Friday, December 21, 2007

Heartland Presbytery Called Meeting Summary

On December 18, 2007, Heartland Presbytery had a called meeting to work through business brought before it by the Committee on Ministry.

The Moderator of the Committee on Ministry, Rev. Brian Ellison and the Moderator of the Administrative Commission, Rev. Leslie King made brief presentations before each motion (1a, 1b and 2). Rev. Kirk Johnston presented following their presentations. Each motion was thoroughly discussed and the presbytery was led in prayer before each vote. The following motions were approved:

1a.That the presbytery concur with the Administrative Commission and Committee on Ministry that the Reverend A. Kirk Johnston has "after consultation and notice, persisted in a work disapproved" by the presbytery and presume that he has renounced jurisdiction (G-6.0702), effective November 18, 2007, directing the Stated Clerk to remove his name from the roll and take such other actions of an administrative character as may be required by the Constitution.

Vote results: 131 for Motion 1a and 35 against Motion 1a.

1b. That the presbytery concur with the Administrative Commission and Committee on Ministry that the Reverend A. Kirk Johnston has "accepted membership of any character in another denomination" (G-11.0416) since November 18, 2007, directing the Stated Clerk to delete his name from the roll, and take such other actions of an administrative character as may be required by the Constitution. The presbytery proceeds in this action with a sad heart and offers its prayers for God’s grace and blessing in the future ministry of A. Kirk Johnston.

Vote results: 148 for Motion 1b and 10 against Motion 1b as amended

(The second sentence was added as an amendment.)

2. That the presbytery determine that any further pastoral or ministerial activities by A. Kirk Johnston (G-6.0200) in connection with "Lighthouse Presbyterian Church of Paola" or any other worshipping community within the geographic bounds of Heartland Presbytery--including, but not limited to, preaching, leading worship, or the administration of the sacraments of baptism or the Lord's Supper--is disapproved.

Vote results: 108 for Motion 2 and 39 against Motion 2

From the floor, Rev. Brian Ellison, Moderator of Committee on Ministry moved that the previously adopted motions 1a and 1b both be amended so that effective date in each motion is December 18, 2007.

Votes results: 143 for and 0 against

The presbytery did their work with faithfulness and diligence, listening to the Committee on Ministry and the Administrative Commission’s report and Rev. Kirk Johnston’s responses to those presentations. Heartland Presbytery Moderator Sunok Pai led the presbytery in prayer and song prior to adjournment.

Rev. A. Kirk Johnston has been removed from the roll of Presbyterian Church (USA) ministers of the Word and Sacrament effective December 18, 2007, based on G-6.0702 and G-11.0416.

Minutes for this meeting will not be released until the presbytery has approved them at their next stated meeting.

Vote counts for motions 1A and 1B have been corrected in this posting. 12/19/07 3:20 p.m.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church votes to leave PC(USA)

St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church: 132 E Union St., Somerset, PA 15501 (No Website)
  • 320 Members, Weather produce low turnout.
  • Pastor Keith Fink: No Comment
  • Vote: 173-10 to leave to EPC
  • Redstone Presbytery will next meet in March
  • It must determine whether the church can keep its property and to dismiss.
  • The presbytery includes 85 churches
  • “The congregation has been discussing this subject for approximately six months,” Elder Linc Van Sickel said.
  • They may merge with St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, if it leaves too.
News Coverage:

Monday, December 17, 2007

How to Handle the Troubles in PC(USA)?

I have been reflecting on Pastor Lyn's blog on PCUSA Troubles back on Aug 10, 2007 again. The latest trouble with Heartland, called my attention to her blog again. She is not interested in PC(USA) just serving Jesus. So I decided to try and organize the different viewpoints on how to respond to the troubles. For more resources see New Wineskins paper. First what are the troubles:
  • Confusion
  • Idolatry
  • Wrangling
  • Peace, Unity and Purity
  • Bureaucracy
  • Religious Pluralism
  • Crumbling Standards
Second, how does one respond? Moderation is often taught in the Bible and yet Revelation, speaks of spitting out the luke-warm. I wonder where Pastor Lyn stands in this range?

