God Makes No Mistakes. We Do.

Been texting with my friend, Rev. Sid Hall tonight, and I really can’t express it any better than he has done, regarding the news out of the SW Texas Conference today: 

“The church not only does harm to loving and qualified people for ministry in taking such action, but makes a profound theological statement by essentially claiming that God is mistaken for calling someone into ordained ministry who is in every way qualified for ordained ministry as a heterosexual would be but must be disqualified because she is attracted to the “wrong” gender. I’m very embarrassed that this happened in my own conference of the United Methodist Church but it is certainly nothing new and not a surprise.

God bless you, Mary Ann. God didn’t make a mistake in calling you to ordained ministry; the Southwest Texas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the voting clergy of the conference did moral harm to you and us all by reducing your call, my call, and each of our calls to ordained ministry to the one thing that seems to matter most about the practice of ministry–the gender to whom we’re attracted. Shame on us for not practicing the core ethic of our faith: the Golden Rule.”


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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of The Woods United Methodist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas. For seventeen years, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas, Texas. Eric is an avid blogger and published author. Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy.

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