New Spirit Response

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Church article troubled New Spirit member
As a member of New Spirit Community Church, I was shocked and saddened by the unflattering article, "Two views, same pew?." that appeared in the Oct. 5, 2005 edition of Wednesday Journal. In a world where GLBT persons continue to be ostracized, discriminated against and considered 'less than' citizens, I have found a spiritual haven at New Spirit. I have been a member of this church for four years and I have been very involved in the various ministries offered through our church.

It is here that I come to strengthen my relationship with God, where I find refuge and replenishment for my soul. New Spirit is the home where I bring my family and where my children absorb diversity, learn tolerance and see the wonderful variety of people that God has created.

We are a progressive, independent church that encourages all members to vote and make decisions regarding the directions we take as a church family. All our members are encouraged and sought out to give their input and ideas on how we can continue to grow and do God's work.

I think that we would be remiss as intelligent, conscious human beings if we did not question the motives behind three ex-members who have surfaced after four years in a blatant attempt to derail our ministry efforts. We have and always will be personally engaged to ministering to those who have been abused, abandoned, and kicked out of traditional churches just because of who they are and whom they love. We seek out those individuals who historically have been marginalized within our society and we offer a healing, spiritual sanctuary free from hate and discrimination, where they are loved by God and us as human beings created in God's image.

As always we invite any, and all people who would like to develop or reconcile their relationship with God to come and worship with us, because we are all promised His love and we all deserve His love.

God's. peace.
Victoria Schmadebeck

 

Church member misses New Spirit's possibilities
I read your article about New Spirit Church. I too am an ex-member of the church. I attended the church with my husband and two teenage children. We were one of the few "non-gay" members of the congregation. We attended there for over three years and were very involved. I taught a class on Sunday's after mass/lunch and my husband went by on Tuesdays to clean. My boys helped with mass and my youngest even offered communion at a mass, to Carol Ann Kyrias.

We suddenly had problems with (Pastor) Bradley (Mickelson), as others had, when we found out that he was spreading rumors about other members that has confided in him. Including my family. I never had any problems until then. There seems to be a power struggle whenever he is confronted. I am very saddened by what has happened to that church. We were all a part of the transition to the new building and were very proud of our possibilities. Then it all went to his head. Bigger space = more work....more money....more responsibility.

Bradley does/did have a hair salon in his residence and also allowed a few homeless men to stay there as well. This has always been in question as far as the congregation goes. Using the church property for personal gain always seemed shady. When questioned he would answer that it was voted on within the board. But he bullied the board.

I am not sure of the reason for my e-mail comments?#34;but I am glad that this article was written. It all could've gone so much better.

Marge Smith
Lombard

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