Note from Silenced: It appears UCG is continuing its long reign of internet censorship that started on its own website, crept onto its Facebook fan page, and seems to have become a rule they are using their pastors to police. The following is a letter sent from a UCG member to Kansas pastor Ed Dowd, the minister who dropped the hammer on the ‘offender’ in this incident.
Mirrored via UCG Current Crisis
According to the member, “He (Mr. Dowd) called her up and told her that several people had contacted him and told him that she “like” ‘d a post a fellow member put on his wall. It was the “Open Letter to Minister”. He asked her if she still liked it. She said yes. He asked her if she still supported it. She said yes. That’s when he lowered the boom.”
The following is the email sent by the members daughter to Mr. Dowd
I am writing this letter in response to your announcement during services in the Wichita, Kansas congregation this past Sabbath, Dec. 4, 2010, that you announced the suspension of my mother, Arlene Henderson, from church. I have attached to this e-mail a 4 page section of the Official Church’s Policy Manual titled Suspension and Disfellowship - Member, which was formally adopted by the council in August of 1999. I have heard from many people who felt that this was totally wrong and SHOULD NEVER have happened.
I would like to believe that a new minister that was not familiar enough with the policies and application of his responsibilities had mistakenly announced (in our sister church in Salina, Kansas) that my mother was suspended from church. But since your father-in-law, a long-time minister in the church, John Elliott, was there and gave the Sermon that day could have counseled you on the policy prior to your announcement in Wichita, but you still announced it in our congregation.
As the paper states, “It is not recommended that the membership be publicly notified of any suspension, unless it becomes absolutely necessary....Notifying the membership of the suspension can make it harder for the person to feel comfortable returning to church.”
On a more personal note, I feel that it was NOT your place to tell why she was suspended and wouldn’t be in attendance, no matter what your reasoning was. As stated in your very own What Rights Do You Have? if we don’t even have the right to “know why some ministers have been suspended or de-credentialed” how is that my mom’s suspension you felt like we had the “right to know”. Seems like a double standard to me. I have included a copy of your “What Right Do You Have?” paper as a reference to the above statement.
The notification of her suspension was her place and her place alone. If I know my mom, and I most certainly do, she would have been more than willing to tell anyone (that would most certainly ask her, out of concern for her) why she wasn’t there. But it was NOT your place to do it.
Since this was announced and broadcast via webcast, I am copying it to everyone that heard or might have heard it via webcast or in person. I feel like they all need to know that this shouldn’t have happened.
Diane and Howard Martin
If you would like to read his paper called “What Rights Do You Have?” Below is the link to it.