PASTOR’S NOTE:“Sunday morning was as joyful an Easter celebration as I have ever experienced. I smiled from ear to ear when I walked into the sanctuary and saw the choir in their pastel colors. The music, the prayers, the Word, and the warmth of love surrounded and uplifted us. We could hear Mary Magdalene proclaim to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord.”
The Rev. Dr. William Sloan Coffin has said that faith is not belief without proof, it is trust without reservation. Jesus said, “Trust God, trust also in me.” We are certainly called to be thoughtful, dedicated and committed to whatever task the Lord is calling us to do. But once we have done the “due diligence,” and after we have given it our best, there comes a time to trust things into the hands of our Sovereign God.
The conflict here in Bethlehem between the ECO leadership and the Presbytery of Lehigh is unfortunate. We seem to be at significant odds with one another. It appears that to the ECO leadership a “settlement” means that the Presbytery accept a financial sum of money and that the PCUSA supporters leave the premises sooner rather than later. We can affirm that the Presbytery leadership and the PCUSA leadership in the church are of the belief that the property belongs to the Presbytery, that the court will eventually rule on our behalf, and that we expect to rebuild the congregation here through reconciliation into a loving, fully inclusive PCUSA congregation. We trust these things into the hands of our Sovereign God.
This process may take a long time. Let us all serve the Lord together in this facility in peace, mutual respect and prayers of good will toward one another until the court finally settles the matter.
Pastor Bill Hess
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