East Ohio MFSA

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2014 Resolutions Submitted To Annual Conference

Posted by East Ohio MFSA on April 13, 2014 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

A Resolution: Called Session of General Conference

We Will Not Condone Violence in Words or Deeds

Promoting Justice And Peace In The Holy Land Through Divestment And Boycott

Resolution to Stem the Tide of Violence

Meet Our Convener - Bill Watts

Posted by East Ohio MFSA on October 10, 2013 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello, my name is Bill Watts! I recently retired after 42 years with Goodyear. My wife Joy and I

have three children and five grandchildren. I have been a Methodist for my whole life and have

chaired almost every local UMC committee – many years with respect to church finances. I have always been a social justice person in a supportive role but an event in my life has made me question my involvement level!

Even though I’m an optimist by nature, I was scared to death for my daughter Andrea twice in her life. Once when she had spinal meningitis. Once, she came out to us. The illness was cured by good medicine, doctors in white lab coats, and a smothering of parental love and prayers. But when we faced homosexuality where was the good theology? Where were the spiritual leaders?

At first, I told her it was a sin; she remembers how those words felt. But I took them back. I was her papa. I had driven her to Sunday School and church, youth group, conference council of youth ministries, Lakeside Institute, and I had faithfully kept stats and cheered her on (GO, Andrea!) in a zillion track and cross country meets! She won almost every award her high school had to offer. I knew she was a GOOD girl. I knew she did not choose evil. My love as a father defeated the bad theology

I grew up with. I left it to Joy to read theology and look for support—and she did (We’ve got the

library to prove it!)—I was just always there for my sweetie. I did fear for her though. What would

people think of her? Would she be safe? Someone told us, gay guys are beaten up. Lesbians are

raped. Why would we tell anyone? In college she had a sign taped to her wall which read, DON’T

LET THE PEOPLE WHO DWELL IN FEAR AND HATE GOVERN HOW YOU LIVE. She was

braver than we were. We began to realize silence was not love.

We have trouble worshipping in many church services because the silence on this issue and social

justice issues in general makes our minds scream the word hypocrite and puts up this huge block.

(We understand why people join the UCC—where many of our best Methodists are!) If it weren’t

for Methodist Federation for Social Action, Reconciling Ministries and congregations that welcome

generously and equally, we couldn’t continue to be United Methodists. In those congregations, it’s

like being able to breathe, and pray and feel God’s goodness again.

And now that I have retired, I have decided it is time to become more passionate about social justice

issues. I have become very active in East Ohio MFSA and RMN activities and leadership roles.

I encourage you to become more involved in changing the Church – “what does the Lord require of

you - but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” – Micah 6:8.

A Reflection from Bill McCartney

Posted by East Ohio MFSA on May 10, 2011 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Another brilliant essay from our very own "Mac"! 

# # #

Some TV ads are so annoying, they’re downright reprehensible. An especially offensive one on Columbus TV says, "I want it all. I want it all. I want it all, and I want it now." What a blatant appeal to greed and impatience! It’s so repulsive I pay no attention to the sponsor.

Unfortunately this selfish ad could be the theme song of our nation’s monied interests -- and the politicians dependent on their campaign contributions. It isn’t enough that the rich keep getting richer while the majority of American workers have seen their incomes stagnate. They want it all, and they want it now.

Not long ago America’s top executives earned 40 times what the lowest paid workers earned. Now the figure is 320 times. In spite of this growing income gap, the rich keep asking for more -- and more tax relief for that growing wealth. They’re want it all, and they want it now.

Many top executives, including some who helped cause our recession and whose companies we tax-payers have rescued, are now getting salaries and bonuses that would knock your socks off. Three oil companies are among our nation’s five wealthiest corporations. You wouldn’t know that from their aggressive ad campaigns to protect their cushy tax breaks. They want it all, and they want it now!"

At the same time, the politicians who protect the monied interests, continue to ask the average American worker to bear the cost of the recession brought on by many things -- and then shamelessly call for a reduction of taxes for those whose constantly growing wealth means they can/should pay.

