Those who criticize Memorial often do so from beyond our walls. I write as one who worships weekly in her pews, who has walked with Greg Johnson through the last five years of controversy, who has seen the toll it has taken upon my leaders and the resources of our church– resources which should have been devoted to the care of the flock and the service of our community.
Dear brothers and sisters of the PCA,
I am a wife, mother, and member of Memorial Presbyterian Church. In 2017, I accepted a part-time staff position at Memorial, completely unaware of the controversy that would consume our church in the years to follow. That role gave me a unique vantage point from which to witness our pastors living out their faith and ministry with integrity and humility. They have made every effort to speak well of the brothers in the PCA who disagree with us, who have pursued judiciary measures to ensure that the gospel is not compromised within our denomination. Please know that we do not disagree; we also desire the peace and purity of the church.
Those who criticize Memorial often do so from beyond our walls. I write as one who worships weekly in her pews, who has walked with Greg Johnson through the last five years of controversy, who has seen the toll it has taken upon my leaders and the resources of our church– resources which should have been devoted to the care of the flock and the service of our community. The atmosphere in my church today is one of profound grief and fragility. The charges against us feel unrelenting and disheartening. If we are in error, please come sit with us and help us understand our sin. Please stop talking about us and come talk to us.
That is why I was dismayed to discover that our session’s letter, which had only been shared with our congregation and the Missouri presbytery, had been reported and reposted online. That letter was never intended for the public— not because we have anything to hide, but because it allows the world to scrutinize our pain and anguish. In this age of technology, I am not surprised that our letter was discovered; but brothers and sisters, I am concerned that we have allowed technology to distance ourselves from each other. People can keep an eye on us from afar. People can read about our process. But who will join us in our pain? Who will weep with us as we make this decision?
So today I appeal to you to remember that whether Memorial stays or leaves the PCA, we are still one body with one Lord. You will still be our brothers and sisters in Christ. We will still share the same table each Sunday. I long to see the unity of the church, a body that is not characterized by strife and division but by peace and charity, where our Savior is glorified and where the world might know us by our love.
Karen Kallberg is currently a student at Covenant Theological Seminary. She served on staff at Memorial Presbyterian Church from 2017-2022.