Monday, June 30, 2003

This is a letter about the (lack of) progress, the lies and divisiveness escalating in NYC.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to inform you of what’s happening behind the scenes that only a select few have been informed of. Earlier in the week, I spoke with a former ministry leader who informed me that there was a plan in place to put Sheridan Wright to lead Manhattan. Tonight I had a conversation with Norman to confirm all of these plans.

Norman told me, he is stepping down from the Mid-Manhattan Worship Services transition group. Norman, Sam & Sheridan do not believe that our Region is moving in the right direction and that the transition groups are not working. They are planning to hold a midweek service on Wednesday nights at our space on 96th Street & CPW, led by Sheridan Wright. They believe that the church needs a strong leader to run things, basically we need Sheridan and Sam Powell to lead, not these focus groups we have established. Sheridan has stated clearly that Sam is his Elder, and he is not open to any plan that does not include the ICOC. (In other words financial autonomy is not an option) They disagree with the direction our congregation is heading. Anyone who doesn’t agree with them should not come to the worship services on wends day nights. Sheridan is already in the works to find an apartment; he asked me last night to help him look for a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. He is already pulling couples out of our region to join them….(i.e. Tom & Pam Gurrentz, Norman & Jeni Vosshulta). So we would be on our own on Tuesday nights…….. I’m presuming we will lose our space.

What bothers me is t hat all of this was done secretly,without any input from the mid-Manhattan Congregation. All the while Norman is pleading with us to be patient with the Church office and give them more time, for us to be united and work together. Meanwhile, plans are in motion to leave us high and dry, completely abandoning the faithful who have persevered and stayed in our Region to serve.

Our leaders promised that things were supposed to be different, that no longer would leadership outside of our local congregation make decisions for what’s best for us…that things will no longer be done in secret ……I really question how much has changed in the last 4 months… (Maybe we need to read Henry Kriete’s Letter again)

Its strange that the Church leadership didn’t have the time to answer our specific questions regarding our finances….but found the time to plan out Sheridan’s move from NJ to NYC…They say we don’t have a worship space on Sundays b/c we don’t have the money for it….but we have the money to negotiate an additional space on wends day nights, and yet we have the money to hire Sheridan (What kind of salary are we offering him??)….all the while we struggle without having a Sunday Space to worship in….We still have no answers to our questions regarding church finances…..and now our loyalty and patience is repaid with a slap in the face!!!!!!…..It seems like they are saying “Thanks Mid- Manhattan, for all the money, time and sacrifice you’ve given us over the years…….but if you don’t like what Sam, Norman & Sheridan believe go find your own worship space….Good luck” (Sounds familiar?????? ---- take a look at the transcript of the Rockland Sermon Sam Preached a few weeks ago…I’ll give you a re-cap..squash transition groups…reinforce the power and authority of the evangelist and elders….and if you don’t like it too bad….you are shown the door…good luck and we’ll pray for you)

Our elders and ministry staff are being completely divisive…we should remain unified as a region and continue to work our Salvation with fear and trembling and not take any action that would cause divisions.

I write this to encourage us to stand up and express our thoughts…this is Jesus’ church, His body…not Sam’s, not Sheridan’s or Norman’s….we need to stand up to them and not allow them to force us out…….we need to stand up and not allow anything to happen that would destroy our Region….lets protect our church’s unity….and not let it be torn apart by anyone. Brothers, sisters, I plead with you to let your thoughts be known….don’t let any man tell you where and when you should worship, we follow Jesus he is our leader…..

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

[ name deleted - initials JB ] "DIVISIVENESS ESCALATING - New Letter"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was mad for a long time also. What I realized was that if I continued to dwell on this I would grow an ulcer. Also, by remaining angry I was letting 'them' win again! I saw that I was allowing my pain, anger and bitterness to separate me from God. I know that you are very upset (poor choice of word) but please don't forfeit your salvation over your own pride. Give it to God and then trust God.
I hope you don't feel judged by this comment, I am really trying to let you know how much I relate to you and to show you a way out. I am now in a church that is not connected to the ICOC. I live to please God, not man. The catch is that God shows me HOW to love 'man', and if I sin in my anger, He helps me to forgive them and to repent myself.

Let me know what you think.

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what church do you go to? Is it in NYC? I would like to attend and visit. I have been desperately looking for a home church but something is nudging me telling me that the NYCCOC is a cult.

8:17 PM  

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