Things being pushed (and passed) by the political lackeys of wealth include: 1) Lowering taxes on the wealthiest; 2) Ending estate taxes desperately needed by our state and nation; 3) Canceling worker protections (e.g. collective bargaining) making it even easier for the already wealthy to get away with offering less and less to people like the rest of us; and 4) Reducing services to the most vulnerable citizens of our land.

Such actions destroy our nation’s legacy, our dream of greatness for all. Such actions negate our refrain of "United we stand." Such greed signals a cancer on the soul of a nation that once stood as a beacon of equality in our world.

Some may complain that I’m trying to start a "class war." Nonsense. It’s been here for some time – and the rich are not only winning, they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

America’s theme song is not: "I want it all." The true American spirit sings, "I want it FOR all."

Retired Bishops' Statement on Homosexuality:

Posted by East Ohio MFSA on March 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM Comments comments (0)

A Statement of Counsel to the Church - 2011

Out of concern for the welfare of all God's people, and, out of special concern for the people of

The United Methodist Church, we, United Methodist Bishops - retired, believe The UMC

should remove the following statement from The Book of Discipline (2008):

"...The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian

teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be

certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The

United Methodist Church." ¶304.3

Our lives and ministries over the years have included prayerful, thoughtful consideration of our Holy Bible, our Wesleyan heritage, reflection on our experience of the church and world, and our conviction of God's intention for a world transformed.

With this statement of conviction and counsel we seek:

- To affirm that the historic tests of "gifts and evidence of God's grace"

for ordained ministry override any past or present temporal restrictions

such as race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

- To urge the Church, ecumenical and denominational, to change the manner in

which it relates to gay, lesbian and transgendered persons in official

statements, judicial proceedings, and in congregational life.

- To declare our conviction that the current disciplinary position of The

United Methodist Church, a part of our historical development, need not, and

should not, be embraced as the faithful position for the future.

- To make known our names and shared personal conviction on this matter and

to encourage other church and Episcopal leaders to do the same.

With increasing frequency we observe and experience the following disturbing realities and know them to be detrimental to the mission of a Church of Jesus Christ:

- Laity and clergy, gay and straight, withdrawing membership or absenting themselves from the support of congregational and denominational Church life in order to maintain personal integrity.

- Young adults, especially, embarrassed to invite friends and expressing dismay at the unwillingness of our United Methodist Church to alter its 39-year exclusionary stance.

- Closeted pastors, currently called and ordained in our church, living divided lives while offering effective appreciated ministry.

- Bishops being drained of energy by upholding Church Discipline while regarding it as contrary to their convictions.

- Bishops caught between care for the Church by reappointing an effective gay or lesbian pastor and care for the Discipline by charging them under current legislation.

- Seminary leaders desiring greater flexibility and openness from the church in order to advance their mission of identifying, recruiting, enrolling, educating and spiritually forming Christian leaders.

- Christian gay men and women understanding themselves called of God to seek ministry opportunities within their United Methodist family Church home, but having to decide between:

o leaving to go to accepting denominations, or

o staying and praying for change, or

o challenging Church law and accepting punitive actions.

Our United Methodist Church, ashamed and repentant in the past, ended official and unofficial restrictions on candidacy, ordination and appointment for reason of race, gender and ethnicity. We believe the God we know in Jesus is leading us to issue this counsel and call - a call to transform our church life and our world.

United Methodist Episcopal Leaders-Retired

Monk Bryan

Joseph Humper

Marshall L Meadors, Jr.

Beverly Shamana

Kenneth Carder

S. Clifton Ives

C. P. Minnick

Forest Stith

Judith Craig

Charles W. Jordan

Susan Morrison

C. Joseph Sprague

Jesse

DeWitt

Leontine T.C. Kelly

Fritz Mutti

Melvin Talbert

Sheldon Duecker

J. Lloyd Knox

Donald Ott

Jack Tuell

William Boyd Grove

William Lewis

Sharon Rader

Dale White

Susan Hassinger J.

