I've done something today I've never done before -
I've pulled my previous post on Underwood's merger with Colonial Park.
I was not forced to do this. I appreciate the comments on both sides of this issue that have been posted. I appreciate the calls and emails of support that are not posted.
The amount of traffic on that post indicated to me that it was becoming something I never intended. Here I thought my mama and a few of my friends checked out what I had to say about life, the church, the Tigers....who knew?
What I say, or comment on, about something that has occurred is not what this is all about. Based on the feedback I was getting, it was becoming clear that my post was becoming an issue and not that to which my post was attempting to point.
And I cannot let my comments on the process of this merger divert the necessary care that needs to be shown toward the good people of Underwood who are gladly merging with the good people of Colonial Park, or, and especially, the folks who have been spiritually injured and marginalized by this process who need a particular level of care from the church that they are not getting but deserve.
I was also motivated to give voice to key figures in my life from Underwood who felt theirs were silenced, or, in the end, didn't matter. It was not something they asked me to do - but something I felt I owed those who walked the journey with me in the initial days of declaring my call.
I do still very much have questions about the process - I think we all should have questions.
Mergers and closures are no small thing. And they need to be owned by the totality of the church. A Church Conference, not a Charge Conference, is the best way we have in our polity to guarantee that. A Charge Conference is the most politically expedient way to get a sought for end. A Church Conference is harder to make something happen, and it ought to be - but that which passes represents best the God inspired imaginations of the people who worship there, because it requires "conferencing" in the Wesleyan tradtion, and discernment of the Spirit of God from the whole.
It's a point to be reflected upon, because more than a few Churches in the city need to be honest with themselves about the future vitality of ministry in their current context amidst the prospects of new ministries in other places in need of being planted.
What greater witness have we, as we end our time in a given place, than to give ourselves away for the sake of the Kingdom?
It is how we do this that states most clearly our character as people of God. We cannot let the way it was done here be the template.
As it was in the first post, it is the "process" that I'm calling into question, nothing and no one else. You don't have to like that I've commented, you don't have to agree with it.
Get your own blog and knock yourselves out.
Oh, and I'm still voting against it - if you're wondering.
In the end, I'm thankful for that Church on that corner, and for those devoted people of God who are intregal to who I am. God bless, Underwood.