Trinity Lutheran about to lose pastor Around Town, posted by James, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 14, 2009 at 11:57 pm
The situation at Trinity Lutheran should be a clarion call to other church congregations to keep careful watch on the lay people who lead their congregations. Here at Trinity a select few with a grudge against the incumbent senior pastor have conspired to remove him without cause. They have conducted a smear campaign against the pastor and anyone who stands up to defend him.
Let this be a warning to other churches to participate in the leadership process and make their leadership accountable and the processes transparent.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2009 at 12:41 pm
James and John....You are both making comments about a situation you know nothing about. The issues at Trinity are extremely painful for all involved, including the Pastors, the church leadership and lay people. Many of these leaders have been involved at Trinity for more years than Pastor Beard and have worked closely with him over the past 20 years. This is not a situation where a smear campaign has suddenly taken hold. There have been many families leaving the congregation over the past 4 - 5 years because they were unhappy with how Pastor Beard responded in several situations. These families were those who were once very active in the ministries at Trinity who could no longer call Trinity a loving place to worship due to the many distractions. The Bishop and Synod leadership have stepped in to make this process open and provide recommendations going forward. Please don't criticize the church leadership when you do not have any idea of these individual's training or background. This is a last resort, many interventions and dialogs have taken place before the situation got to where it is presently. I pray that all of those involved in this dificult process will come to a solution which will allow Trinity to once again become a loving place to worship. God's blessings to the staff and their families as well as those who have volunteered to be leaders in the congregation I called home for over 10 years.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2009 at 4:48 am
You all don't need all of the details, this is not the National Enquirer or a tell all gossip magazine, just a very unfortunate example of what happened to a church family here in our town. If you're not someone who attends Trinity then go on about your business. I'm sure you can find something else to investigate and stick your nose into. Whether you believe it's hearsay, tall tale, lie, etc is unimportant!
Posted by Someone, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2009 at 6:53 am
The people who are accusing Pastor Beard know nothing about him and should never make a Pastor leave just because they have an issue with the way he preaches. Some have already left because of this, and for that, I thank them. If you have a problem with the way he preaches, then I say go ahead and leave. Also, make sure he knows about this! Who would want to be in their office one day just to have their congregation stand up in the middle of church and say that he should leave since they voted? I encourage all people who love and know Pastor Beard well to vote for him to stay. However, I cannot promise that right after we vote him to stay, that he won't be judged again. He is just waiting another trial...
Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2009 at 8:52 am
I agree that further information should be provided otherwise this is a one-sided story.
If people don't like the way he preaches then they should attend another congregation. As far as I understand it, there is nothing preventing people from doing so. The problem could be with the people themselves. I liken this to what some teachers in the K-12 and university system face. Just because students give someone a bad review does not mean that person is a bad teacher. In many cases, bad ratings come from students who get a bad grade or who are upset at being held accountable for their actions (e.g. if you cheat, you have to bear the consequences) I can imagine many analogies within a congregation such as the one mentioned here. However without further information we won't really be able to comment fully. I do not agree with "Mary" - I don't think she should be telling people what to think or what not to think unless there are further details. Furthermore, just because people ask for details doesn't mean we're all part of a gossip magazine. We ask because we care about the community. If we didn't care, we wouldn't have bothered reading this thread or even responding to it.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2009 at 1:10 pm
it has nothing to do with liking or disliking his preaching. trinity lutheran belongs to the congregation, not the pastor. the pastor is an employee of the congregation. a large number of them have sufficient cause to ask for his removal. the members who do not want his removal are those whose participation at trinity is limited to showing up for sunday services only. the members who want his removal are the ones who by their service and dedication make trinity work. they are the council members, the sunday school teachers, committee members, and all the rest who volunteer their time, money, and talents so that the other members who contribute nothing more than their presence can enjoy events and services.
these people know the real david beard and have plenty of reasons and evidence to ask for an end to his calling. i urge any member of trinity to ask lots of questions from many other members- find out what david beard is really like for yourselves.
i will also add a note of caution- if david beard stays, then whoever stays with him had better be prepared to take on all of the work and responsibilities for all of the events and services, because the ones making the effort now will be gone. that means that you will have to get off of your fat pews and work yourselves or do without. based on what i have seen and heard of you so far, the church will be a hollow shell of its former glory.
