" I apologize for the e-mail that was accidentally forwarded to you by me. It wasn't intended to be sent to your office. As you can tell by the tone, emotions are running high. I take full responsibility for it's contents as it reflects my frustration to what seems as a relentless assault on us after we have done everything required to separate ourselves from the elca. The contents were sent to me by an outside source and I in turn sent it out in haste as a gut reaction to to the most recent letter sent to us. Unfortunately I did not take time to review those listed as recipients. I alone am responsible for this error."
May 13, 2010
Synod Vice President Bill Bartlett asked that I forward his letter to you. Please find it below.
I am in receipt of your note of apology concerning the accidental forwarding to the bishop’s office, by you, of an email intended for ----- ------- and copied to Pastor ----- ------, --- ----- and --- ---------.
Frankly, I am appalled at the rude and offensive nature of this email. This is definitely inappropriate behavior for any person in your congregation, let alone leadership. The person who put this together should be told how inappropriate this is and to stop this behavior immediately. Most certainly the leadership should not be perpetuating it. I understand that emotions are high, they are on both sides of this issue, but I can absolutely guarantee you that there are no emails of this nature being circulated by the synod offices or the synod council.
With that said, I want to address the procedure for a congregation leaving the ELCA. By your email it appears you were surprised by the letter from the bishop, asking the leadership to attend a synod council meeting to discuss Faith’s separation from the ELCA. I am surprised by this. This procedure is clearly spelled out in the constitution, and is being used by synods all across the ELCA. At our last council meeting, we invited another congregation to attend and help us understand why they desire to leave. We are not singling out Faith in any way. I'm sorry if you feel as though we are throwing up road blocks, but I can assure you that is not the case. Our goal is to learn what we can from this experience, support the people who want to stay, and to part amicably wherever possible with any congregation who wishes to leave, after we are sure that the congregation has all the facts. I can also assure you we don't take our responsibilities lightly. I hope this is helpful.
Northern Illinois Synod