Lawrence McClesky

Roy I Sano

Joe A. Wilson

Kenneth Hicks

Cal McConnell

Franz Schafer

Joseph Yeakel

MFSA Going Electronic!

Posted by East Ohio MFSA on March 28, 2011 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

EAST OHIO MFSA – GOING TO ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION!!

In the attempt to maximize all donations for the ministries of supporting and augmenting peace and justice ministries at the local, conference and national levels, we are notifying all that East Ohio MFSA will be utilizing electronic communication in the future.

This change will give us the opportunity to direct approximately $500 annually toward our peace andjustice ministries.

Be sure to provide your email contact information to David MacDonald at eo.mfsa@gmail.com so we can verify your e-mail and/or add your e-mail to our contact list.

Thanks for taking the time to complete this very important task.

We realize that a small percentage of you may not have emails so be sure to advise us when filling out the membership form by indicating you have no email. After The Plumbline has gone totally electronic, print copies will only be available for a subscription fee of $12.00 per year. More information will be available after the change to electronic communication has been made.

Thoughts from Bill McCartney

Posted by East Ohio MFSA on March 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM Comments comments (0)

Pollsters are telling us that people identify churches and denominations not so much by what they believe, but by what they do. I want to broaden the idea of the "DO" part by suggesting that any such identification also means who we are.

What are the characteristics that mark us individually as followers of Jesus Christ? What are the characteristics that mark us as a community of Christ’s followers? What are the characteristics that mark our organization in a Church and a society where many groups are seeking to use their influence?

BIBLICAL/SPIRITUAL GROWTH.

We should commit ourselves (individually and corporately) to be deeply invested in the Biblical message and our spiritual growth.

CHURCH/WORLD AWARENESS

We live and labor in God’s world. Thus we should be fully aware of that world. The world is not ours. As such our holy labors are not for ourselves. Rather, our work is to be faithful to God’s purpose.

We must know and understand the world – even better than knowing our wants and wishes for it. 1) We need to see the sinfulness of the world – and out part in that. 2) We must sense the hurt in the world – and grieve with God about it. 3) We must grasp God’s hope for the world – and make it our own.

DISCIPLE SUPPORT

It’s of no small consequence that Jesus chose a GROUP of persons to constitute his first group of followers. Although our images of the dynamic in that fellowship are limited, we can note several significant things about it. 1) It was a gathering of diverse individuals who nonetheless were willing to work together. 2) Jesus allowed for diversity of opinion, and was ever ready to answer their various questions. 3) He imparted responsibility to them as individuals, but mostly as a group.

Thus, as followers of Christ, we do well to follow the group fellowship model that he created among those immediately around him. Not only does that strengthen us individually as we reflect upon the truths and responsibilities before us, it is a source of strength and inspiration to each and all of us as we move into the world, a world which too often resists the invitation and demands of the Gospel.

HOLY STRATEGY

This is a reminder that our calling is in response to the invitation of Christ and not in response to any one’s political agenda. And if we are talking about strategy, we must remember it begins with humility, because so much is at stake. And "holy" strategy is a holistic one, requiring the commitment of our heart, our mind, and our lives and action.

FAITHFUL WITNESS.

Both words in that title are significant. We’re in the struggle for justice not to win (which is a human value), but to be faithful to the life and teachings of Christ and to God’s hope for God’s "kingdom come, (thy) will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Win or lose, people and the world need to sense in us a presence and spirit of Christ.

Meet Our Convener--Bill Watts!

Posted by East Ohio MFSA on March 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello, my name is Bill Watts! I recently retired after 42 years with Goodyear. My wife Joy and I

have three children and five grandchildren. I have been a Methodist for my whole life and have

chaired almost every local UMC committee – many years with respect to church finances. I have always been a social justice person in a supportive role but an event in my life has made me question my involvement level!

Even though I’m an optimist by nature, I was scared to death for my daughter Andrea twice in her life. Once when she had spinal meningitis. Once, she came out to us. The illness was cured by good medicine, doctors in white lab coats, and a smothering of parental love and prayers. But when we faced homosexuality where was the good theology? Where were the spiritual leaders?

