Wednesday, 23 July 2014

I forewarned in my opening post, in the next post, I would reveal how the leaders of Fairfield Uniting had attacked my family and me. At the core of the leaders’ attacks is a distorted belief. To quote from their letter – “Unfortunately, we feel that you have been working against us, along with your wife (named) and your son (named), causing division within our congregation and we are trouble by this.”
Leaving me aside at the moment, that written attack on my wife and son is completely without basis. In particular, in relation to my wife, it was an untruthfully cruel personal attack on a person who has been a faithful and gracious part of the Fairfield Uniting congregation for many decades in many roles including teaching Sunday school. That is, until Sunday school was no longer a component of our church due to its destruction, with whole families, including those with young children and our grandchildren having left as a direct response to our leaderships’ (the Church Council) failings and actions!
It was an unjustified attack delivered for the sole purpose of hurting a person. In that respect it was successful and it brings not only shame to Fairfield Uniting’s Elders/Leaders but to all those who attend Fairfield Uniting and those leaders in the higher tiers of the Uniting Church who have failed to step in and support the rectification of that injustice. The un-truthful attack was delivered via a letter signed by EVERY MEMBER OF THE FAIRFIELD UNITING CHURCH COUNCIL including those who are “ELDERS”. Why you may be asking would Elders and Church Councillors stoop to this level; the answer(s) lay in knowing some simple facts.
In my previous post I alluded to the ‘autocratic/dictatorial’ leadership of Fairfield Uniting. It is a leadership which has – over time – crushed any person who attempted to object or challenge Elders/Church Councillor decisions or actions. Actions which are sinful, many and varied: actions which have contributed to an ‘eye-opening turn-over’ of ministers which should have, on its own, drawn more substantial attention from the Uniting Church hierarchy.
However there came a point where I decided enough was enough and yes I have challenged the Elders/Church Councillors. That is why the Church Council chose to attack: it’s a ‘strange’ form of pastoral care we have in Fairfield Uniting; some would be see it as bullying. It is the tool used and why many, long term members, and others, including ministers, have been forced out of (to leave) our congregation.
That said, this posting is also going to highlight the leadership’s poor management of church resources and assets (just one example) and in doing so reveal, in a significant manner, why I have stood my ground and draw the fire I do.
Below you will see several photos taken (only days ago) of ‘our’ church bus. The vehicle was purchased – new – in 1983, with money from a bequest (if I recall correctly), and for many years was used, on Sundays, to ferry congregational members, for reasons of need, to and from church and, on appropriate church outings. The bus has not been used for several weeks now; why? Well, truth is, as a congregation, we don’t know: however what I do know is the bus fell out of registration months ago!
Church members have not been told why, nor has there been any announcement/indication (forthcoming) as to the fate of the vehicle. Suffice to say however it is not a surprise to me; it is indicative, just another example, of the appalling handling of church affairs, we have been forced to accept and have ‘become used too’, at Fairfield Uniting.
Additionally, I am personally aware of the fact, even when the bus was still in use, it was in a state, had it been spotted by the authorities, which would have attracted defect notices. That point alone, given the vehicle is driven by a church councillor, says volumes about the handling of Fairfield Uniting’s affairs and the failure of our Church Councillors to ensure the safety of those being transported.
So where is the vehicle now and in what condition? Well, it’s an un-registered heavy vehicle parked on a public road. It’s not, and has not, been garaged/housed on church property for years (despite that being a requirement). It is, as the photos show, in a filthy state with rubbish stored in the rear of the vehicle and the drivers’ floor piled with trash and, dangerously, a loose fire extinguisher! It has one (inside rear) tyre fully deflated and other, quite visible, defect attracting damage. THE BUS WOULD NOT PASS A ROAD WORTHINESS INSPECTION and, the appropriate government authorities have been informed!
In its sign written state the Fairfield Uniting Church bus stands as a clear beacon, on a public road, next to a frequently used public park, as an advertisement of how appalling disrespectful our church is of gifts given in good faith for a purpose and the mission of the church.
The bus stands in a public place, as an advertisement to the world, of what Fairfield Uniting Church stands for; at the same time it is a reflection on the ‘brand’ which is The Uniting Church in Australia!
That this gift, a vehicle and church asset has been allowed to degenerate to this level of disrepair is an appalling disgrace which MUST be solely borne by Fairfield Uniting Church Councillors. This single example of careless disregard, by the church leaders, for the Fairfield Uniting congregation’s safety, assets, for the work, mission, integrity and reputation of Fairfield Uniting church and the wider Uniting Church in Australia is a disgrace which MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE.

Look at the images below and weep!


In my next post I will reveal a human story which will show how the *sinful behaviour which has brought the bus to the state it is in has directly impacted on individuals who rely on its availability.

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