20th October 2016.
Time, and, a recent phone call and several chance encounters experienced with individuals associated with Fairfield Uniting Church, coupled with an appalling lack of judgment shown by Presbytery has made something* very clear and brought me, finally, to this point. *As said by the person in the phone call made to me, 'nothing changes'. It was in reference to the failure of Fairfield Uniting Church, and by association the wider Uniting Church in Australia/Presbytery, to grapple with and adequately address the events (people issues) which have hurt so many people and brought into question the Integrity of the local and wider Church.
Whilst changes to the management structure has occurred (at Fairfield Uniting Church), there remains no indication the new leadership is prepared to make amends for their hurt, their intimidation, for the assaults and expulsions: for the sins which enveloped and stalk Fairfield Uniting Church. (People) issues are of greater importance than management; issues which formed the underlying reasons for this blog.
For reasons embedded in my naive optimism, access to the blog has, for a long time, been quite restricted; that has now changed. I have removed those restrictions: its now open-to-all. It becomes a record which cannot be readily expunged: a sad record of just how far off-the-rails a CHRISTian community can fall when it chooses to no longer follow the example and teachings of CHRIST.
Crash & Burn…..
Sunday 17 January 2016 was a landmark day; on that day an event unfolded which exposed for all to see the type of community Fairfield Uniting Church has become.
On that Sunday, immediately after the morning service, at the commencement of a Congregational meeting and in front of the assembled Congregation, the NSW State Police, having been called - negligently using the emergency 000 phone number (revealed by the Police) by Mr. Solifoni - sent two Constables who then, doing Mr. Solifoni's and Mr. D. Tweed's bidding, proceeded to order me to leave the meeting and the premises of Fairfield Uniting Church.
Why, what sin did I commit that was so grievous that the emergency 000 services needed to be called to get the NSW State Police to removed me from that place of worship. A question which remains to be truthfully addressed and answered.
What actually happened I can say: why, remains as speculation to some but is known to the Solifonis, the Tweeds and, of course, God!
Having just attended the morning service I along with the Congregation moved into the hall to await the commencement of the Congregational meeting. Whilst standing, on my own, to the left and just inside the entrance to the hall I was approached from behind by Mrs. Solifoni. Without warning, and with no provocation, Mrs. Solifoni rounded on me and immediately began to (verbally) abuse me including ordering me to leave. After a period of abuse Mrs. Solifoni picked-up my belongings (which included my bible) and made to throw them out the door. I managed to prevent that happening only to endure still more abuse; then, surprisingly, Mrs. Solifoni took hold of me and tried to drag me out the front door of the hall. I managed to pull away and several of Mrs. Solifoni’s children stepped in and pulled her away; one apologizing to me. A short time later I was approached, again from behind, by Mr. Solifoni. Once again I was verbally abused and once again I was ordered to leave.
It is important to state here I responded minimally, to the actions of both Mrs. or Mr. Solifoni, not wanting to escalate the abuse; however silence and in-action did not help for it is, in hindsight, obvious there was an agenda unfolding.
That I can say with certainty for when Mr. Solifoni, having (literally) exhausted himself verbally, made the statement he was going to call the Police. When I shrugged in response to that statement he then asked did that not worry me. I answered ‘no’, so he did.
Having made the phone call Mr. Solifoni moved away from me, and as the Congregational meeting had started, Chaired by Ms. M. Solifoni, he took a seat. It is significant to note here, the actions of Mr. & Mrs. Solifoni were witnessed by those of the Congregation in eye-shot, the Chair of the meeting (Ms. M. Solifoni), who openly commented on proceeding regardless of what was occurring to me. It is also of note no members of the Congregation, no other Church Councillor nor the Ministers in attendance sort to intervene, prevent, defuse or stop what was occurring to me…..?
The Police arrived and spoke to one of the Solifoni boys who then came into the hall and spoke to Mr. Solifoni. He then left the hall and shortly thereafter the Senior Constable approached me and asked me to step outside. He then left me with his sidekick and talked with Mr. Solifoni and Mr. D. Tweed. Now, I do know what Mr. Solifoni said on the phone but I do not know, verbatim, what the Snr. Constable was told by Mr. Solifoni and D. Tweed. However what was then conveyed to me by the Snr. Constable clearly indicated he was not being told the truth. The Snr. Constable said, as I was not a member I was not entitled to be in the meeting and that I should leave. I responded that I was a member and that I was entitled to be there; he countered that was not what he was told and repeated his instruction. I was very clear, to me, if further challenged the Constables they had every intention to remove me! I left, went home, and recorded the events in full.
Fairfield Uniting Church had just falsely used the NSW Stated Emergency 000 number to enmesh the NSW State Police in a conspiratorial personal vendetta for the sole purpose of preventing me from participating in a (contentious) congregational meeting. Think!
I was not the first person treated poorly treated by Fairfield Uniting leaders; nor have I been the last. Fairfield Uniting Church challenged and turned their backs on Christ that Sunday morning. Little more, if anything, needs be said about their conduct and how their action defined the type of community they have become: their actions speak as evidence of how fare they have fallen as a community.
The actions of Fairfield Uniting Church, their failure to confront the wrongs, and the miss-steps of the wider Uniting Church/Presbytery to adequately, and appropriately step up to the plate and, apply their moral authority calls into question the Integrity of the Uniting Church of Australia. That spectre will hang over the entire Uniting Church Community until the wrongs of Fairfield Uniting Church are rectified and reconciled.