In a news release today, the VF machine continues to distort the way the PSW withdrew from the ABCUSA and also announced that the 2009 Biennial will be in Pasadena, CA. The buzz in the now "old" PSW was that the Biennial would never be in PSW land because of the costs (yes, it costs a lot to do anything here) and because the raving lunatic conservatives that we have here (as opposed to the raving lunatic theo-lefties that run VF). Well, with those nasty nutcases out of the way, let's all go to the home of the Rose Bowl! The fact that FBC Pasadena is (as of this writing) going for a dual alignment (TransMin/ABC) probably didn't hurt. Relevant sections are reproduced below; absurbities and distortions are bolded.
ABCUSA: American Baptists Respond To Region's Withdrawal
Date Mon, 26 Jun 2006 10:01:39 -0400
VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS)-General Board members of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) approved Sunday an addition to the denomination's Standing Rules that will accommodate those churches of the former Pacific Southwest (PSW) region that may choose not to follow that region's impending withdrawal from ABCUSA.
The change allows churches in such a situation to maintain "covenanting relationship" with ABCUSA for up to 24 months during a transition to another region or membership in a new organization affiliated with the national body.
The PSW region's board of directors voted May 11 to leave ABCUSA because of a long-standing disagreement focused mainly on implementation of the national body's stance on homosexuality.* Its withdrawal is to become effective November 1, but the region has already changed its name to Transformation Ministries.
ABCUSA General Secretary A. Roy Medley told General Board members that discussions with the region's leaders as recently as two weeks ago have been conducted "in a spirit of not wanting to do each other any harm, in seeking to bless one another even in separation." National and regional officers are engaged in working out details of the separation, including such matters as disposition of property and status of pastors, he said.
"We continue to work for clarity on issues and resolution of them," he said, noting that the American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles (ABCLA) has been helpful in providing "watch care and oversight" for churches that may remain American Baptist.
Associate General Secretary C. Jeff Woods said it is not yet known how many of the former PSW's 272 churches may decide to keep their current national affiliation. Just over half of those churches took part in an April referendum that preceded the May vote by the directors to withdraw.**
Woods said a new Association of American Baptists in the Pacific Southwest (ABPSW) is contemplated, with an informational meeting this fall and a formal organizational meeting next spring.
When the PSW withdrawal was announced, Dr. Medley noted that "though the vote was not unanticipated, we had hoped and had made many efforts to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."***
...The board also:
*...Set the 2009 Biennial convention for June 25-29, 2009, in Pasadena, Calif.
*Wrong. The issue was and is Biblical authority.
**We've covered this distortion before. See May 8, "The Empire Strikes Out..."
***Quoting Scripture doesn't change things. A quote here or there while denying the substance is a grand distortion.