At first, I told her it was a sin; she remembers how those words felt. But I took them back. I was her papa. I had driven her to Sunday School and church, youth group, conference council of youth ministries, Lakeside Institute, and I had faithfully kept stats and cheered her on (GO, Andrea!) in a zillion track and cross country meets! She won almost every award her high school had to offer. I knew she was a GOOD girl. I knew she did not choose evil. My love as a father defeated the bad theology

I grew up with. I left it to Joy to read theology and look for support—and she did (We’ve got the

library to prove it!)—I was just always there for my sweetie. I did fear for her though. What would

people think of her? Would she be safe? Someone told us, gay guys are beaten up. Lesbians are

raped. Why would we tell anyone? In college she had a sign taped to her wall which read, DON’T

LET THE PEOPLE WHO DWELL IN FEAR AND HATE GOVERN HOW YOU LIVE. She was

braver than we were. We began to realize silence was not love.

We have trouble worshipping in many church services because the silence on this issue and social

justice issues in general makes our minds scream the word hypocrite and puts up this huge block.

(We understand why people join the UCC—where many of our best Methodists are!) If it weren’t

for Methodist Federation for Social Action, Reconciling Ministries and congregations that welcome

generously and equally, we couldn’t continue to be United Methodists. In those congregations, it’s

like being able to breathe, and pray and feel God’s goodness again.

And now that I have retired, I have decided it is time to become more passionate about social justice

issues. I have become very active in East Ohio MFSA and RMN activities and leadership roles.

I encourage you to become more involved in changing the Church – “what does the Lord require of

you - but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” – Micah 6:8.

Death Notice: Phil Gillis

Posted by East Ohio MFSA on August 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Many of you will remember our dear friend and supporter, Phil Gillis:

 

D E A T H N O T I C E

 

NamePhillip Gillis

 

Relationship to ConferenceRetired Elder

 

Date of DeathJuly 28, 2010

 

AddressCleveland, OH

 

 

Calling Hours/Funeral: Calling hours will take place before the funeral on Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 10a, Church of the Redeemer / 2420 S. Taylor Rd. / Cleveland Heights / OH / 44118. Funeral will follow at 11:00a, family will visit with guests following the service.

 

 

Next of Kin: He is survived by his wife Joanne, children, Steven (Maureen), Elizabeth (Bob), Everet and 1 granddaughter Mairead.

 

 

In Lieu of Flowers: Memorial gifts may be made to

Church of the Redeemer Flat Rock Homes and Care Center

2420 S. Taylor Rd 7353 County Road 29

Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 Flat Rock, OH 44828

 

 

Served East Ohio at: Ashley, Amsterdam, McDonald, Willowick: Shoregate, Epworth Euclid, Cleveland District Superintendent, Vice President for Development-Flat Rock Homes. He retired in 1997.

 

 

Condolences may be sent to:

Joanne Gillis, 14014 Shaker Blvd. Apt 102, Cleveland, OH 44120

Spring Retreat April 24, 2010

Posted by East Ohio MFSA on February 24, 2010 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (1)

A Springboard for Social Action:

Cultivating an Open Heart By Deepening Our Intimacy with God

Terri Dalton, Retreat Leader

“But without the deep root of wisdom and contemplation,

Christian action would have no meaning and no purpose.” -- Thomas Merton

Join us for an interactive time of sharing and conversation. We’ll spend the day together looking at the importance of having a life grounded in spiritual practices. Through cultivating an open heart we deepen our connection to God, our relationship to our world and community, and empower our ability to take meaningful action in the world. Terri Dalton, our retreat leader, is Associate Director of The East Ohio Conference, Program in Pastoral Care & Counseling and is licensed in Ohio as an Independent Marriage and Family Therapist.

 

April 24, 2010, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Grace UMC (North Canton)

$12.00 (Includes lunch & Refreshments) (No one will be turned away for lack of funds.)

Contact Anne Conway (130 Woodhaven Place, Oberlin OH 44074. or

arconway130@gmail.com) by April 16th to register!


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