Just to be sure everyone knows: I am NOT the Rev. John R. McFarland, UM minister, recently arrested for child molestation. We are not even related, except through name.
I do know who he is, from when I wrote several years ago a slightly-noted article advocating the disbandment of the UMC. His friends were considerably aghast. Not at the idea of disbandment. They were all for that. But as clergy members of the Closed Doors, Closed Minds, Closed Hearts wing of the UMC, they wanted disbandment for very different reasons and for very different outcomes than those I espoused.
So I became aware of him, via unsocial media, as they debated how to use my ideas to accomplish other goals.
I thought we might get through his arrest with no one here in this progressive haven of Indiana even aware of that Rev. John R. McFarland—until one of our pastors, Mary Beth Morgan, accosted me with far too much glee after worship Sunday morning. [That’s being unfair to MBM, but what’s a parishioner for besides criticizing the pastor?] After all, CA is a long way from IN. Phil Amerson? Yes, he’s atoning for his sins in San Diego this year so he might know, but…
Having served on the Investigation Committee and the Board of Ordained Ministry in the Central IL Conference of the UMC, I know that this is serious business. It’s a sad time for Rev. McFarland, his family and friends, clergy in general, the UMC, his conference. They all need our prayers. Especially, though, it is a continuing sad time for the victims, and we need especially to pray for them.
I thought in my old non-writing age I would start being just John, as befits one at the pinnacle of irrelevancy, but I think I’m going to stick with the whole John ROBERT McFarland.
May the peace of Christ be with us,
John Robert McFarland