Thursday, 1 December 2016

Crash & Burn…..

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 grappling 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 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!

What happened:
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 a 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.

Fairfield Uniting Church's Legacy.....

3 June 2015.

Fairfield Uniting Church's Legacy.....

This will not be my last post but it may be a significant one. When it is posted, as I have indicated before, I will lift the restrictions which have limited access and, from that point in time, the shenanigans which characterises the dysfunctional (NSW) Fairfield Uniting Church will be accessible to the public and will remain in perpetuity a record of what happens when a CHRISTian community fails as the result of finding itself led by people who profess too but do not live by nor uphold CHRISTian values in leading and dealing with others.

To be described as Sunday CHRIStians, (a rendition of which is often sung, as a family choir, by several of the (self elected) Elders of the Fairfield Congregation), would not be even close to accurate. The reason being their behaviour, even on Sunday, in and at Church, is anything but a reflection of values lived and taught by Christ Jesus and the Scriptures.For some, attending a Fairfield Uniting Church was anything but pleasant. On one occasion a person said “it’s like a war”. Unjustified scorn, hate and abuse is directed towards individuals for no other reason than those individuals have chosen to stand for that which is right: for that which follows the teaching of CHRIST; so why their persecution by the leadership and others? The answer is simple and can be summarised thus; ‘when good people fail to speak up, evil prevails’.

Attending a CHRISTian church is/should be about serving, nurturing and supporting others in a manner which closely follows the teachings of Jesus coupled with the recognition he died to forgive our sins. If we accept his death was for us, and that through his death we receive God's grace and forgiveness, we are left with the OBLIGATION to do likewise, to nurture and forgive others. This is not the case at Fairfield Uniting Church under its current leadership. The Fairfield Uniting congregation has buckled and fractured under the weight of selfish self-aggrandisement and the intentions of a few, to subjugate all who attend. ‘When good people fail to speak up evil prevails’; and so it is at Fairfield Uniting, evil prevails.

In saying what I do and, writing what I do within this blog am I behaving as a CHRISTian? Do I have the right to speak out? Do I have an obligation to speak out? For many, Fairfield Uniting's progression has been more about not wanting to “cause waves” or “to upset people”. For others, just attending church, not adhering to or practising its teachings is what counts. Is the pacifist route or the attendance without adherence route, what is expected of us? Is it the path Jesus trod? I don't (personally) believe it is and, I firmly believe if Jesus was to walk into Fairfield Uniting (today), to say, he would not be pleased would be an understatement of mammoth proportions. Have we, at Fairfield Uniting Church, prepared ourselves well for our final judgement? How do we think we will be judged; as spiritual leaders, as a congregation and as individuals? I started this paragraph with questions relating to me let's address those first;

- Is what I am doing/writing in this blog Christian behaviour? There are those who may say, no it is not: if what I have said is un-true and or without substance then I would have to agree. However, as is evidenced in a number of ways, what I have said is a truthful reflection of reality and therefore, I believe, as other more suitable avenues failed, the blog has been necessary to reveal and record the truth.

- Do I have a right to speak out? Do I have an obligation to speak out? I have been told by the (some) leaders of Fairfield Uniting Church I do not have the right to voice an opposing opinion nor challenge any decisions made by leaders. Indeed, they believe, and have told me to my face, I not only have no right to speak out but that I have no rights at all! An interesting stance to take when you are talking to a person (me) who has worshipped within the church for in excess of sixty years.

In truth, I consider, I have not only the right to speak out; more importantly, I have an obligation to challenge and speak up and out whenever the teachings and or rules of our Church are being ignored or violated. Furthermore, it matters not if it’s a leader, member or member in association who is being challenged; every person, within our Uniting Church is equal and, equally accountable; supposedly.

By way of self assessment/reflection: and again, before we attempt to answer the question, (“Have we, at Fairfield Uniting Church, prepared ourselves well for our final judgement? How do we think we will be judged; as spiritual leaders, as a congregation and as individuals?”), let's look at the how one individual member has been treated by Fairfield Uniting's leaders, Ministers and those who comprise the Presbytery of Parramatta Nepean.

That person is Judith, my wife. Falsely accused of wrong doing by the entire Church Council and with no explanation stripped of her voluntary roles: then, one Sunday after church was deliberately verbally abused and physically intimidated to such a degree Judith has never returned to worship. Judith was forced out* of the Fairfield Uniting Church Congregation, by the actions of the leaders of Fairfield Uniting Church and the failure of others to intervene.

As bad as what happened to Judith seems, it is what follows, or has not followed which amplifies the wrong and clearly calls into question Fairfield Uniting Church's, (and the wider Uniting Church through Presbytery), commitment for doing the Lord's work. Nothing followed: absolutely nothing, by anybody; Judith was and has been abandoned**!

If you (the reader) are a committed CHRISTian, and or a member of a CHRISTian community, you would rightly assume leaders and Congregational members would rally to support a member being wrongly treated. You would also expect those same individuals to support and counsel the member(s) doing wrong. However, a quick look at how Judith has been treated, before, during and after that *life changing event, demonstrates how far removed Fairfield Uniting Church is from being a (normal) CHRISTian community. What is worse though is the fact, Judith's treatment lays bear how far the wider Uniting Church in Australia has moved away from being a caring, nurturing CHRISTian community.

**No Fairfield Uniting Church Elder or Church Councillor has approached Judith to support, assist, counsel or in any way show some level of compassion or remorse – NONE! But it gets worse: Fairfield Uniting Church is serviced by two part time Ministers, a Rev. Choi and Rev. Kava; neither of those two ministers have approached Judith in any way, they have simply ignored her, as has all those who comprise Presbytery. Both the incumbent Chairman and Secretary of the Parramatta Nepean Presbytery are fully aware of what happened to Judith and neither have offered anything in the way of direct contact/support, to this point in time – nine+ (9+) months later!

Now ask yourself this, what could Judith possibly have done to be so roundly rejected by her (local Uniting) Church community? I challenge you - the reader - to ask each of those leaders and Ministers for an answer to that question, per-chance you get one; you will be appalled by their reply.
It is right to point out here Judith is not the only person so treated; there are many others who have been similarly repelled by the Elders and Church Councillors of Fairfield Uniting Church and ignored by Presbytery.