Posted by David, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2009 at 1:16 pm
"Comments removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as innuendo, hearsay or specific accusatory information unsupported by facts."
I find it hilarious that you removed my comments which were based on actual personal experience, yet you kept the first comment from the original poster in spite of his unfounded accusations of conspiracy and innuendo of a smear campaign.
I had heard that a member of Trinity was on the staff of the pleasanton weekly, but never thought that they would stoop so low as to infringe on the right of free speech for their own personal reasons. I guess we all know now which side the editor is on in this matter.
Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm
If you disagree with several of the people on here regarding the matter, then bring the details out. There are two sides to every story. If you are going to criticize the pastor then you should be talking about everyone's issue otherwise you are going to appear biased.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2009 at 1:55 pm
Qwerty, I do not believe that the pleasanton weekly staff would allow a post involving details, since they have already deleted one as containing "innuendo, hearsay or specific accusatory information unsupported by facts".
I have already said that those that support david beard do nothing more at that church than show up for sunday services. and these are the very pharisees that condemn those whose service has been long and arduous for the congregation when they stand up for truth. let those that support him risk censorship equally.
the issues with the pastor are well documented, sufficiently so that if necessary could be used in a court of law to force his removal if it comes to that.
its only my opinion, but i would think that a true man of God would put the church and the congregation before himself, and would step down gracefully rather than put his flock through hell.
Posted by Matt, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2009 at 2:36 pm
Qwerty - just the ridiculous comments that you made, comparing a tragic situation in a large group of people's church home (and former church home) to disgruntled students having a complaint about a teacher because they received a poor grade shows your complete lack of understanding of the depth of this problem. If you are so concerned about what is happening go down and join Trinity Lutheran Church, otherwise find something else to worry about. There are lots of folks who need food for the holidays, etc, maybe you should focus your energy on a worthy cause instead of insulting the posters on this blog.
Posted by John, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2009 at 5:42 pm
Sam last I checked the church does not "belong" to the people. I seem to recall that the church is God's thing. Could this belonging thing be the real problem here. Sounds to me like some misguided emotion about your level of service at Trinity. Also thought church service was done "unto the Lord".
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2009 at 8:35 pm
you are taking my comments out of context, and you are commenting on a situation that you are completely ignorant of. part of the problem with david beard is that he has tried to make it his church rather than God's. in a struggle for power and the future of a church between a pastor and the congregation,, the physical and financial assets belong to the congregation according to the church constitution. therefore, in the earthly sense, the church belongs to the congregation, the pastor is an employee, and the congregation decides what is best with God's help and guidance.
and there are indeed lay people there at trinity who work on committees that spend more of their time and money at church than the pastors. perhaps you could spend a little more time in service at a church so that next time you will know what you are talking about.
Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2009 at 11:17 pm
For once I actually agree with Cholo. It isn't right for people to bash the pastor without commenting on BOTH sides of the story. And Matt, my comments are not insulting at all. We are sorry you are so angry about what people are saying on here. If you really are offended by what people have said, then come out and state the comments being made by both sides in the issue at Trinity. That would be the Christian thing to do. Instead of striking out in anger, tell the full story and then you might have our respect.
Posted by David, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:09 am
I think that the only one who is "striking out in anger" is the person who started the thread. Most other comments have been pretty well reasoned and moderate in tone. david beard has unjured a great many people in the congregation and in the nearby neighborhood with his behavior, attitude, and un-Christian like conduct. Enough so that the ELCA (Lutheran) synod bishop and his counselors conducted a thorough investigation recently. the un-biased, objective recommendation of the bishop was that david beard end his call at trinity as the pastor, or in other words resign and move on.
