Northwest Appeal Drama: Why Did Spokane Meeting’s Letter Vanish?
Yesterday we reported that there were eight Appeal letters filed challenging Northwest Yearly Meeting’s expulsion of West Hills Friends in Portland, for being LGBT welcoming/affirming.
For a brief moment, all eight letters were online at the unofficial site www.nwymunity.com. The last two to be uploaded were from Eugene and Spokane.
For a brief moment hey were all there — and then there were only seven.
Spokane’s appeal letter disappeared.
This morning, Cherice Bock, who is managing the nwymunity site, replied to an inquiry about this:
<< One more thing to keep up with…not everyone at Spokane was comfortable with having it posted publicly, so we took it down. Sorry! >>
Sorry, indeed. We copied part of the letter and included it in an update. That was because Spokane was unusually plain-spoken and eloquent in its challenge to the “process” deployed in West Hills’ expulsion by NWYM rulers.
Here’s what Spokane said about that:
But we didn’t copy the whole Spokane appeal (our bad: it’s better practice to capture such documents in their entirety, precisely because they can disappear).
And it’s too bad that a document which challenges so well a process that is shrouded and “self-sequestered,” lacking transparency and “openheartedness,” doesn’t stay open and transparent to those interested, inside and outside the yearly meeting.
Challenging the secretive and arbitrary “leadership culture” in NWYM is a recurrent theme of the appeals. From outside at least, it looks much better when the challengers to that culture walk the talk.