To the members of the Church Council, in Christ Church Sandymount,
I have been asked by the members of the Being Presbyterian Committee to write to assure you of our concern and prayers for you all at this time of uncertainty. We are especially aware of the strain which Katherine, your minister and our own valued member, has been placed under by the prolonged investigation by Presbytery, but of course we know that this has been a stressful time for all of you on the Council and indeed, all members of Christ Church. Steven and Roy have been, and continue to be, very much in our thoughts and prayers.
As the process continues within the courts of the Church it is not appropriate or helpful for us to comment on the investigation being carried out by Presbytery. However, we do recognise there are underlying issues which will need to be addressed by the whole Presbyterian Church in Ireland in the near future. As members of the Church, we hope and intend to be able to fully participate in those discussions.
Setting out a Road Map for its priorities, Being Presbyterian has stated: “We affirm that God models a unity-in-diversity in which all are called to life in the church. We therefore pray and work for a church in which none who respond to that call are excluded on the basis of age, class, colour, ethnicity, gender or sexual identity… a church in which a lively diversity is nurtured, held in Christ and bears the fruit of the Spirit.” While we recognise that currently not everyone may agree with this vision, we are committed to working towards a time when it becomes a reality in our own denomination.
A good example of the “lively diversity” which should enrich our lives in Christ has been the long association of the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches in Sandymount. We know that the working together of both denominations has been important to many of you and are saddened to learn that the alternating ministry scheme will soon come to an end. This will, of course, mean significant change for you all, not least in pastoral ministry. Naturally, we wish you God’s rich blessing as you continue in your witness to the area as a Methodist Congregation, but we feel keenly the loss within our Presbyterian family.
May our faithful God continue with you on your journey and surround you with his love.
Lynda Gould (Secretary – on behalf of the Being Presbyterian Committee)