What we have seen played out within Fairfield Uniting Church, in its treatment of children and adults alike, is every bit as sinful as that which we are seeing reported daily in the news dealing with child abuse and the persecution of CHRISTians overseas. Those disgusting things are happening rights under our noses, in our Uniting Church in Australia community, at Fairfield Uniting Church!

ALL other issues aside, the treatment of Judith is a condemnation of CHRISTian values/behaviour not the beacon of good it should be!

That is why the answers to the questions, Have we, at Fairfield Uniting Church, prepared ourselves well for our final judgement and, how do you think we will be judged; as spiritual leaders, as a congregation and as individuals?, can only be no, we will be condemned!

So what comes next, more of the same or some immediate and sensible action?

The INTEGRITY of the Uniting Church in Australia and Fairfield Uniting Church, as CHRISTian communities, is at risk and firmly in hands of the current leaders of the Fairfield Uniting Church (NSW) and the Parramatta Nepean Presbytery.


Mr. & Mrs. D. Tweed, Mr.,Mrs & Ms M. Solifoni, Mr. N. Lertsinpaksdee, Rev. Choi and Rev. Kava, Dr. Thornley and Mr. J. Cutts, you each need to ask why you have done what you have done to Judith; how does your treatment of Judith (and others) demonstrate you, as individuals and leaders, as members of the Uniting Church in Australia are following in the footsteps of Jesus and doing the Lord's work?.....please feel free to respond below in the comments or in person ;-)

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

"No! There's not enough"

No! “there's not enough!”

Log entry for Fairfield Uniting Church Sunday morning 21st June 2015. The disappointment and disappointing actions continue. Just what is going on in these peoples minds?

The morning service printed Order of Services had just arrived, in the church foyer, and were about to be folded when I ask (the person folding) “could I have two of those please”. “No, there's not enough!” I was, quite curtly, told by another, none other than Mrs. P. Tweed. With little more to say, about more of the same, I left: but not without feeling quite sad for those two individuals. Again we witnessed, yet another, openly public display of just how far away the Fairfield Uniting leadership has moved from its primary function – witnessing and winning souls for CHRIST.

The primary person in this story is a person I have known for over 60 years. Mrs. P. Tweed is some years older and a person I once respected. She was one (of her generation) who was key in teaching me the principles by which I believe I would/will be measured* and, ultimately judged.

*Therein is embedded the problem which the current Congregation, Elders/Church Councillors, Reverends Choi and Kava, Presbytery and the wider Uniting Church need to face up too. Those fundamental CHRISTian principles, we were taught as young people, are no longer followed or practiced by the very individuals who taught them. Were those principles of value or just words and fiction? That was a question I needed to answer, for myself, some time ago and they are what directs my approach and public criticism.

Indeed, the problem is not just that those individuals are not practicing what they preached; they are also leading others to follow their (now) changed and distorted view of what is right. They are openly attacking the principles of Christianity as well as those who dare to speak out/up. In doing so, with each disappointing act, they further expose the discrimination and the hypocrisy which has become an entrenched feature of Fairfield Uniting Church, its leadership and its mission.

Those two pieces of printed paper were quite insignificant items but the sentiment with which they were denied is anything but insignificant. There may have been “not enough” Order of Services but what was more evident and ultimately more important, in that act of denial, Mrs. P. Tweed denied Jesus an opportunity of outreach. Which leads to a more important question; what is the primary mission of Fairfield Uniting Church?

Christianity stands for an abundance of....., there is always enough (of)....., and it should never be denied; they are not choices CHRISTians' were tasked to make or enforce. You and Fairfield Uniting Church either follow Jesus or it and you don't! Therefore;

- is Fairfield Uniting Church a place of worship, love and forgiveness open to all.....?

- is Fairfield Uniting Church, its Elders and Church Councillors working for the Lord and the salvation of others or are they working for.....?

Pray, the hearts and minds of the Fairfield Uniting Congregation, its leaders and Ministers will be made aware of their treacherous position and pray they will return to a path where their thoughts and actions reflect the will of the Lord and our Saviour.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Money corrupts!

Sunday 26Apr'2015 log entry for Fairfield Uniting Church as one of its disciples mutinies :-(

On the previous Sunday previous Mr. D. Tweed was heard to be yelling at me from quite a distance, as I walked away, “to come back and fix it”. His reference was about my car being parked in front of Fairfield Uniting Church – on a public road. As you may have already gleaned from this blog the leaders of Fairfield Uniting have it in their heads it is they who control the public/street parking in the City of Fairfield; just as they believe, it is only they who decide who can attend the Fairfield Uniting Church.

Not to be outdone by his father, Mr. G Tweed took it upon himself this morning to, whilst standing on the Church steps to loudly berate me over an extended period. Not content with that little performance he also chose to drag other – church attendees – into his tirade in much the same way as Ms. Solifoni did when delivering her morning-tea tirade. Which is, in turn, a reflection of how we can imagine the Pharisees worked the crowd in front of Pontius Pilate.

What was today about?  MONEY.  Mr. G. Tweed put on his appalling public spectacle over MONEY! MONEY for a fine levied on Fairfield Uniting Church by the State of NSW for a breach of the law by Leaders of Fairfield Uniting Church. Because of the leaders breach Mr. G. Tweed wants to levy the entire blame on me! Mr. G. Tweed is so focused on - the – MONEY and, finding someone else to blame, he has completely and totally discounted what attracted the fine in the first place.

MONEY corrupts in varying ways. Mr. G Tweed's event is a prize example of how corrupt – spiritually – is the thinking being radiated from within Fairfield Uniting Church. That is also one reason why this blog exists. To record, for posterity, just how deep Fairfield Uniting Church has sunk in its spiritual journey and how that loss of spirituality and grace is taking individuals, and the congregation, in a very disappointing and treacherous direction.

