Associates in Advocacy
Reconciliation and Restoration Where Possible
Yesterday, I asserted our denomination may have lost 200,000 members over the past thirty years due to Cabinet’s mishandling of complaints against clergy.
Add those to loss by:
a. demographic changes (by far the largest factor), both deaths of aging members and loss of young people moving away and not affiliating with the church in their new locations;
b. theological differences (many conservatives began leaving before the conflict over homosexuality);
c. and upset over sexual and financial misconduct of some pastors;
and you have a better grasp of how we have lost members.
It was not mostly incompetent pastors. The requirements to become Elders set now by the Discipline and by Boards of Ordained Ministry are so high some of us would not now be acceptable!
What are the criteria and training required of Cabinet members? The Discipline just says what they are to do. The criteria and training to be considered as potential superintendents are left in the hands of the Bishop, sometimes with the help of the Cabinet. And what are the criteria and training required to be considered as possible episcopal candidates? They are nowhere to be found in the Discipline or most jurisdictions.
Based on the difference between preparations to be a pastor and preparations to be a Cabinet member, which are most likely to be incompetent?
Is there hope? Only if we define the problem correctly . . . or by the grace of God. More tomorrow.
In the covenant of the clergy,
Rev Jerry Eckert, AIA contact person
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.