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Reflections: Letters to the editor (Jan-Feb 2016)

CALL not enough

The biggest problem with relying on "the call" is right on the front of your mag (Nov/Dec 2015). Relying on CALL sets up the individual as "special" – God's beloved – God's chosen. Did anyone notice how well the supposed "chosen people" did? Reread the Hebrew Bible like you were reading a performance evaluation of a current subordinate or a potential new hire. Would you seriously recruit any of them? Yeah, but God did! You missed a big point of the saga.

Having washed out of the ordination process 20 years ago, I'm now a wealth manager of a multimillion dollar portfolio. I look for long-term, reasonable return on investment.

Presuming that The UMC has relied on the extremely flawed CALL method of recruiting leaders: What is the long-term performance of the organization's CALLED leadership? What about seeking people who are highly effective, productive leaders?

Richard Hicks, St Luke's UMC, Oklahoma City

What support for LGBT members?

I recently received the (Nov/Dec) issue of Interpreter. It has several interesting articles concerning a person's call to ministry including the supportive services the Board of Higher Education and Ministry makes available to them: discernment groups, mentors, etc. My question is what specific supportive services do we provide our LGBT United Methodist sisters and brothers who feel a call from God to ministry? Considering our denomination's stance toward LGBT people, do we expect them to go through their entire ordination process "in the closet," forget their call or find another denomination to pursue their call?

Rev. Dave Hollingsworth, retired, Winter Park, Florida

Always left out

"Discerning God's Call" (Nov/Dec) needs an asterisk (*) to warn that nothing in it is true for lesbian or gay United Methodists. As you know, many have been discarded from The UMC because we are not only lesbian or gay, but also confident in our call to ordained ministry.

As a child I learned that the church is not a building, but the people. Yes. We are children of God, baptized and confirmed, faithful and called. Yet, our "church" seeks to silence, hide and shame us. Even so, some of us stay. . . hoping to bring hope and healing to the Body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12-26)

Love Prevails highlighted the hypocrisy of this issue, but LGBTQ people are left out of every theme – "Evangelism," "Youth Ministry," "Congregational Care"... thus you role model harmful, limited grace.

Let us in! We are a people who care about all of these.

Sue Laurie, M.Div., Love Prevails

Interpreter welcomes Letters to the Editor. Letters should be limited to 150 words and include the writer's name, local church, city and state. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Send letters to interpreter@umcom.org or Interpreter, P. O.Box 320, Nashville, TN 37202-0320.