Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Pacific Southwest Baptist Officials Respond to Creation of the "New Association of American Baptists in the Pacific Southwest"
Today the American Baptist Churches of the Pacific Southwest issued another in a series of periodic FAQs related to the situation between the region and the national body. In the midst of rumors about personal animus as the root cause of the conflict, confusion as to the future of the post-Lombard ABE movement, and continuing questions about what will happen after the April 29 vote by the congregations, PSW officials weighed in on the latest development. "His Barking Dog" has already reported on the creation of a group intended to carry on the banner of ABCUSA ministry should the PSW vote to withdraw from the Covenant of Relationships. The e-mail today attempts to explain it more fully.
Question: Our church received a letter from "The New Association of American Baptists in the Pacific Southwest." Is this our Region, the ABCPSW?
No. "The New Association of American Baptists in the Pacific Southwest" is not the "American Baptist Churches of the Pacific Southwest." "The New Association of American Baptists in the Pacific Southwest" is a newly forming organization of churches that have decided to remain in the ABCUSA, but not the ABCPSW if our Region withdraws from the Covenant of Relationships. Instead of waiting for the churches of the Region to vote on April 29, they have acted on what they believe the outcome of the vote will be.
We have received several calls from churches that were confused by the name they selected for their new organization. It is unfortunate that they selected a name that brings such confusion.
Question: We have been told that Dr. Salico and the Region Board have already made the decision to withdraw from the Covenant of Relationships, and that the vote on April 29 is meaningless. Is this true?
No. That is absolutely untrue. Both the Covenant of Relationships and the Bylaws of the ABCPSW give the Region Board of Directors the authority to withdraw from the Covenant. However, the Region Board believes that 20 people should not make such a decision that impacts all the churches on their own. Therefore, they have called for this vote so that the ABCPSW Board can receive an expression of the will of the delegates to provide the Board with the guidance and input it needs to make a responsible and informed decision.
The Region Board is making a great deal of effort and incurring considerable expense to organize the April 29 meeting with six satellite locations in order to make it possible for every church to send a full delegation to vote on this important decision. Last summer, there were 14 listening conferences with pastors, conducted around the Region, to hear whether they supported the direction the Board was considering. In the next two months, 14 Information Meetings are scheduled for pastors, church leaders and all interested church members around the Region to answer questions and provide information that is important to our churches.
The Board of Directors takes the April 29 meeting very seriously. We urge all churches to elect and register your delegates and vote on this important issue.