Letters: General agency head’s positions concern reader


Over that past several weeks I have been reading the “Word From Winkler”articles on the General Board of Church and Society Web site. I wonder if anyone else who visits this site is as disturbed as I am over the fact that Jim Winkler is using an official United Methodist website as a soapbox from which to proclaim his own personal agenda? It is clear that Winkler’s cultural and political opinions are of a radical leftist nature, and that he has strong disdain, not only for political conservatism, but for orthodox, Bible-based Christian fundamentalism as well.

Another thing I find very troubling about Winkler’s articles is his attitude toward Israel. He seems to be totally ignorant of Israel’s place in God’s divine plan for the end-time. It seems that he has never read or understood the prophecies, in both the Old and New testaments concerning God’s chosen people, nor that he has ever viewed the restoration of Israel as a nation in 1948 as anything other than an “invasion.”

Winkler is certainly entitled to his opinions and has a right to voice them. However, I feel he has no right to use the United Methodist Church as a forum from which to impose views which run counter to those of most United Methodists.

If our conference in any way finances Winkler’s own private soapbox, then I would suggest that we “adjust” our apportionments to remedy that error.

Robert Robbins

I am writing to thank and to celebrate the generous spirit of Independence United Methodist Women for their donation to the annual Mississippi UMC Clergywomen Retreat.

The Mississippi Annual Conference joins with other conferences in enjoying a growing percentage of women accepting a call to ministry. According to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry as of December 2006, nationwide about 27 percent of the 32,742 active clergy are women.

The Clergywomen of the Mississippi Conference meet twice a year to support and encourage each other. Our meetings are limited to lunch at Annual Conference and our retreat, which will be Nov. 10-12. This year’s retreat led by spiritual director Linda Douty of Memphis is based on her book How Can I let Go If I Don’t Know I’m Holding On: Setting our Souls Free which focuses on letting go of the past to clear the path for the future.

Without financial help the retreat is beyond the resources of many of our clergywomen and we would appreciate donations from other UMW groups or Sunday school classes. 

Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to give. Please send a check to the conference and designate “clergywomen.” Your donation is gladly accepted and your prayers of support of the clergywomen are cherished.

Rev. Clare Biedenharn
Chair, Clergywomen Mississippi UMC Annual Conference