Not all churches are refuges from tro...

Not all churches are refuges from trouble and strife

There are 148 comments on the The Morning Call story from Feb 25, 2009, titled Not all churches are refuges from trouble and strife. In it, The Morning Call reports that:

It does not necessarily take the Inquisition to stir up church strife. Last year, Mary Jane Fonder entered the office of her church in Bucks County and shot Rhonda Smith, an office worker, to death.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Morning Call.

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PTO

United States

#1 Feb 25, 2009
How nice! Hypocrites at their best
Catty Man

Bethlehem, PA

#2 Feb 25, 2009
I used to be a member of this once great church. After Rev. Dunn was no longer in the pulpit, this House of God went downhill- fast!
I continued taking my confirmation classes and enjoyed the fellowship of the congregation and staff, but Rev. Darcy just didn't have what it takes to be a minister of God's word. Always bringing her personal family stories into the sermon started to get rather annoying after say, the 50th time.
With her being a member of the Atiyeh family, there is no doubt she is linked to corruption and disregard for the respect of the congregations' wishes.
As a supposed Christian teacher, she should have the dignity to simply resign and move on with her life.
I am far from the perfect Christian, but I know when enough is enough.
She is the main reason I have lost faith in organized religion.
Whether or not you believe in God or any spiritual entity is irrelavant to the fact she was not doing her job as a deliverer of faith to the people.
Before reading this article, I had no idea the situation had become this crazy.
Filing of criminal complaints against your own congregation members?!?!?!?
How sad.
She put on a good front for several years, but was finally exposed. And now it seems she can't handle the fact she is no longer wanted.
Hopefully, the justice system will take care of this matter to the benefit of Salem UCC.
But ultimately, she will only have One in which to explain herself.

Bless the members of Salem UCC for having to deal with problem!
Perhaps when she leaves, I will return.
cynically crazy

United States

#3 Feb 25, 2009
How refreshing to finally read an un-flattering article about a pastor who is not a Catholic priest that molested a 50 year old " man " 40 years ago.
Smilin Bob

Emmaus, PA

#4 Feb 25, 2009
I don't understand why the parent UCC organization does not get involved?
Catty Man

Bethlehem, PA

#5 Feb 25, 2009
Smilin Bob wrote:
I don't understand why the parent UCC organization does not get involved?
According to the article, it did.
But I guess removing their "standing" has no effect on whether they can continue to preach. Or at the very least, it wasn't enforced. I don't know if she had any recourse to appeal the decison, but after all was said and done and the ruling final, the congregation should have filed charges of trespassing against her.
MC Article wrote:
The problems, according to a consistory statement, go back to 1992, when the UCC's Penn Northeast Conference revoked Darcy's ''standing'' as a minister because of ''abuse of power,''''personal financial gain,'' and other ''issues.''
Marc

Allentown, PA

#6 Feb 25, 2009
There are many fine churches in this area of all religious affiliations. Salem UCC is just a building. If "Rev" Darcy is abusing her position, she will suffer the consequences, if not now, for all eternity. In the meantime I urge all members of Salem UCC to listen to God and follow him to another church that will welcome you and comfort you.
there is no god

Highland, NY

#7 Feb 25, 2009
PTO wrote:
How nice! Hypocrites at their best
an old saying: if you want to meet a hypocrite, go to church!
Marc

Allentown, PA

#9 Feb 25, 2009
there is no god wrote:
<quoted text>an old saying: if you want to meet a hypocrite, go to church!
I agree that there are hypocrites who go to church. They also blog about how they deny God and hate religion. These same people are the first to as for help from above when they are in trouble. Only because there is a merciful God, do any of these pleas for help answered.
Hypocrites, Yes.
No God? I beg to differ.
Staberdearth

Allentown, PA

#10 Feb 25, 2009
..some are shut down.
Staberdearth

Allentown, PA

#11 Feb 25, 2009
Smilin Bob wrote:
I don't understand why the parent UCC organization does not get involved?
I left a UCC church some 25 years ago after its ministry was infested with cosmic muffin new agey feel gooderism. You could sit in church for weeks and NEVER hear the word or teachings of Jesus Christ ever uttered. I would have bet that the local Unitarian Church might have at least mentioned Christ in passing, along with that cosmic muffin good timey feel good glowing orb stuff.
officespace

Charlotte, NC

#12 Feb 25, 2009
Are they still paying her? This has the feeling of the movie Office Space. They realize that they have fired Milton but he hasn't left. They take the path of he'll realize it when he doesn't get his paycheck. Great movie, sad situation.
tryingtorecover

