Dear Zion Family,
Over the last few months there has been a fair amount of conflict, of feelings of unease and worry.
Most of this been a direct result of my announcement in June of my intention to transition from Erik to
I did not make the decision to announce my plans in the best way, doing so without giving Council the respect of communicating my intentions with them first. Making that announcement so closely after the announcement of Missy’s departure caused a great deal of additional unnecessary shock and pain. For that I am sorry, and fully admit my failings and fault.
While I did not think that my announcement and decision would be without controversy, it had been my belief that our covenant to be an Open and Affirming congregation would be the base upon which, we as a congregation could unite in our questions and worries, and together find a way forward. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. That is a reality that grieves me greatly.
My love and concern for this fellowship of faith is deep and great. Over the last few weeks it has become clear to me that my continued presence as the pastor of Zion is not a presence that promotes healing, it instead creates further division. Division has never been, and will never be my desire. I wish it were possible for all of the people of Zion to find a way to move forward and find healing under my pastoral leadership; unfortunately, that is not the reality we are living with. During the Council meeting on October 3, I offered my resignation. It was accepted. My last Sunday will be Dec. 30th.
I fully recognize that my departure is not one of happiness and joy. In fact, there is a great deal of sorrow, grief and even anger being felt. By me, and by the congregation. Yet, you cannot allow those emotions to become barriers from coming together as a congregation and finding a path forward together.
My hope and prayer is that the entire congregation will enter into a time of reflection, prayer and decision making. Who is Zion? Who does Zion want to be? What are the hopes and dreams of Zion's membership that will guide and carry it into the future? What has been learned from the experiences of the last few months? Who is God calling you to be? What is the voice God has given you that needs to be heard?
When I accepted the call to Zion four years ago, I did so with a great deal of hope and many dreams of our future together. I prayed that Zion would become a very special place in the Ohio Valley. A place where the love of God was declared and felt by all, where our welcome was truly extravagant. A church where an inclusive and progressive Christian faith would be our claim and our pride. I hope and pray, that you will fulfill those hopes and dreams.
With the Greatest of Hope.
Rev. E. E. Breddin