California-Nevada Evangelical Pastors Present Their Case For Separation to Conference Leaders
by Ed Ezaki
The following are the agenda and questions which were presented by 16 Evangelical Renewal Fellowship representatives to the Annual Conference Ministry staff on May 20th, 1998.
The meeting lasted two hours, mostly involving ERF representatives expressing their positions on the agenda items. Particularly important were the three personal answers to the questions, "Why do you want to leave the Annual Conference?" by Revs Don Roulsten, John Christie, and Kevin Clancey. (Their responses will soon be posted at the Unofficial ERF Website.) It was as if, after decades of theologically liberal Conference leadership abusing evangelicals, the truth was finally revealed. It was both humorous and sad at the same time that Conference leaders failed to understand why any evangelical would fear retribution for participating in ERF. Even after examples of such past retribution had been shared, certain Conference leaders seemed unable to see themselves as oppressors.
Also important was the unity expressed among ERF representatives. There was strong agreement in asking the Conference to provide both a process by which some can choose to leave the denomination and a process to establish an evangelical provisional Annual Conference. I believe that the Conference leadership is now convinced of the reality that we are serious about separating from the Annual Conference by one of these two methods.
As expected, the Conference leadership asked few questions and provided little response other than to acknowledge that they feel our pain. Unfortunately, they could not tell us exactly when their written responses will be available, but we will know the timeframe within 24 hours. My personal opinion in that Conference leadership doesn't know what to do. I believe that they were hoping to do damage control, but found out that the situation is worse than they had feared. It's too late to put the toothpaste back in the tube. For the first time in a long time, I felt fortunate to be on our side of the table.
Thanks and much love to all who have been supporting us in prayer; be assured that God spoke to the Conference leadership today.
May 20th Consultation between ERF leadership and Ministry Staff
10 AM- Devotion and Prayer Bishop Talbert
Three or four ERF people will share why they want to leave the Annual Conference. (Staff requested this; they want to evaluate the potential for reconciliation.)
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