But Qwerty, it seems like its not enough for you to know that there are serious issues at trinity- you have to know all of the salacious details. would it suffice for you to know that nearly all of pastor beard's closest and dearest friends since his arrival at trinity have left the church rather than spend another moment with him?
is it enough that probably the closest friend he ever had in pleasanton is the one doing all he can to have david beard removed? or that the bishop's report cited that one of their greatest concerns was that not once did david beard show any remorse for his actions, or for the loss of several hundred members of the church.
however, the greatest concern of all in the bishop's view was that in all their interviews with david beard he called it "my church", "my ministry", "my teachings", "my vision", "my plans". not once did he mention the name or influence of Christ in any of those things.
david beard is not there to share the ministry of Christ, but his ministry. david beard is not there to share the teaching of Christ but his teaching. david beard is not there to share the vision of Christ, but his vision.
are you getting the point yet? its not just more than half of the congregation that would like to see him move on to the next chapter in his life, the bishop of the ELCA also says it is time for him to go.
Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 17, 2009 at 7:31 am
No, we don't "get" the point, because people keep referring to "salacious" details without ever saying what the exact issues were. There are hints and innuendo, but no actual commentary on what he did.
Posted by David, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm
Matt is correct. Qwerty doesn't care about the pastor or the congregation. its not enough that he has been told the situation was serious enough for the ELCA bishop to intervene. he just wants all of the soap opera gossip.
Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm
Neither Matt nor David are correct. There are quite a few people who have raised valid questions. There are two sides to every story. If you feel confidant in your position (ie David and Matt), then be specific. Don't slam someone in a public forum unless you are willing to present both sides of the story.
We are sorry that you are so upset. If we didn't care about the pastor and the situation or the congregation, those of us asking questions wouldn't have bothered making posts here. In reference to "soap opera gossip", you have perpetuated it by not discussing both sides of the issue.
Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 9:42 am Parent of Two is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Apparently, I'm one of the few that can see both sides of this issue. As a member of the church (at least for now), I can honestly see why people like Pastor Beard. He is personable, friendly, and warm. I have also heard that certain people seem to have had bad experiences with him [Portion removed due to hearsay] and it appears to be essentially a power struggle.
It's become a vendetta with the Pastor stubbornly hanging on, and a very small minority of people trying to pull him down. The problem is that the small minority are the most vocal, most active members of the church, and they are foisting their power struggle onto the rest of the congregation. In private discussions, most parishioners don't have a DIRECT issue with Pastor Beard, the division arises as to what should be done from here.
If we KEEP Pastor Beard, then the angry, active members will likely leave, meaning others will have to fill the void, meaning more work for currently passive members.
If we DUMP Pastor Beard, then the angry, active members will likely eventually find fault with the new Pastor, and we'll be right back where we are now.
And the bishop is right, it's not about the church anymore. Which is why he also recommended that the president resigns, deeming him part of the problem, and not part of the solution.
Posted by David, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 12:28 pm
Parent of Two how can you say that you see both sides of the story when you call this a power struggle between the pastor and a vocal minority? you do realize that many of this so called vocal minority were past and present church council presidents who were also at one time very close friends of pastor beard? do you really think that these people could suddenly one day wake up and want to remove their friend and pastor for no good reason?
most members of the congregation don't have an issue with pastor beard because their experiences with him are confined to shaking his hand as they walk out of sunday services.
you are also very good at distorting the truth. the bishop's report never ever said that the current church council president was part of the problem, but quite to the contrary. here is the exact wording from the bishop's report:
It is the recommendation of the consultation team (ELCA synod bishop) that Mr. (left blank for privacy) resign as president of the congregation immediately. While Mr. (left blank for privacy) has comported himself with the highest of standards of church leadership, it is the belief of the consultation team that the conflict has left him unable to provide leadership to move the congregation through the healing and reconciliation which will be required in the next few months/years. The consultation team also felt that undue criticism from members of the congregation has been placed on Mr. (left blank for privacy) and other members of the church council. His actions were entirely within the scope of his duties as congregational president.
sounds like you are the one with the vendetta. and let me tell you something, without those "active members" who do all the work at the church for you while you sit on your fat pew and enjoy it, that church will fall apart in a year. there won't be a youth group, the women's ministry program is already dead, the music program will dissolve, the sunday school will fail for lack of teachers, and there won't be any more of the congregational social events.
but you will have a pastor who has lost all of his friends at his own congregation, who is directly responsible for driving away over 250 members, and who has destroyed the youth and women's ministries. it's not a vendetta sweetie, just look around at that church and see for yourself.
