Friday, December 09, 2005

"We Have Done Everything Humanly Possible": Hoffmeister and Fletcher Report on Meeting with PSW Leaders

One day prior to the meeting of the PSW board, a delegation of representatives from the GEC met with the board. Here is the first official report of that meeting.


We met with the Executive Committee of PSW, comprising Brian Scrivens, Doug Copeland, Daniel Huerta, Jerri Hubbard and Dale Salico on Wednesday, December 7, 2005 from approximately 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the PSW Resource Center.

We were received with grace, kindness and hospitality. The conversation was conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect, characterized by a spirit of openness and honesty. We listened, laughed, challenged, questioned, disagreed, dreamed, lamented and exchanged unscripted thoughts together in an atmosphere of fragile trust. As your delegates, we sought to faithfully represent, the spirit and intent of the recently adopted GEC resolutions.

Accordingly we made a pastoral and passionate appeal on behalf of the GEC for PSW to remain at the ABCUSA table. We communicated both the support of PSW’s sympathizes, as well the anger of those who feel the pain, agony and frustration of broken relationships built over a century in pursuit of a shared vision for ministry. We heard their frustration of their perception of being misunderstood, disrespected and undermined.

We challenged some of their assumptions, were surprised by some of their assertions, and they were surprised by some of the information that we shared. They were encouraged by the fact that we represented all the covenanting partners.

Notwithstanding the positive tone of the meeting, we left feeling that it will take a monumental effort to reverse the advanced and propelling momentum of their intended process. We nevertheless appealed to them to consider a postponement of any continued action until their next scheduled board meeting in February.

The motivation would be a clearer implementation process of the third GEC resolution. We are convinced that the development of such a plan has become essential regardless. We have not excluded God's intervention, knowing that many continue to pray for this process. We now await the actions of the Board meeting to be held later today.

At the end of the process we felt satisfied that we faithfully executed your mandate. We feel satisfied that we have done everything humanly possible to challenge and persuade PSW to reexamine their present course. We felt the power of your prayers and support. For this we thank you.

Your partners in the gospel.

Desmond Hoffmeister and Al Fletcher

(FYI: Hoffmeister is Exec in the Rocky Mountains region; Fletcher, an old friend of mine, is Exec in Maine.)

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