Epic Fail: The Case of Ginny Mikita and UMC Polity

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r dear Lord, were nature miracles, ie not real. A few years later, the minister of an high anglican Church at my dear mother in laws internment said, we may not know what really happened then ( re Adam and Eve and the fall ), go back slightly before that to her funeral where another minister (?) talked about the id ? ) I think that I was one of the few who knew what he was on about.
And so we run down on line ordination ministers ( of which I am one, approx 4 x thesis, and 3 x multiple choice exams ). I am not tainted by higher theology. I have a tiny house Church under Christ. I work for a living as did He with my hands.
I have no qualms to say that He is my Lord and Saviour.
Do You ?

Phil Murray more than 6 years ago

Great pastors leaving UMC by choice or force

too many good pastors are leaving the UMC....by choice or by force... It seems the UMC's position 'If you are not with us, you are against us' has been misconstrued from Jesus actual words, speaking to the disciples about someone doing the works and miracles of Jesus (who was not ..'one of the Official group of disciples with Jesus').... Jesus said, "Do not stop him; for No One who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.. Whoever is NOT against us is for us"

Kiersten more than 6 years ago


It is ironic that the same people arguing that the Discipline should be strictly followed as to a procedural matter (the "withdrawal" of Ms Mikita's membership), also argue that the Discipline may be ignored on matters of substance (officiating at gay marriages).

Mike Cooper more than 6 years ago


I was thinking the same thing. Suddenly process and strict adherence to the BoD is paramount. The BoD is being shredded by progressives across the land and now they want to focus in on one paragraph. GMAB.

Kevin more than 6 years ago


¶ 241. Withdrawal Without Notice—If a pastor is informed that a member has without notice united with a church of another denomination, the pastor shall make diligent inquiry and, if the report is confirmed, shall enter “Withdrawn” after the person’s name on the membership roll and shall report the same to the next charge conference." The Book of Discipline is filled with words like "may" and "shall", and they matter. You state that a pastor may enter the persons name as withdrawn, the BOD is clear that the pastor SHALL, as in not optional.

Jeremy Wicks more than 6 years ago


... they are wonderful and dangerous. If whatever was done was not done without notice and if the pastor concludes the action taken by the member cannot reasonably described as "uniting" nor that the entity with whom the member interacted is either a "church" or a "denomination," then, presumably, the pastor simply continues to value the prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness of the member.

Robert Eckert more than 6 years ago

Mis-application of ¶ 241

¶ 241, dealing with the withdrawal from membership without notice, presumes that the lay person is no longer participating in the life of the church by their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service, and their witness ... hence, the need for the withdrawal to be "reported" and a pastor's duty to "investigate." When I am informed that someone, who is absent from the life of the church, has actually joined a church of another denomination -- and is, therefore, not fulfilling their vows in every respect -- I perform the required investigation and then remove them from the church's membership as an administrative action. The Paragraph presumes that the intent of the person was to withdraw their membership, and they -- or the church to which they have "transferred" -- hasn't contacted us to let us know of their "transfer"/withdrawal. The Paragraph entails an administrative action, only, and doesn't presume any a challenge to the validity of the investigation and determination by the pastor-in-charge (see below for why). It also explicitly stipulates that the Pastor in Charge is the one on whom this responsibility devolves.

In every respect, ¶ 241 was either not correctly implemented or, indeed, entirely mis-applied in this case. This is NOT a case of the simple abandonment or vacation of membership vows, it is a case where a present and active member of the church has violated the Book of Discipline's stipulations (as interpreted by the Judicial Council) against "dual membership" with another denomination. The proper course is not an administrative removal, but rather a formal complaint, charges, and investigation pursuant to either a Just Resolution or a trial and possible removal from Church membership. Any other course of action in this matter, or the application of ¶ 241 in the way it is being applied here, constitutes a violation of the Church's Constitution under the 4th Restrictive Rule (¶ 20. Article IV). The General Conference cannot create a regulation/directive which deprives our clergy or lay members of their "right to trial before the church, or by a committee, and of an appeal." The way ¶ 241 is being applied in this case does precisely that in every respect.

None of this addresses the question of who is supposed to perform the investigation and make the determination under ¶ 241. I've not "gone there" because, in point of fact, ¶ 241 CANNOT (per the 4th Restrictive Rule) be used in this case and in this way.

Rev. Gregory S. Neal more than 6 years ago

Epic fail

You say that lay members have a right to trial. She was no longer a lay member from the moment she accepted that ordination. We have no obligation or authority to try members of other denominations.

Kevin more than 6 years ago