Posted by Sandy, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 12:34 pm
Or...."Parent of Two".....David Beard stays and the remaining congregants find out exactly what the long time members are taking about. The "passive members" will have to get up and help out in the leadership of the church-which they are not a part of now-they will have to work closely with David Beard and then have to determine for themselves FIRST HAND what the current leaders, council members, etc of the church are talking about.
It will not take them too long to find out what is being brought to the congregations attention right now! It is a vicious cycle that has continued over many years-FAR TOO LONG...and will be doomed to repeat itself if David Beard remains the Pastor of this church.
I urge new members or those who do not "know where this idea is coming from" to consult with their council and fellow members of the congregation who have been involved in the service and leadership of TLC. If you do not feel comfortable doing that, call or email the bishop himself. He has consulted, interviewed and documented his PERSONAL findings re: TLC and put them into a final report for all members to refer to.
Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 2:27 pm Parent of Two is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
"David", Better try your brand of "sweetie" on an actual female next time, your sexism is showing.
Your attitude towards the congregation is showing too. Saying that we, the parishioners, are "sitting on our fat pews" shows the contempt that you have for the congregation. I have no vendetta, you clearly do. Perhaps your emphasis on the youth ministries also hurts your objectivity.
But you're right. I haven't had to work with Pastor Beard. MOST of the congregation is part of the Sunday "hand-shaking", so maybe only a select few have had the arguments with him, but that's my point. YOU ARE THE MINORITY.
Posted by John, a resident of the Stoneridge neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 2:51 pm
It is not about a small group against the pastor. It is not pointing fingers between the small group and the regular church members. The reccomendation is not about how one feels about Pastor Beard. To me it is about a pattern of behavior that has been documented over the years. It is about documentated incidents related to the pastor. There have been attempts to help, council, address issues in the past years. The Bishop reviewed these facts and you see his response. If you are not aware of facts which is driving this action you will have a reaction of your personal experience. If my experience was all positive with Pastor Beard, I would be in support of keeping him. I would have no other basis. However, having the same experience and looking at the material presented by the Bishop creates a different dynamic. We can like and love someone. That doesn't mean we approve of behavior known or unknown. The movie should be out next year.
Posted by David, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 3:07 pm
Sorry Parent of Two, i just assumed that you were a woman because your comments sounded so feminine.
I placed equal emphasis on all of the ministries at trinity that were suffering, not just the youth. Don't confuse me with the former youth minister whom i was glad to see leave.
You are right about just one thing. I do have a certain amount of contempt for members of the congregation whose only contribution to their church is to show up for an hour a week, yet have the unmitigated gall to question the objectivity and motives of people who spend 20 times that in service to the church. you speak of that which is beyond your understanding, and only little wit can excuse you.
its true. there is a minority who do all the work to make trinity what it is, while you sit there and enjoy the fruits of other's labor. to my mind that makes you more of a parasite than a member. that minority includes a large percentage of the oldest members of this congregation and david beard's former friends. they also represent a fairly large percentage of trinity's financial support. we are only a minority because we are the only ones willing to do the work.
but where is my christian charity!? you are cordially invited to step up and put your faith where your mouth is. instead of just that one hour a sunday why don't you join a council committee? teach sunday school? then you too will get to experience the david beard that the rest of us have.
