Re: “Presbytery dismisses 4 churches in gay spat” (TNT, 4-27).
Please do not be misled by Steve Maynard’s mention of “little emotion or discussion” at the April 25 meeting in which the Presbytery of Olympia voted to dismiss four South Sound churches.
The Presbytery, long anticipating this action, spent many months crafting a process for dismissal that was approved unanimously by all our congregations. We decided early on that we wanted to engage in negotiations that reflect grace and love toward our brothers and sisters in Christ.
With that document as our guide, the congregations requesting dismissal spent many months in a process of prayerful study, discernment and negotiation. Those attending the meeting had already received details of each congregation’s separation agreement. There was really no need for further discussion.
I see what might be construed as the absence of emotion at the meeting as a continuation of our commitment to act with grace and love. In their hearts, those leaving the denomination were undoubtedly joyful, but they chose not to express that joy in an “in-your-face” manner.
Those who remain in the denomination have already spent an extended amount of time mourning the loss of those with whom we have worked and worshipped for so many years, and will continue to mourn for a long time to come. If Maynard had looked a little more closely, he undoubtedly would have noticed the tears streaming down the faces of more than just this writer.