDT by DIRTYSECRET (urope. Why do they put up with this.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

OK, someone help me out here...

From what little I’ve read, it sounds like the UMC (from the churches all the way up to leadership) has had a pretty liberal bent to it.

How bad have things gotten at Glide UMC when the actual church leadership tries to punish them for doing what generally does not seem out of synch with church theology?

Or is this not so much about theology and more an attempt by the national UMC to exercise control (IOW, a control issue) over one of its member churches?

3 posted on 07/30/2018 9:11:09 AM PDT by MplsSteve
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NRx
Glide United Methodist Church in San Francisco, California, may be on the brink of breaking away from the UMC

Easily explained,

4 posted on 07/30/2018 9:13:02 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (America NEEDS Mob Rule, another European and Mid East World War and a universal Draft)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NRx

A major schism is coming.

American liberal UMC “demand”, but doctrinal power rests with God and in the earthly hands of conservative African and Asian bishops.

5 posted on 07/30/2018 9:16:31 AM PDT by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MplsSteve

The UMC is, in majority, conservative, including African diocese, which are very conservative. A vocal minority (mostly in the Northeast) has been trying to push it to adopt liberal policies, but has been rebuffed.

So they want to take their property and endowments and leave the main body.

It’s all about the lefties grabbing money and property earned and paid for by others.

6 posted on 07/30/2018 9:17:40 AM PDT by Fido969 (In!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: MplsSteve

Many American UMC churches and district bishops are openly liberal, fag loving, and want to see traditional values and worship subsumed.

However, many congregations (like mine) are extremely conservative.

The real doctrinal power in the UMC currently rests with the large numbers of conservative UMC bishops in Asia and Africa.

7 posted on 07/30/2018 9:19:41 AM PDT by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NRx
Would it then be called the DMC?

8 posted on 07/30/2018 9:21:48 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault ('Kill'-google,TWITR,FACEBK,WaPo,Hollywd,CNN,NFL,BLM,CAIR,Antifa,SPLC,ESPN,NPR,NBA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NRx

Astro Glide.

9 posted on 07/30/2018 9:28:13 AM PDT by DungeonMaster (...the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: clee1

Same here in rural Oklahoma. The Wesley Covenant movement is slowly becoming a viable option. It shouldn’t need to come to that, but it might.

10 posted on 07/30/2018 9:35:26 AM PDT by oldplayer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: clee1

In our area I can sense frustration. I was told from several attending area local churches that they are not permitted to choose their pastors and a lot of their money has to go to the organization’s headquarters/council that they say supports a liberal agenda. One pastor told me this year they move their pastors around every 3 years. She is just getting to know her congregation better.

One area Methodist country church had to close because they wanted to disassociate. The church was 100 years old and they owned the property, built it and then remodeled it. . . only to lose it when they split from the UMC. One person from their headquarters told a leader of the church he would rather see it turned into a coon hunters’ facility rather remain a church.

All denominations certainly have their problems . . . It is Satan’s tool to keep eyes off the real reason for a Bible believing churches’ existence . . .to spread the Gospel of the Saving Grace of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

11 posted on 07/30/2018 9:41:10 AM PDT by Maudeen (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Maudeen

“The church was 100 years old and they owned the property, built it and then remodeled it. . . only to lose it when they split from the UMC.”

Yes, lots of churches joined the UMC in the 60s and folks now don’t remember the fine print. The Church at large owns the buildings.

And yes, UMC don’t choose the preacher, the area Conference does. Our last preacher was there 10 years, but, usually it’s 4. John Wesley said any preacher that stayed more than 4 weeks was there too long, but, 4 years seems good. I’ve met a LOT of good people that way, and, have stayed in contact with many.

It’s all in the UMC Discipline. Many parishioners fail to read it on a regular basis.

As for the leadership, the problem is that most of the folks in charge have gotten there because they have been around since the 60s. Many are leftist that were trying to avoid the draft. The ones who didn’t or were of a conservative bent to start with, are doing the best they can.

Yes, the UMC may split apart over these issues very soon.

12 posted on 07/30/2018 10:33:06 AM PDT by Conan the Librarian (The Best in Life is to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and the Dewey Decimal System)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson