I just received the following message from Bishop Wills clarifying some of what he told me:
I misunderstood Loyd on at least two points and I have written Beth and apologized.
First, Beth was not told about this new direction and organization. So, it is unfair me to have told you that she knew 6 months ago.
Second, Beth and Susan would each be welcome to apply for the new position when it is advertised.
At Annual Conference we really need to show our appreciation of the deeply appreciated work of Beth and Susan.
I am meeting with Loyd in a few minutes up here in KY. I really affirm your comments about all of this and I am truly sorry if I have damaged our youth “stake holders” and youth with the way this was handled. I approved of the decisions made, but I should have made sure we had conversations with the youth and “stake holders” first.
I want to thank Bishop Wills for making these clarifications, as well as his apologies to the persons involved. I have often appreciated Bishop Wills willingness to own up to his mistakes, a spiritual gift that has often been lacking in the Council of Bishops. This doesn’t solve any of the underlying issues and concerns, but I hope it may be a first step in opening up conversation on the future of youth and children’s ministries in the Tennessee Annual Conference.