For a moment, putting the underlying reason(s) for today’s event aside. Think for a minute reader, as you picture in your mind, the vision of a Fairfield Uniting Church member (flanked by one other) standing on their Church steps loudly berating an individual standing on the public footpath outside that same CHURCH. What does that say about what those who attend that CHURCH stand for?

It is so terribly sad to witness Fairfield Uniting Church slipping deeper and deeper away from its primary purpose and goal to be a gracious CHRISTian community.

If CHRIST returned tomorrow, to Fairfield Uniting Church;
- where should he park?
- would he be welcome?
- should he have witnessed Mr. G. Tweeds extended outburst what would he have said and or done?


Mr. G. Tweed do you think what you did today was what CHRIST would have wanted you to do? 

Monday, 30 March 2015

TheSpotsNeverChange.....

You are not welcome here!”;Don't you step into that Church!” (his Fairfield Uniting Church);You should not step into a CHRISTIAN church!”(?);You lie!”**

Within minutes of arriving at Fairfield Uniting Church, prior to the Sunday morning service (29 Mar'2015) and, while I was assisting and elderly disabled church member from my car, all those statements along with more were yelled at me from a distance of some five metres by none other than Mr. David Tweed; an Elder of Fairfield Uniting and Chairman of Fairfield Uniting's Church Council.

Picture, if you will, for a moment, that vehement rhetoric, being loudly voiced on the public pavement/footpath directly in front of a Church decorated to celebrate Palm Sunday; for the passing public to witness and in front of other members of Fairfield Uniting's congregation, including his wife (an Elder and Church councillor) and his adult son (Graeme) none of whom, yet again, were prepared to step up to the plate and to intervene.  Why?

Clearly Mr. Tweed is not happy with my reporting of the goings on at Fairfield Uniting Church and that is of no surprise - sometimes truth hurts.  What escapes Mr. D. Tweed is that it is he, ALL the Church Councillors, Rev. Choi, Rev. Kava and Presbytery who MUST accept the ball is squarely in their court.  They have either caused, added too and, by refusing to accept my (many and recent) approaches, prolong the troubles of Fairfield Uniting.  Which in turn provides more fodder for the Fairfield Uniting Church's blog which, in turn, adds to the woes of Fairfield Uniting Church and further degrades the reputation and integrity* of Fairfield Uniting, the Uniting Church in Australia and ALL its members.

*To measure our failing integrity, as CHRISTians, we need look no further than the discrimination of Judith and Ruth and how the Uniting Church, as a collective of professing (Professional and Lay) CHRISTians have abandoned them both.  I ask what is the difference between the discrimination of CHRISTians outside of Australia and Judith and Ruth's forced severance from the Fairfield Uniting Church?  If we as CHRISTians accept/allow one then we must accept the other; is that what being a member of the Uniting Church in Australia is about?

Fairfield Uniting Church has become a litmus test of the integrity of the Uniting Church in Australia.  As it festers, crying out for a resolution, our integrity as CHRISTians is questioned and, for us all, judgement is only a heartbeat away.  Any delay or lost time makes the course correction a much longer, more difficult and, possibly (for some individuals already), an irreversible journey and;

around we ALL go as we spiral into the black hole and, as a Church, we crush grace and move further away from the teachings of CHRIST: within sight of Easter!

As we reflect on the significance and reason CHRIST was sacrificed and raised from the dead - for us ALL; please reflect on OUR actions and in-action and pray for Fairfield to be fixed before we are called to account. 

**I'll close addressing Mr. D. Tweeds statement I am a liar.  He has told me that to my face: has said it to me from the CHAIR in a Congregational meeting (in front of Rev. Choi) and now he has shouted it out in a public place in front of members of the public and Fairfield Uniting's Congregation.  Clearly he may believe what he says: but consider, as an Elder, after years of making slanderous unsubstantiated accusations, in refusing to discuss the issues, Mr. D. Tweed denies me the opportunity to correct and or make amends; that is, of course, one of the major issues which underlines, drives and maintains the problems as they exist at Fairfield Uniting Church.

With me in front of him, on (Palm) Sunday, Mr. D. Tweed had yet another perfect opportunity to show his CHRISTian leadership and, yet again, he threw the opportunity out the window; preferring instead to present, publicly, Fairfield Uniting Church's values with his appalling public performance, yet again, further underlining why Fairfield Uniting Church has become the spiritual black hole it is and, using Fairfield Uniting Church to undermine the integrity of the Uniting Church in Australia as a faith/grace based, compassionate and caring CHRISTian organisation.

The opportunity still exists to talk.....I remain available.....and always will.....who has the faith, conviction and commitment to enter the fray?

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Nuts & Bolts.....

In the previous post I highlighted the role Mrs. Solifoni played in forcing Judith out of the Fairfield Uniting Congregation. I mentioned Ruth without detailing the circumstances of her removal and, generally outlined how their plight has been exacerbated by the complicity of the entire church council and the failure/refusal of those, with the moral authority to do so, to support Judith and Ruth, to intervene and stop what has been happening and, rectify and reconcile that which has happened. That remains so to this date!

I also quoted the following question, “are you not now prepared to accept the Uniting Church in Australia is broken, not just in Fairfield but throughout?” It was one I have been asked and my reply is that Fairfield Uniting Church is certainly broken. However, as to whether or not the Uniting Church in Australia is broken, I said, I was going to draw on you, the readers, for the answer. In part you each have gone part way to helping me do so; but the jobs not finished.

With this post I urge reference to the the National Church Life Survey (NCLS) 12 Core Qualities of Church Life as crucial for Congregational vitality and growth. I would expect those points to be part of the Life and Witness Consultation if conducted. I am also going to pose several questions which “could be asked of the leadership team of the congregation during the consultation” as they are each very relevant questions to pose to the Elders and Church Councillors of Fairfield Uniting Church*. I am also going to highlight three “issues” which, from my point of view, need to be addressed before any realistic CHRIST focused outcomes can be reached.

*Starting with the “Life and Witness Consultation” questions to the Elders and Church Councillors;

Q1.) “Over what things has your congregation grieved in the past five years? How was that grief handled?”

Ans. This blog details just a small portion of that which has “grieved” Fairfield Uniting's congregation. “How was that grief handled?” Very poorly to the point of being discriminatory.

