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Two More Cal/Nev Congregations Prepare To Leave UMC, Breakaway Congregations Consider New Union

From: Edward F. Ezaki eezaki@lightspeed.net
To: John Warrener (E-mail) jwarrene@surfsouth.com
Sent: Friday, August 04, 2000 12:21 PM
Subject: Update from Cal-Nevada

Hi John,

Good news from the evangelical exodus in Cal-Nevada... Kyle Phillips reports that Grace Fellowship of Tehachapi had worship attendance of 186 last week with some people on vacation. I believe that the average attendance before the split was about 200. Grace is meeting in the Veteran's Memorial Building that, at least for the meantime, they are renting for $25 per week. Kyle and his family are preparing to move out of temporary quarters into a house they are buying.

John Motz reports that the first worship service of Atwater Community Church had 350 in attendance, higher than their average attendance at Atwater UMC. John in moving out of the AUMC parsonage today into a house he is buying. An interim pastor has be appointed to the 40 or so who remain at AUMC. Unfortunately, the separation has caused many broken relationships and John is counseling his people to be gracious in receiving the venom of those who remain at AUMC. Starting this Sunday, ACC will be worshipping in a middle school about 3 miles from the old facility.

I heard second hand that John Sheppard's Wesleyan church plant in Yuba City is now worshipping in homes. About 50 people attended the first worship service. The majority of his previous congregation remain at Yuba City First UMC where his former associate has been appointed pastor.

I have no update on Luis Lemos' Wesleyan church plant in Cameron Park. Two other UM congregations of over 300 in worship will be having votes of one sort or another in the next week that will poll the congregations about leaving the UMC. As I understand it, both District Superintendents are aware of the proceedings at those two churches. My expectation is that both will leave and lose their facilities. One will probably leave at least a remnant behind, the other has the chance of a unanimous departure.

Meanwhile, here at KCC we are experiencing growing pains. We are planning a third worship service soon and are beginning to talk about whether and when we will have to build a larger worship space. I thank God daily for His faithfulness to us. Kevin Clancey is experiencing growth in Oakdale as well. They are considering remodeling an old bowling alley for their building as they are tired of leasing the middle school. Next week, I will be doing a family camp with John Christie and Andy Vom Steeg, two former UM's-now-Baptist's. What we're finding is that despite the denominational disaffiliation, the deep relationships of trust and admiration continue to build for the benefit of the Kingdom.

There are informal plans to gather pastors who now have locally governed churches together early in the Fall to explore some sort of formal, voluntary association of churches.


Ed Ezaki

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