WARNING: Rebecca D. shows flagrant disregard for the rules of punctuation... She uses ellipsis with wild abandon... Punctuation interventions have been done to no avail... If you are offended by such irreverence to the rules of grammar... The very glue that holds our society together... STOP READING NOW... Move on... There is a little button at the top that says "next blog"... You would be well advised to use it... You were warned...
Friday, May 18, 2012
Here is the letter: (The only edit I made was removing the pastor's last name, he is the "Ray" in the letter.)
Saturday, May 5th 2012
To the CLFC Leadership and Ray,
In response to the sixty day suspension of us and of the entire student ministry, we have decided to write this letter in our sincere desire to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. I, Rebecca am writing this to you, but this letter is from both of us as we have both gone over the content. In an effort for us all to be on the same page, let me recount the series of events from Tuesday and to share our impressions and feeling on them. After youth group this past Tuesday Paul & I were asked to talk to Ray and Ben for a few minutes. We had met with Ray the Friday before so we were in the dark as to what it could possibly be about. We sat dawn and were immediately told by Ray that he has felt for some time that the enemy has a foothold in the youth group and some things have come up and been brought to his attention and as a result he has decided to suspend us and the ministry as a whole for the next sixty days to discern where it is coming from. That he will get back with us at some time in the near future to “start walking us through the next steps.”
Neither of us saw this coming and we felt blindsided by this action. Moments before this we had just been working with the kids. Worship had been Spirit filled, prayer had been deep and meaningful and the lesson seemed to hold everyone’s interest. We didn’t feel the enemy’s presence in the least bit. Have we on occasion felt like there were times the enemy has made moves against the youth ministry since we have been in leadership? Yes, of course… We always viewed that as a good thing. If Satan wasn’t interested in us, and what we are doing, then we would see that as proof we are not doing our job. But do we feel like Satan has any kind of stronghold? Absolutely not.
In recent weeks we felt we were not following the leading of Holy Spirit as much as we should. Paul and I spoke to Ray about this at our Friday meeting. We believe this was due to the focus in the youth group being shifted from the spiritual growth of the teens, to preparing them to lead worship for the congregation on Sunday, April 15th. We told Ray that since it was only a handful of teens who desired to be part of the youth worship team, the twelve hours of rehearsal time it took them to get ready for that Sunday came at a high price to the rest of the group. We told him we didn’t think that was fair and although the other teens were extremely patient, we do not think it is a wise choice to have our worship team lead the church again until they had more non-youth group rehearsal time to prepare.
To get back to the matter at hand; at the “meeting” that went on with Ray and Ben Tuesday we were led to believe that there is some accusation either against us or the students that warrants the unprecedented act of suspending the entire ministry. If the full sixty days are enforced it will be early July before we resume activities. Most of the kids will have already made summer plans and those plans will not include AfterShock. Also any plans AfterShock have made/discussed with the kids for this summer will not come to fruition, further deteriorating their trust in the leadership of CLFC. Should this go forward for the full sixty days, the student ministry will not be able to start rebuilding until this fall. And let us be clear, it will have to be fully rebuilt, AfterShock as it exists now will be a thing of the past.
On Tuesday I tearfully pleaded with both Ray and Ben not to suspend the entire ministry even for a short time. These kids need to have a spot to recharge their spiritual batteries. We had to leave Tuesday’s meeting, go home and post the suspension on AfterShock’s Facebook page. Then deal with the emails and phone calls of our kids, their parents and our sister youth group for the rest of the night... Some are grief stricken, others are mad and others are not surprised... They said they already feel like second class citizens in the churches in this area. We are telling you with all assurance that there are kids we will never get back and the ministry as a whole will take a very long time to recover from this action.
We believe we have biblical basis (Matt 18:15-19) to know at least what we are accused of, if not who is making the accusation. Not knowing has been wholly unfair to us and those we serve. We have always been extremely cautious to be above reproach in our actions with the kids both at youth group and when they visit our home. We believe we conduct our family life in an honorable way, both striving to live a Godly life and dealing with sin as it crops up. The content of youth group is always discussed with Ray in advance, and Paul’s lessons are always biblical and in alignment with the beliefs of CLFC.
As for how this effects Paul & I and our family as a whole. Paul is angry (and so am I to a point), and we are both hurt. We both feel called from the Lord to serve and love these teens and feel like the rug has been ripped out from under us. We both feel like not informing us of what we are accused of is incredibly unfair and has sent our entire household into turmoil. We feel like Ray, the person we have trusted all along in this ministry is not only treating us in a hurtful way but more importantly an unbiblical way. We feel like our integrity has been called into question. We have searched our hearts and actions and can only assume at this point that whatever we are accused of is either something blown way out of reasonable proportion or outright slander. Even if this issue is fully resolved quickly and publicly and our names are fully cleared (as we are confident they will be) there will always be people who question our integrity. There will always be people who, due to the extreme actions taken by Ray and the leadership will never fully trust us again. We want you to know, the price of this choice is permanent to both us and for the foreseeable future to this ministry. This is something that Paul and I will have to live with, but it hurts us to know that this wound was inflicted by our pastor and church leadership.
We are also coming up on the wedding of our oldest daughter that will occur during this sixty day period. This should be a joy filled time in our household, but instead we are all in various states of sadness, mourning and anger. This black cloud will hang over our heads on that special day. In the absence of actual facts as to why this was done we have only been left to imagine what the reason/accusation could possibly be. We have as a couple and as a family searched our hearts & actions and are at a total loss as to why this has happened. There is sin in our lives as there is anyone’s but nothing we are not dealing with and most certainly nothing that would preclude us from serving in this ministry.
We were repeatedly told by Ray on Tuesday that we just need to “trust him” and he will contact us when he can start “walking through the next steps with us.” At this point we must be honest, although we always have tried to trust Ray right now we don’t. We feel betrayed by him and the church leadership. We have in good faith served the youth of CLFC both giving freely of our time and finances. The very fact that Ray went out of town for any reason, short of a family emergency, when there is something this huge going on in the church he is called to pastor further undermines that trust. If he truly believes Satan has a foothold anywhere in his overall ministry and that it is deep rooted enough to suspend operation of any ministry, we believe that should be his first priority. We received an email from him asking us to meet next Wednesday, and although Paul will be at work at the time suggested, we hope he will be free at another time that day. We request that from this point forward that a member of the church leadership sits in on and participate in any meetings we have with Ray. We still believe we are called to CLFC and to work with the youth here and would like to resume that as quickly as possible.
Rebecca & Paul Dorobis
There you have it... My next post will be about the out come so far...
Thanks for listening,