Q2.) “Have any issues divided your congregation in the past five years? How have anger and disputes been handled in these situations?”

Ans. YES (quite) a few! “How have anger and disputes been handled in these situations?” With a “kill messenger” un-truthful ethos employing deception, verbal abuse and physical intimation being some of primary weapons of choice.

Q3.) “What style of leadership is present in this place?”;

Ans. One devoid of the acceptance of a CHRIST centred Pastoral care responsibility, Dictatorial, deceitful, secretive and abusive.....etc.

;-) a supplementary question might be, “What is your view of the Presbytery and how can the Presbytery be more effectively involved in your congregation?”

Ans. I can only :-) & laugh loudly whilst speculating how Fairfield Uniting Church Elders and Church Councillors would answer that question. My response would be considerably different to theirs.

are you not now prepared to accept the Uniting Church in Australia is broken, not just in Fairfield but throughout?The facts supporting my answers to questions 1 to 3 define a simple conclusion; Fairfield Uniting Church is broken!

Three issues distilled;

1) The “problem(s)” which appear to divide Mr. D. Tweed and me.
2) The “problem” Mr. & Mrs. Solifoni seem to have with me.
3) The “problems” relating to Church Governance (and me).

Kill the messenger;

It is fair to say “me” is the focus of items 1&2 and the person who has focused on item 3 in the preceding list. Each has been covered in some way, previously, within this blog. In expanding on each of those items I am going to show – in part - how they link together to create the spiritually evil black hole Fairfield Uniting has become. Equally it MUST be understood Fairfield Uniting can never be “fixed” until sensible and suitable solutions to those three items is sought and achieved. Failure to do so will mean, no matter what good may come out of, Fairfield Uniting Church will be be forever tainted and, there is very little time left to prevent an adverse outcome!

To understand item 1, “The problem(s) which appear to divide Mr. D. Tweed and me.”, requires decades of knowledge, impracticable to document herein (that's for the book). I will start by saying Mr. D. Tweed (Elder) is an autocrat. Predominately, he takes no account of other people's wishes or opinions; unless they coincide with his own and, he is domineering to the point of obsession. Not traits one would expect to be able to easily define or see in action in a spiritual leader let alone being a good fit for the role of Elder in the Uniting Church in Australia. It becomes a (real) issue when those traits are exercised in an offensive manner. Challenging (face to face, on the side or in any manner) Mr. D. Tweed's actions has an effect similar to using a flint; sparks fly. Those sparks are, in the main, Mr. D. Tweed's; he is not a man to be challenged nor questioned of that, I have be reminded of, on many occasions. Herein lays the root cause of what appears to divide Mr. D. Tweed and me.

Now over relatively simple issues like copyright - when it became an “issue” and a discussion several years ago – Mr. D. Tweed's take was “we can copy what ever we like” and, “it should not apply to the church”. Now we all know what is the correct thing to do, and what we were being asked to do, and that was raised, but Mr. Tweed was not going to listen; he knows what's best and right and that was that! Not a difficult issue, just an obstinate attitude to be “won-over” with fact. but, there are issues which are far more critical; by definition more difficult and more important they be resolved correctly, quickly.

Two issues, one an incident involving a child and the other a Minister. Now in both these cases Mr. D. Tweed made some seriously bad calls. The first of those two being a particularly difficult situation, which was correctly handle by those who “stepped up to the plate” to do so. The ramifications, for those who did the correct thing though, were horrendous and, it was Mr. D. Tweed who led and complained vengefully about the action those good people took, why? What or who was he trying to protect?

Second: As a member, and as a congregation, we still don't know (fully) why but Mr. D. Tweed, for reasons best known to him, took a dislike to the minister of the day and, wanted him gone! What got my direct attention were announcements Mr. D. Tweed made, to the congregation, during the morning service, which related to the Minister in question. His comments were both of a derogatory nature and came with instructions to the congregation which were, without any doubt, out of place and character for any spiritual leader (Elder). Now, after the service and on our own I raised, with Mr. Tweed, what he had said – sparks flew immediately. Now, what with all that had happened, in the decades preceding that incident this one seemed to be the catalyst which brought all of D. Tweeds wrath to the surface. He made some extraordinary personal accusations about the Minister and me. He accused me of “conspiring” with the minister, of causing the church a lot of trouble, of offending “many” and of “costing the church a lot of money”. To say I was taken aback would be an understatement, but it gets worse. Having said what he had just said, when I asked him (on that and at every other opportunity) to justify his statements, with details and or facts, he refused and, continues to do so! That his accusations were complete fabrications does not seem to matter to Mr. Tweed.

Despite trying on several occasions I was unable to get Mr. Tweed to discuss his accusations and comments calmly and as a result I resorted to writing. Below, with salutation etc. removed, are two of those letters;

29 Nov' 2009 - It was ironic because that number of years is all but equal for us both in that yours was for a particular service and mine because that is the time I have also been a worshipper at the same church and; while your congratulations were in order little did anyone know that the selfsame person had in the last week chosen to launch a personal attack on me for reasons I do not know or understand.

So with this note I am giving you the opportunity to document, by return, an outline as to why I have, in your words, ‘caused the church a lot of trouble’.

I if have caused trouble I believe I have a right to know why, be given a right of reply and the opportunity to rectify what I have done and; as a leader – and the one who leveled the accusation - in our church you must give me that opportunity.

As the ‘problem(s)’ seems to have existed for a long period I can see little reason why I will not receive the details of my indiscretions promptly and as requested.


9 Dec' 2009 - During the conversation there were veiled references to two areas that may have been of concern but as they were only brief references it has not been possible to guess as to why they should have been of any ‘trouble’

Following the conversation I requested I be supplied an outline and details of just what I had done so as to be able to ‘rectify’ the problem. That reply, I am told, I am not to receive.

It must be understood I have never knowingly done anything to deliberately ‘hurt’ the church or any member of the congregation and, it has caused me much angst to be told that I have; to be then denied an explanation has increased my concern, made me feel extremely guilty, and brought me to this point.

