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ERF Pastor leaves Denomination,
Oakdale Church remains UMC Congregation

Report by Ed Ezaki

It is my understanding that at an all church meeting in Oakdale last Sunday (with the DS David Bennett present), Kevin Clancey stated his intention to leave the UMC as of the end of the appointment year, June 30 1998. Kevin had shared his willingness to stay an additional year in order to work through the ERF process, but it appears that a number of his congregation were unwilling to leave the UMC. They stated that they would rather have Kevin leave sooner than later if he is set on leaving the denomination. It is my understanding that Kevin has been asked to plant a new church in Oakdale, and a number of current UMC members will be a part of the new church plant. I share this information with you because I have already heard some erroneous information with regard to what happened and it troubles me that these untrue rumors are hurtful to Kevin. Some true facts are:

Kevin was yelled at by some angry members but he kept his cool and did not return fire.

Kevin was not set on leaving this way before the meeting. He had some hope that the church might all leave the denomination together and buy their buildings. When it became clear that that was not the case, they asked him to leave quickly.

Kevin is encourging those who are leaving the UMC to "sow seeds of kindness" with those who are staying.

DS Bennett came to Kevin's defense on one occasion when the anger became a personal attack on Kevin.

That is all the reliable information I have at this point. Please be Christian about the use of this information and resist speculation and gossip. Also, please pray for Kevin and Jill, their three kids, and the Oakdale UMC.

Ed Ezaki

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