Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The EOP Has Written

If you are a Kirk member, you should have received the latest missive from the Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery administrative commission. The letter contains an invitation and a card.

The invitation is confusing, since it implies that there are separate meetings for those in favor of staying in the PCUSA and those who are not, yet the time and place for both are the same.

The card is essentially the vote that EOP wanted us to hold for them instead of our disaffiliation. The card asks whether you want to "continue to worship with Pastors Gray and Hardy," want more information on the PCUSA, desire a pastoral call (apparently not from Gray or Hardy) or have moved your membership.

As I've repeatedly said, you are welcome to do whatever you want. Please do not think, though, that you need to go to the meeting or return the card in order to support me, Wayne, or the Kirk. We have moved on. I honestly believe that attending the meeting or sending the card--regardless of what is said--will be used by the denomination as ammunition against us. For me, this whole process has a Kafka-esque quality of logic. We are no longer part of any denomination but the PCUSA insists that we must be and is calling meetings as if we (and you) are.

It feels a lot like my recent experience with some telemarketers. I filed, as did many of you, the notification that I did not want to have more calls soliciting sales. But some telemarketers have ignored this and others insist that they have the right to continue to call me, even though I've repeatedly asked them to take me off of their list.

I'd like to think that this will be the end of the facade of the PCUSA's connection to us, but I doubt it. I'll keep you posted.

Keep praying--keep the faith,
Tom

5 comments:

Doug Dodd said...

Dear Tom,

Your post about the letter to Kirk of the Hills members was forwarded to me this afternoon. As the person primarily responsible for proof-reading the letter, I appreciate your post and apologize to you and the recipients for the typo.

There will be two meetings on Saturday, December 16th at John Knox Presbyterian Church and the meetings were to be at two different times. The typo was obviously having a 10:00 a.m. start time for both meetings.

Since we can't recall the letter and make the time correction, we will have both meetings on Saturday beginning at 10:00 a.m.

The meeting for those wishing to remain with the Kirk will be in the John Knox Sanctuary. The meeting for those wishing to remain in PCUSA will be in the John Knox Chapel. Members from the Administrative Commission will be present in both meetings. As stated in the letter, both meetings will allow commissioners to listen to concerns of Kirk members and answer any questions they have. Since these are primarily listening opportunities for us, persons wishing to attend may certainly attend either meeting. Presbytery officers will be available to answer questions.

A Presbyterian pastor friend of mine reminds his congregation that scripture is infallible, but church bulletins are not. I guess the same can be said of letters which call meetings. Thanks for noticing and posting about the meeting time error.

Peace!

Doug Dodd

Brian Huddleston said...

Tom,

Re this: "We are no longer part of any denomination but the PCUSA insists that we must be and is calling meetings as if we (and you) are."

I thought that the individual Kirk members were still, technically at least, listed as PCUSA members. In other words, even though you and Wayne formally left the PCUSA as pastors, and the Kirk as a whole voted to leave the EOP, aren't the individual members of the Kirk still listed as PCUSA members? I am thinking that I got this idea from something you said or wrote early on in this process. Is it correct to say that our corporate vote to disaffiliate caused each individual Kirk member to officially leave the denomination?
Thanks,
Brian

Phillip J. Owings said...

I, Phillip J. Owings, being a member of Kirk of The Hills local Presbyterian church and having previously voted along with a super majority of my fellow members to disaffiliate from the PCUSA; do not consider myself to be in the Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery (EOP) of the PCUSA. Such being the case when I earlier received a letter from Mr. Dodd, who represented himself as being a leader of some type of Administrative Commission of the EOP, I formally requested that he cease contacting me. He gave me his verbal assurance that contact would cease.

Therefore your analogy to telephone solicitors is appropriate, because I got another letter after being assured that I would not. I don't personally know any of the Commisioners, but am wary of their motives for this confusing communication and their agenda.

Since this whole issue has turned politial, legal and more importantly financial by the PCUSA trying to force us to remain with the threat of stealing our property, we must test everything very carefully. The PCUSA and its governing tentacles are no longer representative of the real church of the New Testament and therefore should not be trusted.

Brian Huddleston said...

Phil, I feel the same way you do. My question about membership dealt with the technicalities of how an individual member officially leaves the denomination. Brian

Cameron Mott said...

I believe the EOP is bound by the BOO to do certain things in a certain way, just as the Kirk's ministers and elders bound themselves by vows to do certain things a certain way as per the BOO.

Maybe heeding the vow to "be a friend among your colleagues in ministry" would be worthwhile for anyone interested in heeding their ordination vows.