12 March 2021  |

Dear Aunt Sevvy,

I’ve heard complaints about the GC being postponed again, thereby lengthening Pastor Wilson’s term again without a vote. I’ve also heard rumors of votes being “bought” with promises of funding for certain third world missions, conferences and unions. Are there any facts to support such claims?

Transparency Please!

Dear Transparency

Ever since Elder Wilson appeared to be responsible for engineering the defeat of women’s ordination in 2015, people have jumped to the conclusion that if something seems awry, it must be due to his political machinations. 

But please, give the guy a break! He didn’t invent COVID-19! It seems to Aunty that delaying the session was a reasonable response. That doesn’t mean there won’t be political machinations when the session meets again—that’s probably impossible to avoid. But lately COVID-19 has been calling the shots. (“The shots”—see what Aunty did there?) 

As for your second question, the answer is, “probably, but…” Aunty recently talked to a person who had spent much time in the GC, who confirmed that he had, in fact, seen some deal-making: a million dollars for this pet project if our guy is put into the presidency, for example, or hinting about your appointment to a top post if you get all your delegates to vote for me.

But he added that the larger problem is that many of the representatives to the GC session are ex officio because they’re employees, and the rest, especially from overseas, are not infrequently wives and children and brothers-in-law and office workers of the local presidents, chosen for their willingness to vote obediently. 

Aunty should add this: our denomination, because of the tensions over the multicultural nature of the worldwide church, tends to default to conservatism and authority. We can only hope and pray that we who hold different values will have leaders in our local unions and divisions who have the courage to stand for what they believe.

(Which leads Aunty to wonder: where are all the rest of those union presidents in North America and Europe and the South Pacific who said they were ready to forge ahead on women’s ordination very soon? Heard anything from them lately?)

Aunt Sevvy

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