It has come to the Church’s attention that your Son is no longer eligible for leadership. Please be aware the Church has done everything in its power to encourage your Son to follow a Christian path. It truly saddens us to say He has not been at all receptive to our loving encouragement.
It is the Church’s belief that those in leadership should set a good Christian example and be a living inspiration to others in the congregation. Your Son, in our opinion, has not been meeting this responsibility.
First of all, we have discussed with Your Son the issue of His attire. Although we do not place a dress code requirement for serving communion, we have received numerous complaints from our Elders surrounding the issue of Your Son serving Communion in what could be described as “weathered” street wear. This has been offensive to some of our members and they feel this is inappropriate and takes away from their Worship experience.
Also, the Church has begun a dynamic new music ministry, and we have seen our worship attendance grow on account of this. We expect our Church leaders to be in full support of this exciting new ministry. For this ministry to be successful, however, it is imperative we accept only those people who possess a solid background in music to participate. Your Son, however, has been encouraging all those who love “making a joyful noise” to take an active role in our music ministry. This has been frustrating for our Music Minister who does not have the time or the resources to work with these people to achieve the professional sound we are searching. We have discussed this with Your Son and have kindly asked him to refrain from encouraging everyone, but He still continues to do so.
Of most concern, however, is Your Son’s poor example He continues to set by associating with prostitutes, alcoholics, divorcees, homosexuals, and non-Christians. The Church can not lend its support to this. We have been forced to keep Your Son away from any outreach with our youth groups due to the complaints we have received from parents. Our members with families do not feel a single Christian male in his 30s should be associating with such groups as Your Son does. This has resulted in suspicion concerning Your Son’s behavior, and His personal life is beginning to be questioned by many of our Church Members.
Please realize the Church has done all in its power to work with Your Son on these issues. We sincerely hoped this was no more than a passing phase and He would soon come around to lead a more Christian life, but this is not what we have observed. We understand You are not fully responsible for Your Son’s actions, however, the Church also feels You have not provided Your Son with proper Christian guidance.
For these reasons, we humbly ask You and Your Son Jesus to seek another Church home. We have worshipped with Your Family for many years, and You will always remain in our prayers, however, we feel strongly Your Family’s departure is necessary for the continued growth and success of our Church.
In Christian Love,
The 21st Century Church
A native of Gary, Ind., Jeffrey Allen Gifford attended the Church of Christ and graduated from Merrillville (Ind.) Senior High School and Purdue University before relocating to Saint Petersburg, Fla. He earned a masters in library and information science from the University of South Florida and worked for the Clearwater Library.