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Building Negotiations Drag While Former UM Congregation Moves Forward


UPDATE

Thanks for your prayers and especially to John Warrener for keeping our saga in the eyes of many on his web page. I got some ambivalent information yesterday.

The Chair of the Conference Board of Trustees called both my Board Chair and the KUMC Trustee chair and suggested that the best course was for just the three of them to meet and negotiate. I think that this is a good idea. Although it is irritating that the Conference officials refuse to return my calls or to communicate with me, it's reasonable for them not to do so. I am disappointed that the soonest he could make a meeting is October 5th. I do not know if all these delays are tactical (in order to let the story grow cold in the press) or the result of a lack of urgency on the part of the Conference. The delay is hard but it also is giving us time to get to the emotional point where we will be able to let the buildings go if we have to.

The most troubling aspect of the conversation with my Board Chair was the statement from the Trustee Chair that the previous offer from the Conference has been taken off the table. They maintain that it was only good for the one evening in which it was made. That puts us back at more than half a million dollars apart, and it sets a pattern of bad faith on the Conference's part. To put out an offer without any restrictions, then to change their minds, heightens our level of mistrust in their word. They are also at a market price level that we are totally unwilling to pay. It may be that we are to the point of choosing between the legal course of action and merely walking away from our buildings next June (or before it they evict us). I cannot escape the conclusion that they are motivated by greed, retribution, and ignorance. It doesn't make sense for the Conference to want an empty 80 year old building that is unsaleable except to make and example of us. Praise God that all they can take from us is a building, not our lives, our faith, or our families.

Let me close with some good news. Last Sunday, we set a record with 148 in Sunday School, more than half the worship attendance. At least in California, this ratio is significant, because it indicates a deepening of commitment by our people. Also, we have 28 people in our membership class--remember, our average attendance is only 250 or so. I believe that our small act of faithfulness is being blessed by God's bountiful faithfulness. Oh, and by the way, as of October 1st, I have a decent health care plan for my family--thanks for your prayers.

"Say to those who are fearful hearted, 'Do not be afraid.'
The Lord, your God is strong with His mighty arm,
When you call on His name, He will come and save.
He will come and save you,
Say to the weary one,
'Your God will surely come,'
Lift up your eyes to Him,
You will arise again,
He will come and save you."

--Fitts and Sadler, 1995 Integrity's Hosanna! Music

Ed Ezaki, Pastor
Kingsburg Community Church


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