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 ;-)