To this day (years later as you can see), Mr. D. Tweed has never, never, never been prepared to talk through, justify and or validate any of his accusations or statements. They were and are false. His refusals clearly show the character of the man and how long he is prepared to maintain his unjustifiable rage, multiplying and adding to it to the point – one Sunday - he ordered me out of the church, on the floor of the church, in front of other members of the congregation and publicly questioned my character :-(

Yes, from my perspective, item 1) can be easily solved. I argue Mr. Tweed's accusations and comments, about me, always were entirely false and without justification. So all that needs to be done is for Presbytery, the Life and Witness Consultation panel, or anybody else (think Rev. Choi and Rev. Kava) to ask Mr. D. Tweed to document his original accusations so it would be possible for me address them. If he cannot/will not do so, then it goes without saying his role as an Elder/Spiritual leader is seriously compromised and he should apologise, in person, and to the entire Congregation and should disqualify himself from his leadership roles!

Item 2). “The problem Mr. & Mrs. Solifoni seem to have with me.” Like all problems this one is multi-faceted but it is possible to distil out one particular issue which is, for the Solifoni's only, a sticking point. I say for the “Solifoni's only” because it is a problem wholly of their creation which they have imposed on the entire congregation. But they choose, for entirely selfish reasons** to, not only blame others, but to use their failings as a reason to bully others (see following paragraph) as I describe in the previous post;

Why Judith was targeted. The whole story is long and convoluted: suffice to say, within this post, the Solifoni family is a disturbed and estranged family and, because of a particular situation relating to a family member, choosing to go their own way, the Solifoni parents and other family members, have chosen to divest themselves of and, to shift the blame, for that persons choice, to others in the Congregation; bullying chosen individuals until they walk away from the Church.”

For me this issue is the most important, the most damaging and, the one item of the three which MUST be satisfactorily and FULLY resolved. Why? Simple because it is about a fractured family unit.

** I mentioned earlier the Solifoni family chooses for selfish reasons to blame others for their failings and this is entirely the case. They have refused the help offered, have maintained it's not the church's business whilst at the same time using it as a Povai to bash those they select to blame. At the same time both Mr. and Mrs. Solifoni have not been backwards in spreading their distorted version of the “truth” as a deliberate strategy to divert scrutiny of an environment which may well reveal components of abuse within the family.

Now you have seen detailed how devastating was Mrs. Solifoni's abuse of Judith. What Judith has directly endured is much less than that which has been hurled at me; and there is a specific reason; dare I raise it? Well why not, it is important and it is embedded in differing cultures. You see, it would appear, I am being held responsible, by the Solifoni family, for failing to comply with their idea of how their child (a young person) should behave. Indeed the Solifoni's believe they have the right to force me to accept cultural norms which are not mine and, if I complied with their demands, in all probability would be seen, here in Australia, as illegal***.

Now let me quote, an excerpt, from a (confidential) letter I wrote to the Mr. & Mrs. Solifoni shortly after Mr. Solifoni vehemently accused me of wrong doing and told me in very straight language I should do exactly as he wanted. He believes I have an obligation, to him, to intervene in what has occurred in another family in relation to the decision his child (a young adult) had made. As disturbing as that thought was/is I considered it important enough to open a dialogue with those concerned (the other family) and the following letter (to the Solifoni's) was a result of what was revealed.

In the letter (dated 1 Oct'2013) I wrote;

(two names) have no illusions as to why what has happened has and the impact. Equally it is my understanding considerable effort has been made to discuss, address and, maybe solve, the problems presented, with you, to no avail.

Name’s (young adult) decision, I have no doubt, is difficult to accept. However it is important to look closely at Name's concerns and work toward finding common ground. Doing so, will provide you the opportunity to demonstrate why the values you hold as being worthy are of similar worth to Name.

Family challenges such as you face often have multiple causes and until these are fully understood and discussed, by each party, a clear path to any form of reconciliation will remain elusive.

That said, as I indicated in our conversation, if I was to get involved, I would only do so as a neutral party and to this end, if I am to contribute positively, I ask you take the time to provide me a candid account of the issues, as you see them and, how you believe those issues should be addressed.

Please understand it is my fervent wish the current situation between yourselves and Name should not only be addressed but solved and solved harmoniously very quickly. Personal experience has taught me it is difficult for all involved but the one thing I do know, it is of paramount importance it be solved and the time to do so is short.

If I can assist and, it remains your wish I should, then please take the time to respond as requested.

If you no longer want me to participate, please tell me so and, do not feel I will be offended in any way; this must be your decision. If not me though, I would urge you both not continue down your current path and hope you, urgently, seek the assistance of a person, in whom you can trust, who will council you wisely.”

Thinking about this letter makes me emotional, reading it again brings tears to my eyes. Knowing what I know it is impossible not to feel terribly sad for the Solifoni family. That said, there can be no reason/excuse proffered to support how they have used their situation to wreak havoc, as they have, in Fairfield Uniting Church.

This was an emailed reply (admonishment) I received from another Solifoni family member; not from Mr. or Mrs Solifoni but one of their children, it reads;

I would firstly like to express my great disappointment in the nature and the content of the letter you have sent. As a parent or as a man that has gone through raising a family, I would of expected to see more wisdom and  a greater sense of counselling from you instead of this!

Secondly, I have read your letter,.....?

I would like to request that you withhold any further letters or conversations to my parents as your "neutral" stance is one that is quite biased and well ill informed. This matter concerns my family and names only! And does not require any further intervention. We still await a positive opportunity to discuss the matter with our 'title of name' and we will hopefully get this opportunity soon

If you would like to assist in any way, shape or form, then please contact names and have them send name back to us so we can have a family meeting to discuss this whole series of unfortunate events. In the interest of the Church and my family, I expect that you will respect our wishes as this is the best outcome for all.”

***I mentioned what I was being asked to do by Mr. Solifoni was in all probability illegal and it is right there for all to see; “ send name back to us”.  I ask you, the reader – considering the person involved has removed themselves from an environment of concern - to whom am I responsible and whose interest should I consider first? Should I have complied with the instruction how was I to know the outcome could have been anything but adverse.

