Presbytery committee approves Ewing Church Demolition
from Bob & Helen Kull:
“On Thursday, August 6, 2009, the Committee on Ministry of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, charged with investigating disorder within congregations and between congregations and their leadership (pastors and ruling bodies) ruled that the decision by the Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Ewing to demolish its historic landmark 1867 sanctuary building was made properly and in order. The Committee said that demolition is to be delayed only as long as necessary to plan and conduct a memorial service to allow people to mourn the loss of the building, and that a process of grief counseling will be established following demolition. An explanation of the decision is promised by the Presbytery in writing early next week. (8/10/09: See the Committee’s published response in Comments, below)
The Committee on Ministry invited members of Session to address their concerns to the Committee both publicly and privately over a period of over three hours. Members of the congregation that arrived at the meeting were, after some discussion, permitted to witness most of the proceedings. While it was not in dispute that the congregation was divided, many of the facts of the matter were in dispute. While the Committee had the authority to conduct an investigation into the matter, it chose to issue its final decision approaching midnight.
We are stunned, heartbroken and indeed in disbelief that a body responsible for healing can fail to be sensitive to how their action can further and irreconcilably divide the congregation, and indeed the community.
This said, we remain grateful for all of the expressions of support received through letters published in newspapers, and petitions circulated among members of the congregation, the Ewing Township community and the community of historic preservationists through the Preservation New Jersey web site (www.preservationnj.org). Having now presumably exhausted our appeals within the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., we look to each of you for your thoughts concerning future courses of action.”
What now? Post your thoughts here, or at the online petition (here).
See the Trenton Times article, today