Friday, October 31, 2008

I'm Back

I’m back on line—for good, I hope. There have been a couple of frustrated efforts in the last few months to resurrect the blog, efforts that were defeated by my lack of energy combined with extraordinary stress at this time in the life of the Kirk.

Two surgeries and many months later, my healing has progressed now to where I have normal energy; the stress continues. In fact, that’s part of why I’m writing again.

One of the greatest stresses is not knowing what is going on. I know that this is true for Kirk members, and this blog should help. I also believe that the members of EOP have largely been kept in the dark as to what exactly is happening and why. “Kirk Updates” from the EOP office are necessarily one-sided (as is this blog), but they also are filled with so much spin that they should be blurry to the normal eye.

So much is happening at the Kirk that it is almost impossible to keep up with it in normal channels. These things include:

  • Ongoing legal issues with Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery (EOP) and the Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA)
  • A judgment on September 9 that EOP used to make an ultimatum against us
  • A change of the judgment on October 6 to some kind of order that is not a judgment
  • A pending decision from the Judge about the proper wording of the September 9 and October 6 rulings.
  • A razor-thin congregational vote to settle by paying EOP $1,7500,000.
  • The train-wreck of our settlement when the PCUSA added a new demand after our congregation and EOP approved a specific list of terms.
  • EOP had told us that the PCUSA would abide by any agreement reached between KOH and EOP

Add to these things the normal life of a healthy church and you begin to realize just how complicated life can get (they never taught us these things in seminary).

  • We are excited about the formation of Joppa. a new church.
  • Old ministries thrive and new ones are gearing up as we speak.
  • We continue to worship five times each Sunday
  • A congregation united to begin with (even though we can disagree on some votes), but never more united, due to the scrapping of the settlement by EOP or PCSUA.

One housekeeping item:

When I previously blogged, almost any comment was allowed, so long as it used decent language. Even so, comments morphed into attacks and/or debates between a couple of commentators. That won’t happen here. My staff will carefully vet all comments, allowing only reasonable and helpful ones on. You’ll be able to judge for yourselves if we are even handed in this.

Keep the faith. Keep praying,