Sunday, November 06, 2005

Medley's Fund-Raising Letter Sparks Cynicism and Derision

A fund-raising letter from Roy Medley hit the mailboxes of potential donors late last week--a letter that has been widely received with derision and even a bit of gallows humor. In the midst of the PSW crisis and on the verge of denominational meltdown, the Office of the General Secretary thought this was a dandy time to raise money to patch the hole in the Titanic. Especially absurd portions are bolded.

Quote: October 28, 2005

Dear ____________:

Grace, mercy and peace through out Lord Jesus Christ. I want to take this opportunity to extend a very special invitation to play a very significant role in renewing and revitalizing the ministries of the Office of the General Secretary (OGS) of the American Baptist Churches USA.

This ministry stands at the center of all we do. What the hub is to the wheel, what the heart is to the body, what the sun is to the solar system, the Office of the General Secretary is to American Baptist ministry and mission. I’d like you to prayerfully consider standing with me as we move into some of the most exciting times in the history of American Baptist ministry.

[O, be still my beating heart!]

To speak about the ministry of the Office of the General Secretary is a misnomer because it is a people ministry, not management of machinery. It is about equipping, empowering and encouraging pastors, local congregations, and regional and national staff to be more effective and efficient in their ministry for Jesus Christ.

[Methink he doth protest too much.]

You are rightly focused on the ministry of your church-the fundamental unit of mission. However, often unnoticed are the coordinating, envisioning, caring and general ministries at work. When people pause in wondrous admiration at an exquisite orchid garden, they rarely spend time admiring the complex sprinkler system that helps make it all possible!

[It is possible that a real human being actually penned that last horrid and florid sentence? Please tell me a program designed to write the most absurb analogy possible wrote it. PLEASE?]

Listed below are examples of the people ministry of OGS:

• Cutting-edge ministry strategies taught by Dr. C. Jeff Woods, Associate General Secretary for Regional Ministries and a recognized authority in ministry trends.
• Sound financial counsel for church treasurers offered by Rev. Cheryl H. Wade, Associate General Secretary and Treasurer.
• Basic stewardship and tithing teaching and resources for local churches by the World Mission Support staff who help us challenge the dominant consumer culture in which we minister.
• Newly designed, user friendly Web site and first class journalistic news reporting from the staff in our Office of Communication.
• Care for our employees through our Human Resource staff and good stewardship of the ABC Mission Center in Valley Forge by our Building Maintenance personnel.

As your General Secretary, I feel called to add to the list:

• I have rejoiced and been blessed in many prayer gatherings across the denomination.
• I am thrilled that our General Board adopted our new mission statement. With all my heart, soul and strength, I pledge to carry out the vision that we may be Centered in Christ- A People of Prayer, Purpose and Passion.
• I am excited about the Wait on the Lord conference for ministers in January 2006.
• I eagerly anticipate the appointment of an Associate General Secretary to lead the Office of Mission Resource Development, which will combine the ministries of World Mission Support with the Office of Communication
• I am honored and humbled that the General Secretary’s Prayernet has been wonderfully received by American Baptists. Nearly 6,000 people have joined! What a mighty source of power for Christ and the Kingdom!
• I am delighted that my Pastor to Pastor, Heart to Heart newsletter has been positively received by our pastors. The response has been so overwhelming that plans are developing for two more web-based newsletters entitled Leader to Leader and Disciple to Disciple.

[It is interesting to contemplate why Dr. M. did not list "I was honored to be grilled by pastors and laypeople of the Pacific Southwest region, who think I'm a nice guy, but hopeless as a leader."]

This is an incredibly exciting moment in the ministry of the Office of the General Secretary.

[Man, is that the understatement of the century! Exciting as being in Berlin in April, 1945.]

Because this ministry can’t be done alone, I am writing to invite you to become a Charter Member of one of the “Circles” that will play a vital role in our expanding ministries to the church. The enclosed brochure shares some of the benefits you’ll receive as a Charter Member.

To keep you abreast of all that your membership means to our ministry together, you’ll receive your choice of any or all of the three communications I’ve mentioned: Pastor to Pastor, Leader to Leader, and Disciple to Disciple. Although many who join these Circles are not pastors, they welcome the opportunity to see how their partnership is blessing American Baptist pastors from coast-to coast with this newsletter.

[Where's the prayer-cloth from Benny Hinn?]

What’s more, because Leader to Leader isn’t just for those with formal positions of leadership. But for those seeking to influence others for Christ and be positive agents of change, many members of these Circles will opt for this complimentary subscription as well.

To be a blessing to you daily, you’ll also receive a complimentary subscription to the Secret Place, an acclaimed devotional used by thousands of American Baptists to enrich their walk with the Lord.

Also to remind you of the ministry your membership will make possible week-in and week-out, you’ll receive a beautiful Centered in Christ, United in Mission… and Growing poster, a stunning image of Christ composed of hundreds of faces of American Baptists.

[There's that Benny Hinn prayer cloth!]

Enclosed are a special reply care and return envelope. To accept your Charter Membership invitation, simply check the appropriate box on the Member Enrollment Form, and return it at your earliest convenience in the enclosed envelope.

Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your friendship, and for all that your support will mean to so many as we move forward with prayer, purpose and passion.

Centered in Christ,

A. Roy Medley

Truly, Dr. Medley, you have earned a new title: Pharoah Roy, the King of Denial. The sky really is falling, and you didn't get the memo.


beacon churches said...

Glen, thanks for posting this. It is full of disengenuity.

For instance, the Wait on the Lord is a product of the Minister's Council. Isn't it? Why are we using it to collect for OGS. One of the reasons must be the office of communication. No, wait. They eliminated the office of communication.

Hmmm. At least they are doing a great job of keeping the doors to the office open. If keeping the Holy Donut were our mission then we ought to support the OGS. It is round, does Roy sit in the center?

Now for OGS being the center of an ostensibly Christ centered organization. How hard is this to imagine? Amon Roy is Jesus? No, even he would not go that far. I am not questioning Roy's devotion to Jesus. It is just that devotion to an irrelevent institution gets in his way.

And the misnomer paragraph is a hoot. It actually says it is not management or machinery, Not management of machinery. Still it is exactly both: management and machinery. The fact that it involves people does not mean it isn't. To suggest that it is not is well, um...

Ok but at least save the new web site! It is more difficult to use than the last one, but it isn't too bad.

Fund OGS because World mission support people come from OGS? Not in several of the Regions I know. Since the restructuring of UM the World Mission Support folks get their salaries from the Regions, not OGS.

If Jeff Woods and Cheryl Wade are such great consultants could we let them open a consulting agency and fund themselves?

And why do Jeff and Roy both use an initial in front of their names? Alright, cynicism has taken full root. The seed from this orchid of a letter is producing its fruit. So sorry to be the soil it was planted in.

SmallSoul said...

I believe Amun-Roy Sun-god of Galaxy ABC/USA might be a more fitting title.

Bro. Small Soul