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)

  • Emulate the three monkeys: Do nothing, Say Nothing, Hear Nothing
  • Do Nothing: do not attend Presbytery or New Wineskins, or Confessing, or other groups.
  • Say Nothing: no matter what PC(USA) does, do not interfere.
  • Hear Nothing: Do not read Layman, or any blogs on the troubles.
Indifference: Go about Jesus's work, ignore the troubles.
  • Jesus threw out the money changers, etc. - Should be a house of Prayer.
  • Jesus criticized the leaders for poor leadership.
  • Too much time on troubles, not enough for Jesus.
  • The often quoted, "...then they came for me"
  • If do nothing to correct a wrong, I am guilty of enabling the wrong do-ers.
Stay and Fight: Try to bring PCUSA back to bible.
  • Be salt to PC(USA).
  • I was born Presbyterian and I want to die Presbyterian! (nevermind that PC(USA) is was born in 1983 and is only partially related to the two previous denominations.)
Leave PC(USA)
  • Jesus telling the Apostles to shake the dust from their feet.

Out for Revenge?

Rev. Parker T. Williamson (editor emeritus of the Presbyterian Lay Committee) has a commentary on the Paola First Presbyterian Church vs. Heartland Presbytery. The article show that Brian D. Ellison (Moderator of the COM) may be out for Revenge against the pastor at First.

Are these Google results all for the same Rev. Ellison? If they are the same person, it paints a very dark picture for Heartland.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

PRAYER REQUEST - Disaster in Oklahoma

An Ice storm of record setting size struck Oklahoma Sunday and Monday. I was able to tour the Tulsa area Tuesday. Almost every tree has damage, many of them only have trunks left. Power is out to most areas. I had much difficulty if finding a fast food place to eat, the few that had power, also had long lines. One Wal-Mart, I visited had no oil lamps, no candles and huge crowds. The few gas stations that had power, had lines into the street. Almost every stop light was out. You would get to an intersection with working lights and find that only one corner had power. At one shopping center, the "mall" had power and the out-parcels where closed. On Sunday, it was the opposite. Some of the homes will not have power for as much as 10 days. OKC may be even worst. The State has declared a state of emergency in most areas. Most of the hospitals in Tulsa are on emergency generators and will only take emergency patients!

Please pray for the victims(no homes), the stores (no income), the workers fixing power, phone, cable in the cold and working long hours and far away from home. UPDATE: We should also pray for Police, Fire (many house fires due to candles), EMS, Road crews, Tree crews. They are working many long hours in the cold as well. 4,000 electric crews have come in from out of the area to help. Over 20 people have died in the area and many more are hurting.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Timberridge Property Battle Timeline

Disaffiliate VS Dismissal Layman has through coverage of the court case between Timberridge Presbyterian Church in McDonough, Ga. and the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. Documents:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fair Oaks PC and FPC Roseville, CA Dismissed by Presbytery.

From the Fair Oaks PC website:

Sacramento Presbytery Affirms Agreement

"The Sacramento Presbytery, in its regular meeting of December 2, 2007, held in Chico, voted to affirm the terms of the negotiated settlement recently reached by teams from FOPC and the Presbytery. The vote, 146-18, gives the go ahead for FOPC to be dismissed from the the PC(USA), with its property, and affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church as of January 1, 2008. In a similar vote (153-11) the Sacramento Presbytery also dismissed First Presbyterian Church of Roseville. The next step is for official documents to be signed and filed by the parties. Please be in prayer that the process will continue to be gracious and smoothly reach a positive conclusion on January 1."

From the Sacramento Presbytery website, the proposed agreements.

