resignation (part v)

during the winter break one of the parents sent a letter to the pastor recommending my removal – among other things. several events i dont have time to recount predicated this but suffice to say it was mainly based on a fundamental disagreement about the nature of the role i filled and the methodology i employed in that role.

this was just one in a growing series of headbutts.

having my heart burdened for the victims of hurricane ike id spent the fall trying to convince the youth committee that god had given me a vision for our spring break that didnt include snow skiing in santa fe. in our planning mtg i made it clear that they could go skiing if they chose to do so but that i was planning a mission trip to the hurricane devastated texas gulf coast.

apparently this was not made as clear as id hoped and after we became aware of the confusion the pastor called a mtg and supported the mission trip idea. this quieted things leading up to the trip itself but it failed to actually resolve the problem which merely smoldered until after we returned at which point i had to meet with certain individuals and explain it all again.

this is when everything went speedily downhill.

after the intern resigned id texted facebooked and left voicemail on numerous occasions in an effort to rescue the relationship or at least resolve issues but for the remainder of the spring there was no reciprocal communication. the handful of times i was able to make it out to one of the bsm mtgs the former intern avoided me and made quick exits after it was over. this was the status quo for the semester.

in april i took part in a series of conversations with several different people which put me in a precarious situation. several college students and bsm members informed me that the parties had continued with underage drinking regularly taking place. this alone was no surprise but when i found out that the former intern was still active in being a spiritual mentor to some of the teenagers in my care i was given no further choice but to bring the matter into the open.

there was no way around it.

i still wanted to give the former intern an opportunity to be there to hear and respond to the accusations so i made one final attempt to make contact which resulted in a short mtg between us that left me at a complete loss for words. the former intern walked out but then contacted the pastor and several key committee members professing innocence and offering a version of the events that severely betrayed the truth of the matter.

and so it was that a mtg with the committee and other youth parents was called for a tuesday evening. the pastor began by offering a short version of what we knew. he made it clear that we had not been present but that the testimony had been given us by multiple witnesses. he shared the process we had undertaken with the intern at the time and the reason we had not immediately brot the situation to their attention. he explained our desire for reconciliation and not judgment.

he concluded his initial survey of the circumstances and opened the floor and the flood of questions and commentary that followed resulted in an apparent agreement among the group that the former intern was innocent and that i was the real problem. the mtg devolved from an informational expose on the accusations against the former intern for the sake of the potential damage that could be done into an open forum on the distrust borne toward me and my ministry with the youth of the church. i was told that several students had almost lost their faith bc of my teachings and i was accused of fostering open rebellion. i was blamed for the former interns dissatisfaction and departure.

and the seed of my resignation sprouted.

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~ by graceshaker on October 21, 2009.

3 Responses to “resignation (part v)”

  1. Soooooo rather than use this opportunity to let the youth grow and learn how their faith can grow by challenges to their ideas about their faith, they were shielded and left vulnerable to the world and the challenges to come. This could have been a really fantastic time for honest questions from the kids, explanations from you, constructive discussion for all around, but alas that would be just too difficult. Sounds about right. Sorry you had to go through that. Hate to say it, but it’s typical of some denoms.

  2. My nightmares are more pleasant than this. I’ve got friends and family who teach grade school, and they have similar issues, but not to this extreme – but I think that’s because in school they’ve got enough institutional experience with just this sort of thing that systems are more designed to protect the teachers.

    Also, I can’t help but see analogies to your own experiences as a teenager. Really, the idea of being judged by a group of laymen with ideological axes to grind makes my skin crawl.

  3. This still makes me sad. We all want our absolutes. Even when something is not clear we can make ourselves avoid the truth of uncertainty so that we can hold to our illusions of absoluteness. Was it Piper that talked about seeing more gray the older he got?

    I appreciate you writing this down. Wish things could have gone down differently.

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