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3/13 Letters: Silent Sam continues to spark conversation. We should let it.

New Methodist movement

Now we know that The United Methodist Church will stand firm in its misguided interpretation of a few vague scriptural references about human sexuality “United Methodists reject same-sex marriage and gay clergy.” (Feb. 26). This means many of the clergy must find a new place to live out our call to word, sacrament, and order. Many of the laity must find a new place to live into Jesus’ summons to follow him.

We can no longer do these things authentically as United Methodists. We will continue to go on to perfection, but it won’t be as the United Methodist Church. Much in the world of property, finances, and contracts will need to be worked out before the rulings of the 2019 Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church go into effect in 2020. There’s still a chance that some or all of the session’s decisions will be ruled out of order.

No matter, the result will be the same. We still will have the punitive language of our current Book of Discipline. I believe that a majority of United Methodists in the United States would strike that language. We are the next iteration of Methodism. I eagerly await the formation of this new Methodist movement. I will be among the first to request that it recognize my ordination.

The Reverend Dr. Jennifer Copeland, ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and executive director of the North Carolina Council of Churches.


No silence on Sam

The Charlotte Observer editorial “UNC Should End the Suspense on Silent Sam” urges the UNC Board of Governors to decide the fate of the felled statue of Silent Sam. Instead, the true colors of the authors — to suppress debate — come through.

This statue has been the subject of a statewide conversation for many years, not just since it was toppled. And yet the editorial’s writers want to stop the discussion and end the debate, in order to ensure that their agenda is followed.

Note the rhetoric about suppressing public discussion: “The clashes will continue until the school is allowed to finally and firmly move past the debate.” The claimed clashes are arguments and demonstrations in public places about whether to keep Silent Sam in a different place or discard the statue. They are proper arguments for our citizens to make. We have a right to differ with the writers, who believe that “No one needs a statue to help recall the racist parts of our history, and no one should want a monument to that racism….” Thus their viewpoint is the only acceptable one.

Is this a conversation?

Mark E. Sullivan


Median salary

I find it peculiar that the Department of Public Instruction doesn’t report median salary for teachers. While it may be the case that average salaries have risen to about $54,000 this year, I wonder what salaries look like for the majority of teachers.

Averages can distort the reality of what teachers are actually making. For instance, if you have one person making $100 and two more that make $30, then the average is about $53. If you conclude that, on average, teachers make $53 you will technically be correct, but that is not representative of the distribution. To get that representation, you want to look at the median value, which in this case would be $30. This number reflects what most teachers make in the example.

It would be appropriate to use average salaries for a particular school and compare average salaries with another. But the DPI should include median salaries in its reporting.

Joshua Peters


Budget priorities

With the budget submitted by the president, it is clear what he cares about. He cares about his wall and the military, not our crumbling infrastructure clean air and water. Let’s hear it for our great president.

Arlen Custer


Personal care

The March 6 article “$66 a month for medicine and clothes” highlights yet again the plight of citizens whose only crime is aging and/or disability. Thirty dollars a month (nursing homes) and $60 a month (adult care homes) are pitifully small allotments from which to purchase basic self-care items. The physical frailties of advancing age and disability should not be compounded by financial fear. Kudos to Friends of Residents in Long Term Care for taking this issue to the legislature, whose members are aging along with the rest of us. Human dignity matters. Let’s uphold and protect it. Raise the Personal Care Needs Allowance.

Margaret Toman