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Every denomination needs one of these...

Dorhauer bitten by scare tactics

Thursday, November 15, 2007

As far as I'm concerned, this pretty much closes the book on John Dorhauer's credibility.

In an exchange on his own blog regarding churches that recruit ministers outside of the denomination, UCC Missouri Mid-South Associate Conference Minister John Dorhauer claimed that "a pastor not authorized by their denomination will lose the liability portion of their property insurance".

Here is John Dorhauer's full quote in context:
Insurance companies are telling us that any church that calls a pastor not authorized by their denomination will lose the liability portion of their property insurance. Given the payouts insurance companies have made in recent years, ministers are seen more and more as a risk, and Insurance agents are looking for some pretty standard pieces before they are willing to insure against liability. One of those is the endorsement of the [denomination]. One of the results of this is that the Pastoral Referral Network is, without thinking about it, raising the liability risk of individuals who, if they call a pastor not credentialled by their church, become themselves personally responsible for any negligence that could be proved against their pastor.
On the surface, this doesn't make any sense. How do the credentials of a minister reflect on their level of risk? Of course, it doesn't - just ask the Roman Catholic Church. This is just common sense... but I wanted to be certain so I asked the clergy on the UCCtruths message board to contact their insurance agents and I placed some calls myself. I couldn't find a single insurance company (including the UCC Insurance Board (UCCIB) and Church Mutual) that use credentials in any way as a determining factor for liability insurance. One insurance agent I spoke with personally at Church Mutual laughed at the idea.

Is this just another scare tactic?

The first lesson for local UCC churches is pretty simple: If you undertake a search and call process outside of the denomination's process, you certainly have additional work as it relates to due diligence... but you probably will not have a problem with liability insurance - simply ask your insurance agent.

The second lesson for local UCC churches: Be suspicious of the scare tactics from your Conference or Association. If John Dorhauer is any example, do your own research before accepting outrageous claims about insurance coverage.

As far as John Dorhauer goes, I think the debate is over.

Update: If you read the comments to this post, you'll see that I'm rightfully reminded that I'm presuming that there is intent by the conferences and associations to use scare tactics. That was too broad a statement and unfair and I need to isolate my concern to John Dorhauer. The point remains, if you have concerns about the accuracy of information you are receiving about insurance, ask your agent.
posted by UCCtruths, Thursday, November 15, 2007


Did someone say "check please"
commented by Anonymous Andrew, 1:23 PM  
John Dorhauer really shot himself in the foot on this one. But this isn't surprising. Dorhauer doesn't check facts.

We all know emotionally immature people who speak their mind as if it were fact.

At best, he was recycling a rumor. At worst, he fabricated a story to use as a scare tactic. In either event, he is not fit to be an ACM.
commented by Anonymous A. Geiger, 1:42 AM  

"Be suspicious of the scare tactics from your Conference or Association."?!
What scare tactics? When?! Where?! What am I missing?!

Uh, that seems a bit ironic, at leat, in criticizing someone whose primary flaw is creating unfounding suspicions. :-)

I vote for "Be aware of the possible..." :-)
commented by Blogger Don, 4:47 PM  
Don: Isn't that what John Dorhauer is doing? Scare tactics?? What else would you call it. Since the posting, I've received emails where I'm told what JD is saying is a common myth in UCC conferences.

My point is that if someone makes a claim like that about insurance, check with your agent. That seems reasonable, right?
commented by Blogger UCCtruths, 4:51 PM  
TO be more direct Don...

JD is saying that if a local church goes outside the the official search and call process, they may not get liability insurance. That is a scare tactic that simply isn't true.
commented by Blogger UCCtruths, 4:57 PM  

If your point is if someone makes a claim about anything one should check on it's accuracy, that's not a problem for me.

That misinformation is common and that one might be given that misinformation in UCC conferences is a reason to check accuracy. And if my =misinformed= CM tells someone that if they go outside the established channels it will affect their liability that's not necessarily scare tactics.

My experience in the UCC has not been that AM and CM use scare tactics. I think what you are implying is that there is a good chance that JD is typical. That's kind of a broad brush.

Misinformation may, in fact, abound on this issue but JD's unique/rare in being up to more than simply conveying information. I think it's a mistake to conflate JD with judicatory person who may only be misinformed.
commented by Blogger Don, 8:14 PM  
I looked at Dorhauer's website and read some of the comments, a couple of which made ludicrous attempts to respond to UCC Truths on this matter. One comment was irrelevant. Another comment was misleading. And so it goes.
commented by Blogger Presbyman, 10:42 PM  
Good point Don... I'll add an update to the post
commented by Blogger UCCtruths, 11:12 PM  
John Dorhauer is not a loving critic.


I am not saying he's a bad person... I'm just saying he's gone off the deep end on this issue. The road to hell is paved with good intentions gone haywire.
commented by Anonymous Richmond T. Stallgiss, 2:07 AM  
Richmond-Dorhauer's gone way over the deep end on this. It's not surprising that he hasn't posted recently after getting caught up in his own web. I hope this gives him pause to step back and examine what he is doing. I don't think it will, but I am prayerfully hoping that some sense sinks in.
commented by Anonymous andrew, 1:07 PM  
Where is Dorhauer's posts now? Since he got called out on this, he hasn't posted at all. A change of heart perhaps?
commented by Anonymous Drew, 2:39 AM  
Nearly a month and not a peep from Dorhauer????????????? Wooo Hooo!!!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 3:38 PM  
I have not checked the insurance policy our church (UCC) carries but Dohrauer might be referencing a possible action against a pastor for perhaps a charge of sexual harrasmen/misconduct. I do not know if the liablilty insurance convers this area.

R Parsons
Marthasville, MO
commented by Anonymous Dick, 5:27 PM  
Hello my name is Stephen Lee and because of John Dorhaur here in Missouri and others in our confrence who are his disciples I have been alienated and ostrasized for voiceing my concerns about the many abuses of power and emotianal harms perpatrated on congregants in my local church I have been deemed a descenter and a letter was read into the minutes of my former congregation by the pastor and council slandering me and I wasn't even present to defend myself but this is how this confrence is it is manipulative and it uses coersion tactics the very same tactics that dorhauer was supposedly warning the churches about he has effectivly steaple jacked our confrence and I am saddened by this for instance our christian education officer had me tell my story of being forced into a change ministry and the sexual abuse I indured as a child only to use it against me I am sad and angry because i know this is not the United Church of Christ...If God is still speaking why isn't my confrence listening...
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 8:39 AM  

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