Dear pastors and deacons,
We come to you on this occasion, recognizing that God in His sovereignty has entrusted the leadership of our church family to you.
In many cases, we have known you not only as our pastors and deacons, but also as our friends' dads, as our fellowship counselors, as the persons giving us a ride home after church activities, as our Scoutmasters, as our Chinese School leaders, as our Sunday School teachers, as our homework tutors, and as the guys who grill some of the most mouth-watering barbecue found at any church picnic in Orange County.
You have taught us - both through your words and your examples - so much about what it means to follow Jesus. We know that this has come through great effort and many sacrifices on your part. We will always be grateful for the ways you have blessed our church! We ourselves have enjoyed these blessings, and we thank you so much.
With deep respect for you, we humbly want to express that we see yet another way that you can bless our church.
We ask you, because only you can do it.
We ask you, because our church continues to suffer if you do not do it.
To preface our request, we'll say that we are deeply disturbed by the hostility we have witnessed among you over the last few years. The debates over both the elder proposal and the Personnel Committee's by-law proposal are just two examples of this.
It breaks our hearts that our church's leadership does not reflect the unity God has called us to (1 Corinthians 12-13). It saddens us that our church misses out on the fullness of God's blessings because our church family is a house divided (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).
So then, what we ask is two-fold. First, we humbly plead with you to make it your highest priority - higher than any other issue you might discuss - to truly reconcile with one another.
And second, we humbly plead with you to bring in a church mediation ministry, like Peacemaker Ministries, to help you truly listen to each other, to sincerely ask forgiveness where you have been wrong, and to genuinely forgive each other, "just as God in Christ has forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:32).
We know this will be difficult. We understand that it may require a great sacrifice in its own way, that of pride. But we also believe that by the help of God's Holy Spirit, for Whom nothing is impossible, this can be done!
You have told us that we are the future of the church. You have told us that our opinion should almost count more because of it. We appreciate these expressions of trust.
So as your brothers and sisters in Christ, we plead humbly with you to seize this moment. Let it be said by future generations that this was the moment that the walls of bitter division, cemented over years of hurtful words and actions, began to crumble. Let it be said that it was this pastoral staff and this deacon body that gave CBCOC one of its greatest blessings ever - a leadership group united under Christ.
Please - give us a reason to hope that our church's best years are yet to come.