Congregation stands behind Pastor in response to editor

Christian GilmanLetter to the Editor0 Comments

Paul E. Peterson, Abounding Joy Lutheran Church president, Sartell

Our congregation, Abounding Joy Lutheran Church of Sartell, feels a need to point out some inaccuracies in your editorial of March 9, 2012.  First, you printed Pastor Tom Wright’s “personal e-mail” addressed to your Publisher Janelle and an ad person, Tara, as a letter to the editor. It was a message to notify them of our decision to withdraw our advertising due to the “tone” of your editorials, not a letter to the editor. You even left out a portion of the e-mail that recognized Tara for her fine work with our ads.

You singled out Pastor Tom for pulling the ads due to disagreeing with your political views, but that was not stated anywhere in his note. As indicated above, it is the “tone” and name calling you tend to use with which we disagree. Additionally, Pastor Tom did not in any part of his note “express the Sartell Newsleader’s leftist editorial views are not compatible with the majority of the residents of Sartell.”

In part of your editorial you seem to think Pastor Tom Wright is still pastor at Celebration Lutheran Church in Sartell. Your statement, “I would also bet many, many members of your congregation are not nearly as conservative as you imagine them to be. I know, because several of them are my friends.” Pastor Tom has been leading Abounding Joy Lutheran Church since January 2011. Incidentally, when I asked how many of our members on Sunday knew you, only one did.

Please define for all what a “Letter to the Editor” is versus a note informing the paper of a withdrawal of advertising.

Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight and make the corrections needed.  Or as a great journalist said, “Now you know the rest of the story.”

Author: Christian Gilman

Administrative / Layout Assistant

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