To be asked to do what I was, came from a person with a particular point of view. To ask is not wrong in itself but, to expect that I would “send” a person into a potentially hostile environment is anything but reasonable, it is ludicrous and illegal!

Now a few additional points relating to my letter to Mr. & Mrs. Solifoni – it was clearly marked confidential and sealed.  It was neither Mr. or Mrs. Solifoni who replied but one of their children who stated he would return the letter?   Why would you want to return the letter?

I remained suspicious.  Some time later, I asked Rev. Lunney to ask Mr. Solifoni had he seen the letter.  The reply was NO!  However a subsequent meeting with Rev. Lunney revealed a change; now, Mr. Solifoni had seen the letter, found it offensive and, remained adamant in his refusal to discuss the issue further with me.  Rev. Lunney, in defending Mr. Solifoni's position simply stated it was a “cultural thing!”.  Let's get real folks!

So, on the one hand, me and my family are to take the blame and responsibility for the Solifoni families dysfunction but we cannot help or discuss the problem with them in any meaningful manner.  Their family failings are being used as an abusive weapon (unjustifiably) against Judith and I.  We get forced out of the church we have grown up in and the current Fairfield Uniting Church/Congregation and many in the wider church sit by and watch it happen; REFUSING TO GET INVOLVED, EVEN WHEN ASKED!  CHRISTians?

WHY ARE JUDITH & I BEING PUNISHED AS WE ARE?

My letter to the Solifoni's was the direct result of Mr. Solifoni's instruction I should intervene in a particular manner (against my better judgement).  My letter was not offensive (****) and it is difficult to see how, when he had told me to do so, that my actions, offering and suggestions (given I have first hand experience) were anything but reasonable.

****However, if you look at the situation from the Solifoni point of view; that being they believe they have the right to instruct me to “send” a person back into a situation they were escaping; I guess you may see my offer to help from a knowledge base as offensive.  If you do then you need to seriously question your CHRISTianity, your principles, ethics and your role in Australian society!

From another perspective, if you are a CHRISTian and understand the importance of supporting others in need and, continue to remain inactive now and, still refuse to help, then same applies, you need to seriously question your CHRISTianity, your principles, ethics, your role in Australian society and the question, is the Uniting Church in Australia broken?

are you not now prepared to accept the Uniting Church in Australia is broken, not just in Fairfield but throughout?
So, in concluding Item 2) - “The problem Mr. & Mrs. Solifoni seem to have with me.” - for the moment, is, in the main, all to do with them and (listen Mr. J. Cutts – Secretary of Presbytery) it is a problem for the Church! Mr. & Mrs. Solifoni's “problem” can be fixed if they truly want that to happen. But what I know, for sure now, is it will not happen whilst they continue down the treacherous path they are going. They MUST accept the full responsibility for the outcome as it stands! The Solifoni's have set-out to hurt our family and, whilst they have wreaked havoc they have have in not broken it – quite the reverse. However, they have irreparably damaged their personal reputations as parents, as individuals and as church leaders (should disqualify themselves from holding office) and, if they do not face-up to that which they have done then it will go with them to their collective graves – then to be held to account by the only one who can justifiably do so!

Which leaves us Item 3, “The problems relating to Church Governance (and me).”

Honestly the problems relating to Church Governance at Fairfield Uniting Church are numerous and range over a wide number of issues.  But, out of Items 1 to 3 they are the easier to fix.  The Congregation and the Church Council simple need to read, understand, follow and implement the rules of the Uniting Church in Australia as they are laid-out for all to see.  “Blind Freddy” could do it so why is it not done?

Well. The first thing to understand is that Mr. D. Tweed (Elder) Chairs the Church Council and I have already detailed his autocratic style.  Mrs. (D). Tweed is Secretary and two other councillors are Mr. Solifoni (yes the same) and a daughter Ms. M. Solifoni.  Is there a picture emerging here*****?

If you have pieced together my epistles and understood what I have said, even if you find it hard to believe, you must understand Governance of Fairfield Uniting Church is being dictated by the same individuals who are wreaking havoc, abusing, intimidating and forcing long standing Congregational members to leave?  They have gone rogue and despite that evidence, in one of my earlier dealings, about our issues, with Mr J. Cutts, Secretary of Presbytery (and Rev. Lunney), he said, “we will continue to work with the elected Church Council”.  What that means is he is prepared to “leave the foxes in charge of the hen house”.  That intransigence has led to the treatment of Judith, and, her and others being treated as collateral damage and seemingly of no consequence to Fairfield Uniting and its Congregation: therefore of no consequence to Presbytery and, by extension of no consequence to the Uniting Church in Australia!  

Think I’m being harsh? Stick your head up (comment below or email) and tell me so, I'll will listen carefully.  But you better have a pretty good argument because what your are going to be trying to prevent is me answering Yes to both parts of the following (recurring) question;

are you not now prepared to accept the Uniting Church in Australia is broken, not just in Fairfield but throughout?

So what sort of things happen at Fairfield Uniting Church that would demonstrate Church Governance is an issue? (How long is a piece of string?)  The short answer is just about anything you might choose to look into;

Lets start with the fact the Church Councillors believe they can run the Fairfield Uniting Church as they see fit; the Congregation should simply fall into line! Interesting.
Election of officers outside the stipulated rules and the purler self elected Elders.  Namely Mr. & Ms. Solifoni – oh dear, and done with legal advise I'll tip ;-) They know what best for every one else just look at the way they decide who can say what.  That they decide who can attend church or not.  At the way they tell other people to order estranged family members around......etc.  I could go on and on and on and..........

***** As a next step in understanding how to fix Church Governance is to accept as a fact the current Elders and Church Councillors are not about growing and nurturing a CHRISTian community.  They are not about growing and nurturing the Congregation in the ways of Christ with Grace; they are all about POWER.  POWER and CONTROL.  POWER and CONTROL over everything to do with Fairfield Uniting Church.  POWER and CONTROL over every individual who attends and where they can and can't park in the street and, who they can talk too and what about.....  Again I could go on and on.........

If CHRIST returned tomorrow..........?

