This letter is an addendum to the letter published on November 20, 2017: Reflections on the SARC Report by Michael Burkley


November 28, 2017

Oops!  That’s what I feel like right now.  I was upset when I wrote my November 17th post that ended up in the Presbytery Blog, and I hope it shows.  I waited awhile before I wrote it to get a bit more perspective on my thoughts about the recent Presbytery meeting.  I should have waited a bit longer!

In the second part of my post I was reacting to the announcement from the Trustees that they were strongly encouraging all the churches to give them the keys to our church buildings.  It seemed to me (at the time) that the Trustees were verging on being bullies in demanding that we “toe the line.”

But I had just written (before and after) that bullying behavior in our presbytery was a very rare thing. I had just written that I would focus on and expect the positive. If I had thought about it, that should have made me a little less quick to see a supposed negative in the Trustees’ behavior.  But apparently, I didn’t think.  Maybe I was upset with the Trustees simply because I was already upset with the SARC report.  Probably not a good idea (a bit of sarcasm here!)

I had sent the original post off to Carl Hasselbarth of the Trustees and soon received a gracious reply from him addressing my concerns.  Thank you Carl.  Then I got a phone call from another Trustee, Donna Elia, listening to me and sharing her insights into the request.  Thank you Donna.  

It seems that I’ve over-reacted.  What I’ve heard from the Trustees doesn’t now look like bullying behavior but rather an attempt to deal constructively, in light of past specifics, with the situations that might come before them in the future.  I might still have questions about the request, but not about the motives behind it. That should have been my default understanding in the first place, but alas, I was upset and let that color my reactions.

I really appreciate those who have gone out of their way to contact me and talk to me about my post.  It’s really good when compassionate people care enough to help me to understand their viewpoints when they think I’ve missed them.  I should be that way more often myself!  What do you think about that?

This letter is an addendum to the letter published on November 20, 2017: Reflections on the SARC Report by Michael Burkley

About Rev. Michael Burkley

Michael has been a pastor for almost 34 years (unbelievably to him) and for over 12 of those years he has had the privilege of serving in Albany Presbytery as the pastor of the Rockwell Falls Presbyterian Church. He is currently serving as the 2020 Moderator of Albany Presbytery and is very glad to be serving God here with us.

The purpose of the Albany Presbytery Blog is to share information, tell stories, and promote the mission and ministry of the presbytery, synod and beyond. While the breadth of this medium is intentionally broad, it is not a platform for opinion pieces related to business coming before the presbytery unless designed as part of an initiative to provide a diversity of viewpoints at the direction of the presbytery. Exceptions to this policy may be brought to the presbytery officers who will determine appropriateness of submissions.