May 3, 2017

An Update concerning recent communications from the Lehigh Presbytery

We have heard from many of you that you are still receiving unwanted emails from representatives of the Lehigh Presbytery and the remaining PC(USA) membership group—specifically from Rev. David Duquette and Pastor Bill Hess. While unfortunately I can’t prevent this, I do want to apologize for it.

As you know, the leaders of the PC(USA) group obtained a church email list in the dismissal process and they continue to use it. Please know these emails have contained numerous statements that are blatantly false, and while I don’t intend to use my weekly letter to respond to such emails on a regular basis, I do invite you to do two things: ignore or opt-out of these emails. Feel free to let Jackie Etter or me know if you have any specific questions. We’ll be glad to answer them.

As for the matter before Judge Barratta, he met with attorneys from both groups last week and instructed them to return with a report in one month. Please know we continue to seek a fair and reasonable settlement agreement with the group that wishes to remain in the PC(USA). You should know we have already made a generous financial settlement offer November 10, 2016, and the Presbytery has not responded to us. We also donated a piece of land to the Lehigh Presbytery many years ago, which they were able to sell last year for approximately $800,000.) Should the Presbytery be unwilling to settle, we will trust our skilled legal team to take us through whatever legal proceedings may come.  And of course, ultimately, we will trust the Lord. We will provide you with further updates once there is something substantive to report. 

As we continue to work toward a settlement, be assured that our main focus will continue to be the mission and ministry of First Presbyterian Church always looking for new ways to love and serve our community and the world in Jesus’ name. I’m honored to be your pastor.

 

Dr. Marnie Crumpler