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,


Jason said...

Glad your back online Tom! I am glad I kept your blog in my RSS feed reader. We are praying for a resolution to all these legal issues.
God Bless.

Rev'd Chris Larimer said...


It's a delight to see you healthy and blogging again. God speed on the church plant. At NWAC in San Fran, I was struck with how many churches our population needs in order to be adequately prepared for evangelism.


Fr. Chris

Franci said...

So glad you are online again! Also glad you are going to screen the comments. Previously, reading them would make me so upset and stressed (I know - should have just turned it off). Anyway, I'm glad we will be somewhat protected from that. Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Imagine my delight to click on your blog and find that your are back on line! Prayers for you, the other pastors, staff and congregation to march forward on the path that God is preparing for the Kirk. May the Kirk always follow a commitment to spread the gospel of Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior. jbs

Hud said...

I am glad that you are posting your thoughts again. Why is the settlement considered to be "failed" or "wrecked" as opposed to delayed?

The sticking point is that: "For the PCUSA to sign any release and or dismissal there will need to be an order or judgment memorializing the PCUSA's success on its motion for summary judgment against the plaintiff reciting both the hiearchical deference ground and the neutral principals ground announced by the Court."

The transcript of the last hearing shows that Judge Sellers said that he would write his own interlocutory order if the parties were unable to agree on the form of the journal entry order. Thus, it appears that a written order --not subject to appeal-- will be filed soon one way or the other.

Once the interlocutory order is on file it sounds like the PCUSA will be ready to go forward with the settlement. From the Kirk's standpoint, once this happens, will there be any reason to not reschedule the settlement? Will another vote be required if nothing in the settlement terms has changed but the date of the closing? Hud

Anonymous said...

Hey, welcome back!

I had hoped we would get you back as a counter to EOP's Pravda-like "reporting".

Glad you're feeling better!

ktorrent said...

I am glad you are posting again, Tom. Everyone seems to have comments about the legal stuff. I am standing by the Kirk no matter what. I believe in the decision to separate. I love the Kirk, and I know I will love Joppa.