Saturday, October 14, 2006

Prayer for Our Upcoming Court Date

We have an upcoming court date that is critically important for the Kirk. The EOP filed two petitions with the court in response to our request that they remove the affidavit from our property. The first is a request for the court to send the whole case back to ecclesiastical court so that the PCUSA/EOP can make the decision regarding our property. I understand that their argument is that a secular court has no standing in church business. The second petition is for the court to force us to hand over our membership records to the EOP.

The date set is October 23rd--just a short time away. We are legally prepared, but we must be spiritually prepared. I ask for your prayers--for wisdom before the court, for clarity in our words, and, above all, for God's will to be done.

I ask for your prayers in three contexts:
  • first, in your regular daily prayers;
  • second, in continuous prayer next week (I will have a sign-up sheet for 24 hour prayer the day and night before our court date;
  • and third, to stay after church on October 22 for a few minutes following the 11am services so that we can gather in the sanctuary to pray together.
God has blessed us in so many ways. He will continue those blessings whatever happens on the 23rd. Praying together will not only help us deal with whatever happens on that date, but also place it in the context of His ongoing work through the Kirk.

Keep praying--keep the faith,
Tom

9 comments:

Richard Wilson said...

To Tom and The Kirk:

While we do not agree with the actions you have taken I want you to know that I know of no one who is not praying for you as well as ourselves. In our prayers we seek peace and prosperity (success in sharing The Good News as we have been called to do) for us all!

TomGray said...

Richard,
Thank you so much for your response and prayers. I and my pastoral colleagues daily pray for the PCUSA. The best thing that could happen would be that we have been completely wrong about it or, as we are praying, that it will experience renewal.
Tom

Mark said...

Dear Tom,

You and The Kirk are in my prayers, as are EOP and GA. My only prayers are "may God's will be done" and "may we glorify God and fully enjoy God forever".

You are in my prayers particularly for healing with regards to your chronic pain.

Yours in Christ,
Mark (not Smith)

Sam Sibala said...

Tom,

I met with a Hispanic pastor this week and he asked me how many services we have on Sunday. When I told him 5, he was shocked! Then he asked me why? I told him that we can only physically handle 1/5 of our congregation of 2800 with the physical limitations of our 2 santuaries, (traditional & contemporary). I know several of our members go to the 8:15 service because they go to minister at a juvenile detention center or a nursing home nearby. I know that another member that goes somewhere else to lead praise and worship after he worships at the Kirk at 8:15. Faithful members that have are using their gifts to serve God.

He then asked if all of our members ever worshipped in one worship service at the same time and I said that we would need a much larger building to accomplish that.

God has blessed the Kirk of the Hills and the fruits of you and Wayne are evident.

We drove around Tulsa and the Hispanic pastor showed me many churches for sale because other congregations were down-sizing and could not financially support their properties. I sat in a small group meeting this week and I heard one of our members tell Wayne, "If we lose the building, so what! We are ready to do that." I am very proud to serve with members of the Kirk that fully understand the difference between the "church" and a building property.

I pray for good weather Sunday, Oct. 22 when the members of the Kirk pray collectively for our day in court the next day. We can stand outside the building in our parking lot joined hand in hand surrounding our beautiful church. Last time we did this we were standing room only in the santuary and it got kind of hot. It was funny to see people's surprised expressions when they saw members from the other worship times because they haven't physically attended services together.

Tom, you have taught us that God doesn't close a door in our lives without first opening another and it is our faith with the leading of the Holy Spirit that directs our steps. I believe that our church body is ready for God's will to be done, whatever that maybe. Glory to God.

Thank you leadership, your humility and your witness for Christ.

Alan said...

You and the Kirk are in my prayers and that of our congregation.

katie said...

"I understand that their argument is that a secular court has no standing in church business. The second petition is for the court to force us to hand over our membership records to the EOP."

help me here... if their first argument is that the secular court has no standing in church business... how can that same court make a church turn over their records?
~~katie

TomGray said...

Katie,
We're aware of the contradiction. Interesting.
Tom

Richard David Wilson said...

Dear Tom,

This Richard Wilson is fully supportive of the Kirk and it's actions. As you are aware I've spoken directly with the son of the pastor intending to take your place. I hope that if people heard the ideas and convictions (or lack there of) being taught our membership would show unwavering support for recent decisions.

katie said...

"As you are aware I've spoken directly with the son of the pastor intending to take your place."

what pastor is taking your place... is this the pastor who is going to lead the "true church"? if so, he/she will have few to lead judging by last sundays attendance at southminster.
`~katie