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Ex-UM Fresno's St. Luke Church "Ex's" Pastor Without Notice

From: Tom Weathers tomcvi1@mlode.com 
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 1:54 PM
To: jwarrene@ucmpage.org 
Subject: wainscott news

I just received this from Dave Wainscott the pastor who led the Fresno St. Luke's fight to exit the uMC. It is a very hurtfull message to use a liberal phrase. I don't know any more than this but am saddened by the results. If you look on their web site http://www.stlukesfresno.com  you will see only that Dave is no longer pastor there.

Please pray for Dave Wainscott and the church at St. Luke's.

In Jesus who makes us whole 

Message from Dave Wainscott:

So many have called and emailed that I cannot NOT write, praying all the while.

First of all, thank you for your amazing faithfulness to pray, and please receive our heartfelt, brokenheart love. By now so many stories are out there. You have a right to know And I certainly recommend contacting St Luke's Community Church elders with questions. They are good responsible people and will respond.

The short story is this: without any warning, I was summoned to a meeting with two elders of our church, and notified that the elders had decided I was no longer to be the pastor. My associate would begin preaching Sunday, and I was immediately out of the picture. I was given no warning this was coming. I was simply notified, and as you might imagine, simply stunned. The deal amounts to immediately being terminated, with severance pay. The reason that was stated was that I was a bad match for the church. Some have apparently heard rumors this was some kind of stresss/health related sababtical. No, I was told the reason was I was not the person they wanted to follow, and it was the wrong match. Now, I know I am not the perfect pastor, and I do repent of that.

Though the elders have gone out of their way to do the right thing, and I honor that, I do not agree with the decision, and the timing of the decision. But I agree God is sovereign and He will be at work in all of us. I, and we, must refuse bitterness or any unnecessary division (Pastor Kevin's sermon last Sunday was dynamite, and timely! It was on 1 Cor3:18-23). So please pray for, and talk to, myself and the elders. I am aware that since this was so sudden, some may wonder if there was some event, indiscretion or incident that lead to it. Not at all, and none was mentioned, and I'm sure the elders would be the first to share that. So again, please pray that all involved would respond to God, and not react inappropriately.

You of St. Luke's, I love you and would die for you. That is not an exaggeration. I pour my heart out for you, and was looking forward to the future, especially after this challenging transition season we are in. You are wonderful. As most know, Fresno is our home, and St Luke's our home church (the first church I ever joined). I was so looking forward to praying and sharing with the elders this week (and the rest of you this Sunday morning) the great visions I see us moving into. But it will not happen. And having already been basically kicked out of the denomination for taking a stand with Christ and you, and sensing a fresh call to pastoral ministry in a non-United Methodist setting, it seems (though I am deeply aware of the complexities and feelings it raises) my future is fairly obvious: pastoral ministry in Fresno. But we are praying God's will. And I know you join us. That is exciting.

But I grieve.

and I love you. And my kids love you. Pray for us, as we have to have a hard talk with them today to break the news to kids who just a few days ago said out of the blue, "We LOVE our church!"

I assume I will be allowed to say something Sunday, though I am not allowed to lead worship or be pastor in any way. I was fired up to preach Sunday,as it's Mother's Day! And I may have been fired from this job (I never saw as a job), but together we can be fired up in Jesus for the future, God has given me Jeremiah 20:9 dramatically again. Check it out.

Which will become clearer and bolder as we pray. Couch those prayers in WWJD!

I am sure I have failed and let you down. I sure never wanted to. But I am in love with Jesus, and you, and a way I can never express. And I will always be..

your fan, and brother,


Dave Wainscott,


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