An Update from the Bishop

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.


6 thoughts on “An Update from the Bishop

  1. i think this illustrates not only a breakdown in the communication of the high-up leadership of our conference but also a solid reason why our ideal of discernment & laity over ‘one man rule’ is prudent. this apology would never have had to happen.

    i too appreciate bishop wills stepping up to the plate on the apology. i still want apologies and explanations for why such an avoidance for communicating and consulting & discernment with the people this decision actually effects. the people who do these ministries in the local churches

  2. Gavin, yes this is a textbook case on how to disenfranchise laity and staff. At the same time, I always look for opportunities for grace, knowing that we all are frail and broken people who make mistakes. I remain hopeful that there will be the possibility for conversation about the mistakes that have been made so that we can move forward into the future.

  3. i am all about grace jay & i will hope to extend that. i don’t think grace comes without some accountability. in this case i would like for someone to take account and recognition of the breech of trust. then i believe we can move on

  4. I must echo what Gavin has said. There needs to be accountability to what has occurred. Someone needs to take responsibility.

    I have heard from the bishop, and he impresses to me that he wants to move on. He is open to our input now. What I am still concerned about is that our input was not sought before this all began. We have been thrust into creating this future he speaks of against our will. We are all still in pain.

  5. This is not the first time the church has not communicated well to its stakeholders. HFUMC just last year and again this week is taking on debt without consulting its own stakeholders. I wish Michael Williams would communicate honestly and completely with the congregation that he is pushing this church into debt to the tune of $2,000,000.

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