Northampton, PA

#13 Feb 25, 2009
THERE ARE ALWAYS TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY. THE FIRST VOTE AT SALEM WAS TAKEN AND SHE WON! END OF STORY! THE HYPOCITES JUST CAN'T COME TO TERMS WITH IT. REV DARCY AND SALEM COUNCIL TRULY DESERVE ONE ANOTHER! YOU ARE USING SALEMS MONEY "FOR THE GOOD OF THE CHURCH" BUT WHAT YOU DON'T TELL PEOPLE THAT THE "GOOD OF THE CHURCH" IS TO PAY FOR YOUR LAWYER!!! GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE AND TRULY PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH...TURN TO GOD ON THIS ASH WEDNESDAY AND DO SOME SOLE SEARCHING EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!!
Werner

Allentown, PA

#14 Feb 25, 2009
Well, since my name is in the article I guess I can answer a few questions.
She is no longer a UCC Minister - she lost her standing in 1992, it was the members of Salem that voted to keep her at that time, but we were never told what the allegations were, that what just plain stupidity on our part for not asking. Although, at the time I did ask and I was told they were "nit picky things" had I known the truth.
No - she has not been paid since September, but she is there every Sunday in the Sanctuary, since we do not want fighting anymore, at the advice of our Conference, we meet in Fellowship Hall. Yes, we could leave, and many have, but I was there first.
I called Mr. Carpenter and asked him to investigate this after his article about Abe, otherwise, he wouldn't have known, and I am glad someone listened.
No one will listen to us, the police, the government, and I am glad that finally someone did.
1Corinthians: 13-6:Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7:It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Werner

Allentown, PA

#15 Feb 25, 2009
Tryingtorevcover - Oh are you talking about the first vote that Darcy called even before the Church service was over and would not let any speak at. The truth has been buried so long that the lies have become Darcy's truths. And the truth, our Attorney has been paid out of our pockets, except for an initial amount from Trustees funds, and we wouldn't need an Attorney if Darcy would do what was good for the Church and leave, but her ego, and dollar signs have clouded her judgment. Any money given in the general offering goes to pay the expenses on the building and it is a lie to say otherwise. However, Darcy takes money from people and says that is if for the good of Salem and she doesn't even belong there anymore - where is that money going?
cfw

United States

#16 Feb 25, 2009
This is typical of the Atiyeh bullies. Is there any way that the congregation can tell her they want her out or they will cite her for trespassing? Someone needs to help this congregation.
tryingtorecover

Northampton, PA

#17 Feb 25, 2009
Werner! Again, practice what you preach!!! "Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth" You have a habit of smearing people's names and hurting them. That is not love!
You use money from fundraisers to pay for your lawyer and you do not let the community know that it is going towards your lawyer. Good of the church???
Member of Salem UCC

Philadelphia, PA

#18 Feb 25, 2009
During this whole mess with Afaf Darcy ,the former minister, she always states that "she will not leave until she gets what she is owed." Never once saying the "Church". She is always saying the word "I" or "me". With Afaf Darcy, it is not about the "Church" or even "Faith". It is solely about the "MONEY." She has been voted out and just won't leave. She has ruined the Church for her own gain. But states she will leave if the Church pays her $71,000. 98% of the Church hate her. Her husband borrowed over $20,000 from the Church and won't pay it back. This has crippled the Church financially and emotionally. But not spiritually. Hang in there Salem, Faith is on your side.
IT WILL NEVER END

Allentown, PA

#19 Feb 25, 2009
cfw wrote:
This is typical of the Atiyeh bullies. Is there any way that the congregation can tell her they want her out or they will cite her for trespassing? Someone needs to help this congregation.
Not all of the congregation wants her out. I noticed they list things that she has done, but they failed to state the things that they have done. Did you know that they cleared out the church of all the Bibles, hymnals, and took everything off of the alter? How about them shutting off the electricity in the sanctuary? Christian people? As Tryingtorecover stated there are two sides to every story.
Werner

Allentown, PA

#20 Feb 25, 2009
tryingtocoverup - When we have a fundraiser we let people know where the money is going - unlike the Darcys - we pay our bills, or shall I not go there.
To CFW - we tried - we have gone to the police, to the courts - no one will help up. and yes, it all costs money, but people want her out so bad, that they send checks to the church for the attorney.
and I do not have the habit of smearing names, the Atiyeh Darcy name gets smeared without any of my help. Reputations proceed.

Proverbs 6:14 He who plots evil with deceit in his heart— he always stirs up dissension.
Bystander

Philadelphia, PA

#21 Feb 25, 2009
It sickens me to know about all this. If you are not wanted some where get out and go some where else. This makes me appreciate my church and my pastors.

Congregation remember there are other churches and houses of worchip out there.

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