Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Dr. Salico Answers 4 of Your Questions About Withdrawal and Beyond
C. Process Toward Withdrawal and Beyond
C1. If the PSW withdraws from the ABCUSA will it enforce more rigid standards?
No. There is no plan or discussion about further standards. Present standards are sufficient.
C2. Will we receive instructions on how to make changes to our by laws, constitutions and incorporation documents?
The Regional board is consulting with professional leaders within our area as well as from ABCUSA. We are preparing the information our churches will need to make informed decisions. This information will most likely be provided when the board determines the date for the Regional vote to withdraw, which currently is no sooner than March 8, 2006. We do suggest that churches look at their organizational documents to be aware of areas they may have questions. Please consult with your Church Resource Minister for specific items you may be considering. We also want to know if you are considering dropping your affiliation with ABCUSA.
C3. When the churches vote on the recommendation for ABCPSW to withdraw from the Covenant of relationships, will each of our churches automatically be withdrawn from ABCUSA?
Depending on what occurs between now and December 8, 2005 the Region board will ask the churches to approve its recommendation. That decision affects only the Regional relationship and not the individual church’s affiliation and standing with ABCUSA. We will provide materials so that each church can determine its future as it relates to both ABCPSW and ABCUSA.
In a letter dated September 30, 2005 to each ABCPSW churches, the denominational leadership states that our Region withdrawal “will not affect your membership as a congregation in the American Baptist Churches USA … we assure you that we will continue to serve those pastors and congregations who value their relationships with and the benefits of affiliation with the American Baptist Churches USA. Even if the PSW board follows through with its intent to withdraw from its Covenant with the other ABC partners, and your congregation decides to relate to the new entity formed by the current PSW Region, your congregational membership will remain with the American Baptist Churches unless your congregation votes to alter it.” (letter signed by Roy Medley, General Secretary; Sumner Grant, Ex. Dir. of MMBB; Charles Jones, Acting Ex. Dir of International Ministries and Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III, Ex. Dir of National Ministries)
C4. I received a letter inviting me to a meeting being held by Roy Medley and other ABCUSA leaders. Should I attend?
These are brothers and sisters in Christ even though they understand the authority of scripture and apply it very differently than we do. By all means feel free to attend and welcome them with PSW warmth and hospitality. They will provide another perspective for you and your church as you decide how to respond to this situation.