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WordAlone Book
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A compilation of essays and comments by concerned pastors, theologians and laypersons, challenging denominations who are denying Christ’s resurrection, ‘demythologizing’ Scripture, blessing same-sex relationships, ordaining non-celibate homosexuals.

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Church leaders

—meet with President Bush

by Betsy Carlson (Editor, WordAlone Network)

News: May 3, 2005

Some leaders of renewal movements within mainline denominations and of three U.S. denominations met with President George W. Bush Tuesday, May 3.

The leaders, who have orthodox views on Christian beliefs, included five United Methodist bishops; four bishops of The Episcopal Church USA; Dr. Gerald Kieschnick, president of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod; and executives of six denominational renewal groups and the secretary of a national pro-life organization.

Pastor Mark Chavez, director of the WordAlone Network, which is a nationwide renewal movement within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said he received a phone invitation last week from the Office of Public Liaison to meet with the President.

Chavez said three things stood out to him from the meeting: 1. President Bush said it was important to know what one’s beliefs are and to act on them consistently; 2. President Bush showed his earnest beliefs in the importance of freedom and that the U.S. can help other nations to achieve their own freedom; 3. The President’s own, personal faith. He added that the President touched on several foreign and domestic issues.

President Bush likes to meet with groups of different leaders to discuss what is on his mind and to hear what is on theirs, Chavez said he was told when invited. The group’s time with Bush was less than expected, according to Chavez because Bush met privately with the Methodist bishops first and then had to leave early to catch a plane. Bush is a member of the United Methodist Church.

Other than Chavez, the renewal leaders were Rev. David Anderson, president of the American Anglican Council; Georgette Forney, an Episcopal layperson, and President of NOEL, a life-affirming ministry in the Anglican Communion, and secretary of the National Pro-Life Religious Council’s board of directors; Sharon Stockdale Steinmiller, an Episcopal layperson and head of Anglican Global Mission Partners, an alliance of more than 15 missionary organizations and the missions arm of the Anglican Communion Network; Doug Harvey, executive director of Disciple Heritage Fellowship and pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Others were David Runnion-Bareford, executive director of the Biblical Witness Fellowship and pastor in the United Church of Christ; Dr. Brad Long executive director of Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International; and Dr. Scott Gibson of the American Baptist Evangelicals.

The United Methodist bishops were Peter Weaver who is president of the Methodist Council of Bishops, Janice Huie—president-designate, Ernest Lyght—secretary of the council, and host bishops John Schol of the D.C. area and Charlene Kammerer of the Richmond, Va., area.

The ECUSA bishops were Keith Ackerman of the Diocese of Quincy, Ill.; James Stanton of the Dallas, Texas, diocese; Peter Beckwith of the Springfield, Ill., diocese; and Daniel Herzog of the Albany, N.Y. diocese.