Tuesday, November 08, 2005

National City Stop for VF Execs: "Underwhelming"

As reported on the ABE message board:

Well, talk about underwhelming. I just got home from the San Diego (National City) meeting. Boring would be an understatement.

To begin with, attendance was sparce. I counted less than 10 senior pastors there, with 30 something lay people. Most of these lay people came from only three churches, and the majority of those were elderly. I think there were at most four people under the age of forty in the entire assembly.

Medley opened up the meeting by saying that they were not here to debate the issues, but to present the ABC vision and how churches can remain a part of that. He stated they were not there to denegrate the PSW Region and appealed to those attending not to debate or defend the Region. He was quite pointed in saying that he and Dale Salico, who was present along with some other ABCPSW board members, were trying to treat each other with dignity and respect during this process.

For the next hour Medley and the gang took turns presenting their vision for the ABC. The issue of homosexuality was not mentioned once. Nor was a Bible opened either. At that point there was a question and answer time. Most of the questions revolved around what would happen to the churches who did not want to leave with the Region and remain in the ABC. The main option that was discussed was the churches wishing to remain with the ABC would be formed into a new Association and that Association would join with an existing Region, such as Los Angeles. Another possibility would be a new Region to replace the ABCPSW could be formed, but that would take time under existing bylaws.

As mentioned, most of the lay people in attendence were there from the several churches who are sympathetic to the denomination, and their questions and comments reflected that.

For me, the most interesting question came from a pastor who said something to Medley along the line of the "Help me to help you." He was putting together a packet of information to give to his congregation. He had plenty of information from the Region on the issues at hand, but nothing concrete or specific from the ABC. He then stated he had a member who was so loyal to the ABC that it would not suprise him if the man had the ABC logo tatooed on some part of his body. But that member had told the pastor that while he was loyal to the ABC, the issue that would cause him to leave would be the ordination of homosexuals. Was there something specific in writing that the ABC could provide? Medley responded that the ABC did not ordain. The pastor responded that that answer was not playing well and that a different tact would be needed to avert disaster. Medley shrugged. And that was it.

At that point it was about 9:00 and Medley called for people to break into groups of three to pray. After that the meeting was adjourned.

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