I could not believe the letter I was reading. My long-time friend, one of our elders, had resigned and written a scathing critique of my theology and sermons. Just last June we had gone fishing together in Idaho. Now he was informing me that he had officially contacted the bishop, seeking my removal.

"How could he do this to me?" I muttered, trying to decide if I felt more despair or anger.

Just the week before, I had learned that my next door neighbor was suing me and the church. He was naming me a defendant in the case over an incident that had occurred in the driveway shared by his house and our parsonage. Our son had accidentally hit the neighbor's car as the two of them were backing out together. The neighbor had for years complained about the on-street parking problems and noise whenever we hosted gatherings in our home. This was his perfect opportunity to exact revenge.

The suit named both me and the church since the parsonage driveway was church property. He claimed the accident had ...

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