M E M O R A N D U M
TO: Hope United Methodist Church
2203 S 3rd Ave, Marshalltown, IA 50158
FM: Michael J. Merritt
(Contact Information Withheld)
DATE: 10 OCT 2018
Dissemination: Hope United Methodist Church
2203 S 3rd Ave, Marshalltown, IA 50158
Civil Court Case File – Michael J. Merritt
Family Court Case File – Michael J. Merritt
Subj: Ethical Misconduct of Hope United Methodist Church’s Music/Choir Director.
This memorandum has been drafted for the purpose of discussing the current status of Hope United Methodist Church’s Music Director who has been retained after nearly 6 months (JAN 18 – JUN18) of continual updates to the church’s Pastor of her complete disregard to ethical conduct in regards to her position (JUL 17-MAR18).
The current Music Director of Hope United Methodist Church reached out to me in late July/early August of 2017. I had no previous knowledge of who she was or how she acquired my name or means to contact me. As well as how she knew which Michael Merritt on Facebook I was, as I had never met her before and she had no way of knowing what I looked like. I accepted her friend request because she made it known that she was associated with Hope United Methodist Church and she found my name in Hope United Methodist Church’s internal correspondence.
For purposes of privacy I am not communicating the details of this situation in this memorandum, however it is my intention to take the evidence/time line of events I have provided Hope United Methodist Church’s Pastor on several occasions to external leadership after 22 October if I am not granted the following :
1. A written apology from the Pastor in regards to failing to properly handle this situation and replace its current Music Director .
2. A written apology from Hope United Methodist Church’s Music Director ****** ********** in regards to her conduct and malicious use of personal details of my life, and reaching out to my separated wife who will be involved in a Civil Lawsuit in regards to her continued posture of slander, libel, and cyber bullying against myself and my contacts.
3. Dismissal of ****** ********** as the church’s Music Director.
4. A full verbal apology during both church services on an agreed upon date to reverse any possible damage that has been accomplished with the spread of false information that the Music Director received from my separated wife by choosing to reach out to her and involve herself in this situation.
It is my forgiving heart that has delayed me in handling this. I have been forced to take this path due to the lengths and damages that I have been put through to destroy my life, and your Music Director’s choice to maliciously involve herself in the discourse. Then directly lie to me about her involvement when questioned. With respect to my childhood church and a place that was a location of safety for me up until this point. I am attempting to resolve this at the lowest level possible. However I am fully prepared to respectfully submit all correspondence/evidence that I have to this church’s external oversight. I am also leaving on the table any other avenues my lawyer deems acceptable if this situation is not handled properly. My personal life is my business and I am completely disappointed that I confided in someone that represents this church as a member of its committee details of my life in a moment of devastating distress, seeking guidance and spiritual support, and that same information was taken and used for personal reasons to fulfil and obvious personal vendetta against me.
A church is supposed to be a place of worship, a place for the wounded to seek refuge and counsel, and a place for healing. Not a place to be exploited when you are down. If there are individuals within this church’s committee that have the heart and capability to do this, and put personal motives over responsibilities they have been given by this church they should be removed. It completely disappoints me and leaves me in as a state of confusion why this church chose to retain someone with this capability over the safety and health of its members.
This memorandum is to address this breach as well as the church’s failure to properly handle it. A Pastor has a legal obligation to protect privacy. However I believe it is a common expectation that if personal information (life events, sins, etc.) are communicated to a person that represents the church leadership Deacons, Music Directors, Committee Members, Sunday School teachers, and people that have been given a position of leadership to lead and mentor the wounded and those seeking hope and spiritual guidance. There is an expectation to privacy. There is an expectation that this person can be turned to for help.
I have served over 100 cease and desist letters to individuals and institutions involved in my separated wife’s dialog of false criminal allegations that have already been disproven by the United States Navy Fleet Family Support Center and the Ramona California Police Department. If you have any concerns or questions you can refer to my recent public Facebook post (09 OCT 18). If you wish to contact me I can be reached on Facebook. I have withheld my contact information. Due to obvious concerns of protecting my privacy and this church’s failure to protect it in the past. As well as harboring a person of leadership that went out of her way to exploit it.
Michael J. Merritt