Missouri Methodists petition to thank Gibson for filming ‘Passion’

Many feel the film was a powerful portrayal of Jesus.
Friday, June 4, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:57 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

Mel Gibson might be hearing from Missouri United Methodists soon.

The Jefferson Avenue United Methodist Church in Moberly sent a petition to the 2004 Missouri Annual Conference Session of the United Methodist Church that suggests thanking Gibson for making “The Passion of The Christ.” The Rev. Bob Seaman suggested the idea to the men’s group at his church.

“A lot of folks in the church attended the first showing,” Seaman said. “We were very impressed with the portrayal of Christ. Most Christians I’ve spoken with across denominational lines have been very impressed. ... We thought it would be nice to express our appreciation for his effort.”

If the petition passes, a copy would be sent to Gibson.

Jerry Klatt, who belongs to the men’s group, said he signed because he supported what the movie was trying to do.

“I think that it is a powerful witness. ... I’m glad (Gibson) had the strength of character to do something such as that,” Klatt said.

Seaman said Jefferson Avenue has also submitted petitions affirming that marriage is between a man and a woman and pledging spiritual support for American troops involved in the war on terror.

“We thought those issues were important and wanted to bring them to the attention of the conference,” Seaman said.

It is the first time the church has submitted petitions to the conference.

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