Editor's Note: With this issue, we have completed two cycles of letters supporting and disagreeing with the church's stance on homosexuality and General Conference 2012's action on legislation concerning this. Let's take a break to discuss some of the other issues and topics in Interpreter. What does your congregation need to become more vital? What prayer practices draw you closer to God? What are you doing to create a more just world? Please hold your letter or email to about 100 words and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Interpreter, P. O. Box 320, Nashville, TN 37202-0320.
The Rev. Kathy Noble, Editor
Put differences aside
It was interesting to read the letters about the same-sex marriage issue (Nov/Dec 2012). One person said it's time to end the debate, then furthered the debate by offering his opinion. He went on to suggest we take into account teachings of John Wesley and Mel Talbert.
Mel Talbert? Isn't he the retired bishop who, on the last day of the 2012 General Conference, said, "The time for talking is over. It's time for us to act in defiance ...?" That statement sounds more like a battle cry than a debate ender.
The UMC is in ministry to all, not just one side or the other. It is possible that The UMC will never accept that practice, so it seems best to work together and put our differences aside.
The UMC needs to cope with the serious issues of declining income and membership. We need to work in concert to build a viable restructuring plan. We should join hands as a truly united church and find strength in the ministry we have chosen to share with our world.
Promoting disunity will only cause more hurt and confusion.
Mike Peters, Rockford, Ill., New Milford United Methodist Church
Love person, not behavior
I cringed at the response (November/December) to a prior issue where a view on the homosexual was expressed. Jesus said, "He that is without sin, cast the first stone." When he was confronted with a woman caught in adultery, he forgave her sin, but told her to "go and sin no more." I have questions regarding some of the Bible's messages, but in both the Old and New Testaments, homosexuality is looked on as an abomination in the sight of God. I don't judge the person; that's up to God. I love all peoples, races and creeds, but I cannot endorse a lifestyle that offends God.
Jerry Broad, Alpena (Mich.) First United Methodist Church
Grateful for gratitude
(Via Twitter) @InterpreterMag Just sat & read my entire magazine at once. Love all the stuff about gratitude! (Nov/Dec 2012) Wheels turning 2 see how we can promote. (Via email) Now I need to go back and gather all my other Interpreters. Thanks for the great nuggets you include and all the other churches and ministers for sharing what they've encountered.
Kellie Frissell, Stockbridge, Ga., Bethel United Methodist Church