Each group names reps to Saturday meeting
Newberg Friends Church didn’t split on Sunday night. The roughly 250 people who attended the business meeting were unable to reach unity to approve the recommendation from the leadership team that members “discern whether we are being called to form two congregations,” so presiding clerk Mark Ankeny asked people to keep doing the work of talking to “folks we disagree with.”
He said elders and clerks would meet the following night and schedule a follow-up meeting: “We’re not going to wait weeks before we meet again. It could be as early as two weeks [from now].”
But on Tuesday, a letter was sent to “each of the emerging congregations,” encouraging them in their meetings “Wednesday or Thursday evening” to choose “thoughtful people representative of the diversity of opinion and experience in your group” for a Saturday morning meeting. This afternoon, an email was sent to the larger congregation, announcing the Saturday meeting as well as the five named representatives with an “affinity for staying in NWYM” and the five named representatives with an “affinity for leaving NWYM.”
“Since our Sunday night congregational business meeting the clerks have heard from people who expressed great concern about having another meeting in two or three weeks as announced at the end of our meeting. We have decided to honor those concerns and have invited leaders from each of the emerging congregations to send five people to meet this Saturday at 10 a.m. to discuss possible ways forward.”
Julie Anderson, Hank Helsabeck, Dick Sartwell, Ron Stansell, and Dave Woolsey will represent the first group. Davida Brown, Aaron Dunlop, Gary Fawver, Lisby Curtis Gemeroy, and Lisa McMinn will represent the second group.
Group ‘to lay some groundwork’ for new church
Although the invitation is open to anyone, Brown wrote that she especially hopes people will attend who “feel part of NFC … but cannot see clear to stay in NWYM after the restructuring process.”
“In the manner of Friends, we will convene a meeting for worship in business, spending time in intentional community, listening to the leadings of the Holy Spirit and to one another. The committee will also share information about practical developments and offer opportunities for all who wish to join in the planning to do so.”
To RSVP (for childcare or transportation from Friendsview): contact independentfriendschurch@gmail
The meeting will be Thursday, May 4, from 7 to 9 p.m., in the sanctuary at Newberg Friends.