Posted by Sa, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 3:31 pm
good old cholo!
no, nothing to do with child abuse or improper relationships with vulnerable adults. [Portion removed due to hearsay] thats where a lot of this started, with the new building project. it was meant to be a lasting tribute, the final jewel in david beard's crown of his career. his legacy at trinity. it became something of an obession that was included in every sermon for months. he offended a lot of people by making it the regular topic of sermons, and by his expectations and demands for contributions. but i think that it was the public humiliation for him and for all of the congregation members who attended the final city council meeting for the project approval that was the icing on the cake for a lot of members. all he could do was stand there in silence with a red face as the city council provided evidence after evidence of one lie after another that he had told. it was the most embarrassing experience of my adult life. how can he be a man of God and our spiritual leader and tell so many lies? i thnk thats what hurt most people the most. we expect the worst from everyday people, but you don't expect that kind of behavior from your pastor, your spiritual leader. we were crushed. here he was, just another man with an inflated ego and sense of self-importance. do we hold him to a higher standard? yes we do and we should. he accepted a call to be a pastor and as long as he is he should behave like one. his ego and his career have become more important to him than the ministry of Christ he was called to. he could have retired gracefully, a beloved pastor and friend. now he will be forced out, if not by the congregation then by the bishop. and there will be no place for him, no other church in this synod that will have him now. and he will be remembered as the man that destroyed trinity.
Posted by Someone, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 4:27 pm
How did this news become a matter of pointing fingers and blaming others? I think that since this is a church related topic, you all should take matters elsewhere.
Pastor Beard should know about this and not have things like this behind his back. It is chicken of any accuser, and if one has a problem, they should take it up with him directly. Not just grab another person who feels the same on this topic and verbally abuse Pastor Beard while you have the backup of another.
Posted by Sandy, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm
"Someone," the fact is that everyone who has had an issue with David Beard has gone and met with him personally, some on an individual basis, while others have gone in groups.
The man has a way of twisting stories and situations around in his head or better yet, forgetting that anything has happened in the first place. He has stated that he will look further into concerns....and never does a thing about it.
Do you honestly thing that we, as Christians would just come out of no where to start crap about a man.....just for the heck of it? think again. There is only so long that you can turn away or try and forgive a man who does not even know the meaning of forgiveness himself!
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Nov 18, 2009 at 5:12 pm
It sure has gotten low dow and dirty at your church. Are you nuts to suggest that christians have never popped up anywhere and started "crap about a man"? Just give it a rest mes petites...I've been laughing so hard at how nasty some of you are that I need a break.
I'll make sure not even to go within 100 miles of your house of worship. It seems to me that Battlleship Galactica has got a civil war going on...HELP HELP HELP! SHOW SOME MERCY.
this is enough for somebody to go out and gobble up a double bacon cheese...sheeeeesh
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 5:34 pm
Someone- if you read the original post that started this thread, its accusing some members of a conspiracy to remove the pastor, holding a grudge against him, and conducting a smear campaign against him. the original poster was pro-david beard if not david beard himself. the rest of us have tried to respond to those outrageous accusations as best we can without resorting to personal insults. many members of the congregation have already met with david beard to express their concerns and almost every one has been rebuffed by him. i am also certain that if he wasn't the original poster himself, one of his supporters who have posted here would have been sure to tell him about it.
and Cholo, you are more incomprehensible than usual.
Posted by member of another church, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 5:35 pm
Cholo, Why do you feel the need to laugh at these folks. Do you not hear the pain when you read these stories? Is this the best place to talk about this who knows maybe they feel that this is the last resort to try to save the church that they love. Show some compassion please!!
Posted by !, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 6:44 pm
I have been to this church a couple times and have enjoyed Pastor Beard's sermons. I do not know what the issues are however I can tell you that it is DISGUSTING to broadcast any of this on these public boards.
If there were an issue with a governmental employee, then have at it because we all are paying this person's salary.
However, regardless of the issues here, this is a matter between Pastor Beard, his congregation, and the Church. PERIOD.
These issues should NOT be on full display on this board and I am frankly surprised that the PW is allowing this to continue to a private citizen.
Posted by Dear Cholo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2009 at 8:42 pm
Interesting that you can post what you just did:
"I seems like a few of your are having a party, dishing your pastor and loving all the attention.
You wanted attention and you got it. So now tell the truth and put an end to all this gossip.
It all amounts vile gossip and it's directly from the cesspool that is your heads.
Now flush and begone! "
....when it was not more than a year ago that you were posting and posting and posting and POSTING many undocumented quips and opinions about another man of the cloth, without you being a member of that particular congregation. Seems a bit of a double standard, n'est pas?