I started the section relating to Item 3 indicating it was the easiest of the three item to fix; and it is. You see once Items 1 &2, are correctly addressed the outcome will lead to a rectification of Church governance.  It is so obvious it seems odd to even have to say so.  The flip side though, if Items 1&2 are left ignored and unresolved; if it is thought re-training - the foxes to manage the hen house - is what should be first tackled then that would be a very foolish first step!  Indeed that is what we are actually witnessing, and is taking place right now and, already it is possible to see it failing.

A Life and Witness Consultation conducted at Fairfield, if it is going to happen (?), is going to need to tackle, and resolve properly & completely, all of the above plus some and much sooner than is being suggested.  You all owe it to Judith, Ruth, many others and my (very young) grandchildren, who were also forced out of the Fairfield Uniting Church by the actions Mr. & Mrs. Tweed (Elders), Mr. & Ms. Solifoni (self elected Elders) & Mrs. Solifoni.

are you not now prepared to accept the Uniting Church in Australia is broken, not just in Fairfield but throughout?”  Yes or No its still you call – GET INVOLVED!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

I return:

In discussing, recently, what was happening at Fairfield Uniting Church, with people from another Denominational Congregation who know our situation, I was asked, “are you not now prepared to accept the Uniting Church in Australia is broken, not just in Fairfield but throughout?”.

This post will expand on why I answered “yes” for Fairfield Uniting Church (NSW) but, was unwilling to condemn the entire Uniting Church in Australia. Though, having said that, an email from the Presbytery Chairman has shifted my perspective, of the wider Church, south. Unjustified though it may seem to some, I read his email as a door closing event. It was the trigger for me to return once more to this blog.

Fairfield Uniting Church is certainly broken, it has become a very dark place. Outwardly functional but with a leadership leading a Congregation down a treacherous path and, one which has spiritually paralysed and rendered the Church void of inclusive fellowship.

Fairfield Uniting sunk to an incredible depth one Sunday after the morning service, some distance back, when after a turbulent Congregational meeting my wife Judith was set upon by a Mrs. Solifoni, was verbally abused and intimidated, to the extent Judith has not returned to worship at Fairfield Uniting. No, that event was not the first time Mrs. Solifoni has done this and Judith is not the only person to have been on the receiving end of the Solifoni wrath. As it has been for others before her, Mrs. Solifoni's abuse of Judith, on that occasion, was the last straw.

Why Judith was targeted. The whole story is long and convoluted: suffice to say, within this post, the Solifoni family is a disturbed and estranged family and, because of a particular situation relating to a family member, choosing to go their own way, the Solifoni parents and other family members, have chosen to divest themselves of and, to shift the blame, for that persons choice, to others in the Congregation; bullying chosen individuals until they walk away from the Church. That appalling behaviour is neither a recent phenomenon nor isolated to a single person at Fairfield Uniting Church; it has been going on for years, progressively worsening, slowly whittling away targeted Congregational members who object, take a stand and who challenge what is happening.

Significant to note, Mrs Solifoni is the wife and mother of self-elected Elders who fully support her actions and participate. Equally, the abuse, bullying and discrimination, is supported by a Church council led by D. & P. Tweed and therefore, by extension, the entire Congregation.

Why, you may be thinking, has such activity not been brought to an end long before it consumed its latest victim, Judith?

As the Elders and Church Councillors are the perpetrators of the problems we have experienced, it has proven of absolutely no value to appeal to them - as has been done on many occasions - to correct their behaviour.

So, just what can a member of the (Fairfield) Uniting Church do and, to whom can they turn (for help) when they are dictatorially and abusively ruled by Elders and Church Councillors who have gone rogue? Elders and Councillors who are not even attempting to adhere to the teachings of Christ, toward some others, nor coming within a bulls roar of complying with the rules and requirements of service clearly laid out in the Uniting Church in Australia rules?

The answer, in truth, is nothing and nobody! A conclusion re-enforced by the following statement of Rev. Choi's, “The matter should be fixed in the local congregation.

The matter should be fixed in the local congregation.”, by whom I ask, by whom? The absolute fact of the matter is we are now months down the track and absolutely nothing has been done to rectify what has happened to Judith. No apologies, no counselling not even a phone call or visit from any spiritual leader* of Fairfield Uniting Church nor, from its hamstrung Minister in “his is a very limited supply appointment in which he is principally responsible for Sunday worship and other matters at his discretion.” That last quotation, from the Presbytery Chairman, I understand but challenge: I draw the following parallel between CHRISTians and a Police, neither are ever off-duty.

*A Rev. Kava, of a Tongan Wesleyan Church I believe, is also a frequent preacher at Fairfield Uniting. He, also is very aware of what is occurring and has, as others have, not attempted, to prevent the escalation of the problems or offered any support to Judith. There is a theme.

Does the application of fairness have a role in my reporting and criticism? Taking into consideration Rev. Choi's (and Rev. Kava's) short and limited tenure and, knowing they both have walked into Fairfield Uniting at its worse. Couple that with the fact they may still be trying to get their head around all the issues, and you may conclude it is a reasonable reason for them to keep their heads down. Is their inaction being fair to Judith? I would argue, it is neither fair nor reasonable. I go further: a Minister's profession and being professing CHRISTians defines what they should have done and should do; that is my opinion. Is it yours? Would it be Christ's?

Equally, I don't believe my reporting and criticisms of the Elders and Church Councillors is unfair; if they have chosen to carry the titles of spiritual leaders then, by default they must, conduct themselves accordingly. Yes or No?

What has happened to Judith (and others) is not really about fairness: in reality it is much, much more insidious; its discriminatory!

I received a suggestion I approach, directly, the Chairman of Presbytery with the eye to having a Life & Witness Consultation conducted within Fairfield Uniting Church. Now, I do not have a lot of confidence in Presbytery (as a body), because of how they have failed to adequately address issues thus far, including that which has happened to Judith, and I voiced that opinion. However, being an optimistic kind of a guy ;-) I acted on the advice. Sadly, whilst there has been a statement made a Life & Witness consultation may take place, at some time toward the end of 2015, nothing else is to be done! Nothing, nothing, nothing!

