This morning I had my annual interview with my DS. As part of the process, he handed me a sheet of paper titled, "Our Covenant Relationship." It begins by stating,
We as Ministry Professionals recognize and affirm the covenantal relationship we have with each other in the Iowa Annual Conference, the obligations we have to God, the people we serve, the world at large, exemplifying and maintaining the highest standards of Christian conduct as set forth in the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. Within that covenant, we understand and agree that each of us shall have...
The document goes on to list personal, parish, and pastoral responsibilities. The very second statement under Personal Responibility says, "Abide by the covenant and The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church."
United Methodist clergy whether they are in Iowa or some other corner of the world are bound together by a shared covenant. Sadly, there are some who have decided that this covenant doesn't apply to them. This is exactly what about 900 pastors have said by signing a letter declaring they would perform same-sex marriages in violation of The Book of Discipline. What do faithful people do in the face of this direct attack upon our covenantal relationship? You do the one thing you can do and call upon the leaders of the church in the form of the Council of Bishops to hold those who break covenant accountable.
This is what 59 pastors from around the country have done. Since they first expressed their dismay over this pledge to disregard The Book of Discipline and abandon our covenant, thousands of United Methodists have joined their voices calling on the Bishops to fulfill their responsibility of upholding our covenant. You can too by joining the 10,000 clergy and laity who have signed their letter.