Sunday, November 30, 2008

a hard day and a harder week

The week past has not been one I’d want to repeat. Immensely challenging, one of my loneliest in leadership. I’ve had excellent friends and a wonderfully supportive Board, but am still tasked with carrying some cans.

I’m not sure about posting what follows or not, but given the ability of humans to second guess and insinuate, the need for facts is important, so I am placing the following two statements on my blog and also on the church website. Statements – updated – (from Fairhalls and church were available for a period, then taken down.)

And below this is the accompanying verbal announcement that I made to the church today:

The Fairhall family want to take up a 9 week interim pastoral position (December/January) with Oamaru Baptist Church, effective Sunday 30 November. This means Craig is unable to fulfill his responsibilities here at Opawa and therefore Craig has chosen to resign. We regret this situation and how it has evolved.

Given the short notice, we are asking Craig and the family if they would be willing to return for an evening in February 2009. We want to acknowledge to them that what has happened is not ideal and to thank them for their ministry among us.

The Board realise this might raise questions and a range of emotions. To help us process this Steve and various Board members will be available, informally
after service today, 30 November, West Wing, 15 minutes after morning service
after service next Sunday, December 1, West Wing, 15 minutes after morning service
Tuesday evening, December 9, church auditorium, 7-8 pm

Now, please, before you hurry away, pause and pray for all those impacted by this – Fairhalls and Opawa, myself and Oamaru, church staff and God’s Kingdom. There is so much life around Opawa at the moment – people finding faith and significant wider community transformation – and nothing should steal away from that.

Posted by steve at 09:28 PM


  1. I’m sure this is painful at this time but so often we avoid clarity and openess in similar situations in churches. Hard as it is to do this I think it’s the right approach.
    I’ll pray for Opawa and Oamaru as you enter your mid-summer Advent and Christmas

    Take care – I was just re-jigging your signs of the kingdom idea for Advent and will post that tomorrow.

    So much about local church ministry is fabulous, energy-giving and wonderful. Sometimes we have to go through pain to get to the joy. Trust that God is a God of new beginnings – for everyone.


    Comment by jane — December 1, 2008 @ 1:49 am

  2. Opawa is a great church! I love being a part of it and a huge part of that is you Steve and Lynne. Extra pair of hands me be needed, so Steve, yell out if can do anything to help as I will be on holiday soon (will be away for some of it). Prayers will be said. J

    Comment by Jo — December 1, 2008 @ 5:23 pm

  3. thanks heaps Jo and Jane.


    Comment by steve — December 2, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

  4. Baptist friends in the UK are praying for you all there.

    I was reading this prayer this morning from “Celtic Daily Prayer” by the Northumbria Community, and it seems fitting to share it, with the church there in mind:

    You Pour life into me,
    giving me speech, sense, desire,
    giving me thought and action.
    My fame or repute will be
    just as You allow:
    You mark the way before me.

    As I remember saints
    who have journeyed before me,
    Lord, teach me the way of their simplicity;
    strength with humility,
    at peace in the fear of God.
    May I also go where I am led.

    The keeping of Christ about me
    the guarding of God within me
    to posess me, to protect me
    from drowning, danger and loss,
    the gospel of the God of grace
    from brow of head
    to sole of foot,
    the gospel of Christ,
    King of salvation,
    be as a mantle to my body.

    All I speak
    be blessed to me, O God.
    All I hear
    be blessed to me, O God.
    All I see
    be blessed to me, O God.
    All I sense
    be blessed to me, O God.
    All I taste
    be blessed to me, O God.
    Each step I take
    be blessed to me, O God.

    On your path, O my God,
    and not my own,
    be all my journeying.
    Rule this heart of mine
    that it be only yours.

    Grace and peace

    Comment by Jonathan — December 2, 2008 @ 11:59 pm

  5. […] On Thursday as i helped cut ballet costumes for Kayli’s end of year recital, my cell phone rang with bad news. […]

    Pingback by Lynne Taylor » Thanks for that! — December 3, 2008 @ 10:27 am

  6. the statement from the fairhall family begins with ‘ to be printed and read out’. I dont know this family but would imagine that you will have asked them to display their letter on the internet ?

    Comment by Bee — December 9, 2008 @ 8:50 am

  7. hi bee,

    “printed and read out” meant that it was both read publicly at the one service – and was available to any and all on paper after the event. we are a multi-congregational church, with lots of people who don’t attend every week, and who keep up with our life through the website/s. so the point of a “printed letter” was about going into the public domain in all its forms,


    Comment by steve — December 9, 2008 @ 10:21 am

  8. Bee, the correct answer to your question is that the Fairhalls did not know that it was to be posted on the web. The assumption that because Opawa is a multi-congregational church and has some people who keep up with the life of the church through the website(s) does not mean that they were aware or gave their permission for something that was to be printed and read out at a morning service to be put in the public domain in all its forms.

    Comment by Cautious — December 10, 2008 @ 2:08 pm

  9. Cautious,

    you have now created a triangle where people speak on behalf of others. both statements were photocopied front and back and put side by side on the internet to ensure equal voice and allow those not present to hear equal voices but I’ll happily talk about changes if I’m contacted directly by Craig.

    And as I concluded the above post: “Now, please, before you hurry away, pause and pray for all those impacted by this – Fairhalls and Opawa, myself and Oamaru, church staff and God’s Kingdom.”

    steve taylor

    Comment by steve — December 10, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

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