Skip Navigation

Reflections: Letters to the Editor (Nov-Dec 2014)


Having served as a pastoral counselor for two-thirds of my appointed years of active ministry, I was delighted to read the article "Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors Share Christ's Love" (Sept/Oct). I have very much appreciated the support of the Endorsement Division of our General Board of Higher Education and Ministry over these years. Rev. Carter and his staff are to be commended.

I have also been affiliated with The American Association of Pastoral Counselors and would recommend AAPC ( to any one either serving or considering serving as a pastoral counselor. Both of these professional connections have been invaluable in helping me serve as a United Methodist pastoral counselor.

The Rev. L. Paul Pitkin, Family Counseling Ministry, Cortland, N.Y.

Blown away

The article in the July/August issue that talked about "washing feet" totally blew me away when I read it. An amazing story!

Gerard E. Mayers, Everittstown UMC, Milford, N.J.

No more PDFs?

Thank you for the new digital version of Interpreter and all the great articles in it! It would be very helpful to be able to download it on my computer. Am I correct in thinking you have disabled that option? If so, hope you will consider making it available. If you did not disable it, could you tell me how to do that?

M. Theresa Basile, Culver-Palms UMC, Culver City, Calif.

Ed. Note: A .pdf of  Interpreter  Digital can now be downloaded by clicking the small PDF button at the bottom of each screen of the digital edition.

Worship suggestion wrong

I'm writing about "Celebrate All Saints" (Sept/Oct), which was "Adapted from a Ministry Matters article by David L. Bone, executive director, The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts ." A simple Google search suggests it's the article found at

I had to do that search to see whose idea it was to publish this inappropriate suggestion [use elements of the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) services] to "enhance worship." To his credit, that's not what Bone wrote in his original article ... which means that adapting (it) for Interpreter included the conscious decision to reword his description of a particular service into a suggestion for others to "enhance worship."

The idea that you can pick and choose symbols and acts from a culture that is not yours in order to enhance your worship service is incredibly wrong. It's racist, it's colonial, it's disrespectful, it's unwelcoming, it's a lot of ugly words, but "wrong" will do.

Dia de los Muertos (and ANY other tradition, which is not yours) is not for you to tell others to copy, and it's not some spice for you (to use) to garnish a stale article.

It's really annoying and kind of degrading that what actual Latinos in The United Methodist Church do is not important, because who cares. Right? Cinco de Mayo. Dia de los Muertos. Whatever. Seriously, that's some racism I do not need more of at church.

Julianne Rosas, Wesley Chapel UMC, Suffolk, Va.

Ed. Note: Interpreter failed to follow its own advice to use caution when adapting rituals from other traditions.

About the College Showcase

You all do a great job with the magazine, but I'm curious about the UM College Showcase on pages 54-55 (Sept/Oct). Why and how were these particular schools selected for the publicity? Yale and Pittsburgh are great institutions, but they're not United Methodist. Northern is United Methodist but doesn't offer ministry degrees. This is very curious to me. It appears that we are only supporting some of our seminaries. Have I missed something here?

Jo Ann Mann, Trinity UMC, Blythewood, S.C.

Ed. Note: The College Showcase was a special advertising section in the Sept/Oct issue. The schools included purchased ads in that section. See more information under CORRECTIONS at the bottom of this page.

Left out

Just received the September/October issue of Interpreter. I searched and searched and did not find one mention of Certified Lay Ministers. Being a CLM, I'm disappointed in this apparent oversight.

Wil Meiklejohn, Olney Springs (Colo.) Community UMC

Ed. Note: The role of certified lay ministers was included in "Ministry is not just for clergy." Interpreter values the ministry of those who fill this pastoral role.


A special advertising section in the September/October issue was incorrectly titled United Methodist College Showcase. Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School are not related to The United Methodist Church, although they are approved by the University Senate for the academic preparation of United Methodist clergy. The colleges and seminaries included purchased space in the section.

Jodi Cataldo, director of laity in leadership for the General Board of Discipleship, was incorrectly identified as a clergywoman in the Sept/Oct issue. She is a laywoman. We apologize for the error.

We want mail!

Interpreter welcomes letters to the editor. Send letters of 50 to 150 words to or by postal service to Interpreter Editor, P. O. Box 320, Nashville, TN 37202-0320. Include your name and the name and location (city and state) of the church you attend. Letters may be edited for clarity and length and may be published in Interpreter, Interpreter Digital or Interpreter OnLine,