I’m making official what has been obvious: this blog is on hiatus.
I appreciate the responses from Bishop Dorff and Secretary Reist to the e-mail posted here. I also appreciate the responses from The United Methodist Publishing House and the General Commission on Archives and History to the letter posted here. I’d like to say that responding to difficult questions is important throughout The United Methodist Church. However, I cannot.
I am not currently at liberty to discuss publicly all of my complaints concerning the leadership of Broadway United Methodist Church in Chicago. I would like to discuss some of them: not in the interest of “sour grapes” but rather in the interest of growing. These complaints aren’t dramatic — some might even say boring — but they’re basic to the life of any community. One alluded to here concerns the lack of open meetings. Another complaint concerns keeping track of a small cardboard box. (Concerning the small cardboard box: the leadership from the District Superintendent and the Annual Conference Chancellor are also in question.)
I’m personally tired of religious leaders who think and act as if they’re beyond criticism. The Northern Illinois Annual Conference is not immune to such criticism.
For others who are submitting briefs for this docket item, I am happy to accept them at [REDACTED 2014-02-22. See below]. (This e-mail address will expire after the Fall Judicial Council Meeting.)
I am about to leave on a week-long vacation from the internet. I’ve had time to reflect on the above filed brief:
- It’s possible that the filed brief could have more of a “church nice” tone. (I am also aware of how unpleasant I sound.) These realities do not vitiate my argument.
- Imagine a secular voluntary association sponsored by member donations that experienced (a) a chapter breaking the confidence of an executive session, and (b) a constitutional officer responsible for that chapter ignoring basic procedures. I believe that any argument such as the one presented in my brief would in such a secular context sound positively restrained. I fail to understand how an analogous situation involving a religious association requires a much more strained “church nice” tone.
- Res ipsa loquitur has to have some relevance in my characterization of the facts. If I’m wrong — which is possible — it should be trivial for someone to present a characterization of the facts demonstrating the deficiencies in my account. Complaining about me or my tone is not by itself an adequate answer.
- I think of The United Methodist Church as essentially a gathering of several different Inner Rings. That’s the biggest reason why I’ve posted this brief “publicly.” I have done nothing to promote this blog beyond allowing this blog to be scanned by search engines. If others wish to promote this blog post, I give full permission for them to do so. I doubt this brief will “go viral” — it is much too long to qualify. I also realize that it does not have to “go viral” to be heard.
- Right now for many reasons I am not interested in engaging with the arguments in my brief. I will limit my role to providing “a copy of the brief to all parties and amici curiae” (Rule V. D. of the Current Rules of Practice and Procedure).
Decision 1244 was the result of Docket 1013-11.
The e-mail address that used to be above (and distributed by the Secretary of the Judicial Council for Docket 0414-3) is still active. It will work for the purpose of sending me briefs.