From Dean Kallenbach -
The following update was provided by Grace Lutheran Church -Eau Cliare president Anne Carter to her congregation, and is shared with permission. By the way, Faith Lutheran Mission Church, the other Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) congregation in Eau Claire, has pledged 10% of its July offering to Grace as a sign of support and encouragement for the battle they are waging to stand up for God's Word.
Thursday, 28 June 2012
WARNING: The following announcement might make you angry.
This evening the Board of Grace Lutheran Foundation met in its usual monthly meeting. On the agenda was a tabled motion from April to approve a request from the President of Grace Lutheran Church Council to match $15,000 in a deficit reduction fundraiser at the church.
It was announced at the meeting that Drew Ryberg, attorney for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed against Grace by members of Amazing Grace ELCA, Inc., had contacted Ryan Steffes, attorney for the Foundation, about the agenda for tonight's meeting and whether the Board intended to vote on the request for matching funds. Mr. Ryberg informed Mr. Steffes that if the motion was passed to match funds, his clients would most likely petition the court to have the transfer of funds halted or petition the court to prohibit the church from spending the funds at the church's discretion. A theat was implied that the Foundation would be enjoined in the lawsuit and an injunction imposed similar to the one imposed on the church.
Upon hearing the threat directed at the Foundation, I withdrew my request for matching funds. Since I, as President of the congregation, had made the request, it was within my rights to withdraw my request to prevent the Foundation from being affected by the intimidation tactics of Amazing Grace. The Foundation is a separate entity from Grace Lutheran Church with a particular mission in our geographical area. It has been blessed by God to be a blessing to our community. I will not allow its mission to be jeopardized by a group of people who would use it as a means to bolster their own egos and satisfy their own hunger for power.
I thanked the Foundation Board for their willingness to consider my request. I informed them of the successful campaign that has thus far raised over $70,000 to wipe out the 2011 deficit. I reminded them of the quality of people who currently attend Grace and of the Spirit who resides with us. We have become vital and energized, strong and resilient.
The strategy of Amazing Grace is simple: They would have us broken. They would have us cower in uncertainty over what might happen next. They would have us feel helpless as they try to bully us and manipulate us through the courts. And yes, it is more than infuriating, but mostly it is just sad.
We are experiencing something different at Grace. Every day we encounter a God who picks up the broken pieces of our lives and puts us back together as new people, forgiven and renewed. Every day we discover a God who blessed us yesterday, loves us today and who has a beautiful tomorrow planned for each of us. Every day we grow stronger in the knowledge that God is in control and remembers everything that His children have suffered.
Tonight we withdrew our request for matching funds from the Foundation, but I am very confident that the generosity displayed by Grace members and friends in these past weeks will continue. God knows what we need, His promises are true and His Spirit rewards the faithful.
I Remain In His Service,