Just for a brief moment put yourself in Judith shoes, how would you feel having been so poorly treated by the leaders of the Church you had been a part of and, served in, for the best part of six (6) decades? Imagine what you might feel like not having a Minister you can turn too or count on for support and then magnify those failures in pastoral care with the fact Presbytery says it's also hamstrung and cannot think outside its box** and help in a timely manner either. **Does that mean Presbytery (whatever that defines) has nobody within, or worse still, has no idea of how to cope with situations like Judith's and rogue Elders and Councillors. What does this say about the structure, values and members within and of the Uniting Church in Australia, when considering the support and nurturing of others in the Uniting Church family?

Can you understand why Judith might not want too, at the moment, worship at Fairfield Uniting Church?

Delaying intervention, and ignoring the immediacy Judith's situation demanded, is why I see the email from the Chairman of Presbytery as an in your face door closing event! More importantly though, I also see it as another act of discrimination!

Many of the issues at Fairfield Uniting have a discriminatory tone; in the main because the manner in which individuals are singled out, abused and bullied. But the collective discrimination of Judith far exceeds that which she was forced to endure at the hand of Mrs. Solifoni, because Judith's plight is multiplied by the orchestration and acceptance of the abuse by the Elders and other Church Councillors, the inaction of the Members, the Ministers* who preach at Fairfield Uniting, and the Presbytery membership etc.

Is describing Judith's situation as wilful discrimination a step too far, I don't think so. What do you think? Is it a sign of something worse?

Fairfield Uniting Church is broken of that there is little doubt but, the more damaging trait to consider, is the manner in which Fairfield Elders, Church Councillors, the Ministers, Congregational members and Presbytery have chosen to multiply the discrimination of Judith to a level which far exceeds that which she was forced to endure from the mouth of Mrs. Solifoni. Is that a sign the Uniting Church in Australia is broken?

“But wait there's more..... :-(

What has happened to Judith is not the first time in any respect. Prior to the “straw breaking the Camel's back” attack on, and Judith being forced out of Fairfield Uniting it also happened to Ruth. Ruth a member of the Fairfield Uniting Church for over eight decades (that's right 80+ years and several generations) has also been forced out and, if you look at the response of the (also limited appointment) Minister, Rev. Lunney and, the similar lack of assistance from Presbytery we see history repeated. I could quite easily repeat and continue the process, and this paragraph, outlining similar incidents backwards for years. At the heart and cause of all those losses are the same people, highly similar circumstances of discrimination, abuse, bullying and intimidation. There is a theme, do you not notice it?

In having highlighted two incidents of many you must be wondering why, how and , and.....etc? In short I am going to state the following; and there is, to some degree – also a parallel in the way Congregational members have reacted too and absorbed the terrible behaviour we have endured and witnessed - to that of abusive relationships and child abuse. There is a measure of, apathy in some, fear in others and a desire to “not cause waves and, maybe, exacerbate the problems”. There has always been a high degree of “let just ignore it, and get on with it, after all we are all CHRISTians.....?”. I paraphrase Rev. Choi, we are the one family.....?

Well it might have seemed like a good idea (not making waves) but it was not and never was; neither can the leaders' behaviour be shrouded in a cloak resembling CHRISTian love. What has and is happening at Fairfield Uniting, in NO WAY, represents “disciplining with love”, anything but!

Now, does Fairfield Uniting Church becomes a test for the wider Uniting Church community!

What I have done (going public) and will continue to do has been seen by some as “incorrect” even offensive. However, Fairfield is not going to be fixed as Presbytery, Rev. Choi and Rev. Lunney before him thought - “the matter should be fixed in the local congregation”. Time and repeated attempts have proven that fact beyond doubt. What will fix Fairfield Uniting is intervention: intervention by CHRISTians not frightened to stand up and fight for that which is right!

Are Fairfield Uniting Church issues, issues for the wider Uniting Church in Australia?

For a short period: if your reading this blog posting your possibly doing so because it has been deliberately brought to your attention; for a reason. My voice along, with many others, at Fairfield Uniting has been taken away by the Elders and Church Councillors and, supported and severely curtailed by the Minister's and Presbytery's inaction. With my only remaining option I am both asking and urging you the reader(s), as (a) CHRISTian(s), become involved, please. Prayer and personal intervention, are both necessary to bring about a CHRIST like solution for Fairfield Uniting; which will also be a significantly important step for the Uniting Church in Australia.

are you not now prepared to accept the Uniting Church in Australia is broken not just in Fairfield but throughout”. For Fairfield my answer remains “yes” but, for the wider Uniting Church? Well my view did shift as a result of the Chairman's email however, my final choice and answer is, to a great degree, now going to be decided by, you the reader(s), a greater proportion of the Uniting Church community;

- Does it matter that Ruth and Judith (and many others) have been treated the way they have and forced to leave worshipping at Fairfield Uniting?

- Is it a reflection on the wider Church?

- Is it fair, or justified, to use and hide behind the non- interference notion, Councils of the Uniting Church, are such they prevent individuals, with the moral authority from intervening?

- Do other individual (CHRISTians) bear any responsibility to “step-up to the plate”, becoming involved in rectifying and reconciling?

- Are we a Church of Samaritans or are we of the same mould as the righteous who passed by the injured man?

You need not look overseas, or to the past and the civil rights movement, or at past or present indigenous issues to find real examples of discrimination, bullying and persecution. It is, and has for some considerable time, been part of the culture of Fairfield Uniting Church;

- Is it more widespread in the Uniting Church: does it also occur in your Church?

Along with and through continued inaction and apathy are discrimination, bullying and persecution going to become five traits associated permanently to Fairfield Uniting Church and therefore, as a Uniting Church, become a permanent part of the culture, of the Uniting Church in Australia?

It's your call, take a stand or....!

In considering my questions, request, your responsibility and response, consider Galations 6: 10 applied equally to all and, the following quote of Martin Luther King (Jr.)

Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent on the things that matter.

I believe Martin Luther King's quote is relevant; it's both a warning and defines a key responsibility for a CHRISTian.


Over to you dear reader(s).....