  • Fair Oaks: $250,000 over 10 years
  • Roseville: $160,000 over 8 years
  • Transfer Pastor's to EPC or labor out of bonds
  • Roseville: Not terminate Pastors for one year
  • Drop Lawsuits.
  • Contact Members asking if they want to stay in PC(USA)
  • No Endowments in PC(USA)'s name
  • No Debt naming PC(USA)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

EOP vs Kirk update

EOP has spent $133,058 this year on legal expenses as of Sept 30, 2007

Presbylaw temporary site.

Announcement Policy

If you have comments, corrections, or updates to this website please email me: PRESBYLAW webmaster or leave a comment.

If you wish to make a church announcement of a vote or lawsuit, I will need to verify. You either need to send it via a email that I can publicly verify belongs to the church, or point to a website with a news story, or official church website. Contacting the layman may be a better route.


FEED PCUSA List Feed Atom Feed of Blog Posts
EMAIL PRESBYLAW webmaster Comments, corrections, updates
NEWS PRESBYWEB: Viewpoint PCUSA Property Trust History Disputed By Jeffrey C. Francis
PDF Memorial Park on Seperation Bulletin Insert for May 6th
Web Kirk's Legal Docs (pdfs) Kirk Of The Hills, Tulsa, OK
PDF PCUSA Articles of Incorporation Churches can't be a member of the PCUSA according to its own articles of incorporation
PDF Legal Strategy #1PC(USA)'s Legal Strategy for churches wanting to leave
PDF Presbyteries Process #2 PC(USA)'s Process for churches wanting to leave
Doc Secret Document #3 News about a third secret document
PDF Process Administrative Review Process from the Synod of the Northeast
PDF Presbytery Of New Covenant Process For Addressing Churches Seeking To Withdraw From PC(USA)
PDF Wabash Valley Presbytery Separatist Task Force
Doc PC(USA): Constitutional Musings: Note 12 Responding Pastorally to Troubled Churches
Doc PC(USA): Advisory Opinions: Note 02 Dissent and Defiance
Doc PC(USA): Advisory Opinions: Note 03 Administrative Commission
PDF PC(USA): Advisory Opinions: Note 11 Church Property
Doc PC(USA): Advisory Opinions: Note 17 Schism
Doc PC(USA): Advisory Opinions: Note 19 Implementing the Trust Clause for the Unity of the Church
Web Presbyterian Outlook Statement about resources prepared by the Constitutional Services Department and the Office of Legal Services at the General Assembly level of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Web Stated Clerk, GAC chief urge churches not to defect from PC(USA) We are better together in Christ's Unity

PC(USA) News Service

Presbyterian Google News

IRD Presbyterian News

The Christian Post


Denomination NameParentLocationSizeYear
United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. - UPCUSA(N) PUSA & UPCNA New York City8,909/2,342,4411958-1983
Presbyterian Church in United States (Confederate) - PCUS(S) Presbyterian Church in United States Atlanta, Ga.4,250/814,9311861-1983
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) PC(U.S.A) UPCUSA(N) & PCUS(S) Louisville, Kentucky11,596/3,122,213June 10, 1983
Evangelical Presbyterian Church EPC UPCUSA(N) & PCUS(S) Livonia, MI67/19,000 (1982)1980/1981
Presbyterian Church of America PCA PCUS(S) Lawrenceville, GA260/41,232May 18, 1973
Orthodox Presbyterian Church Presbyterian U.S.A. Willow Grove, PA 300/20,417 1936
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church Associate Presbytery/Reformed Presbytery Greenville, SC 250/40,392 1782



News Crosswalk The Intersection of Faith and Life
News Church Report National business news magazine
NewsPC(USA) NewsPresbyterian Church (U.S.A.) News Service
NewsSave Hollywood PresLinks to news about PC(USA) Troubles
NewsThe Layman OnlineTHE News Source about PC(USA)
NewsLayman - propertyThe Layman - Property Issues Archive
Blog Reformed Pastor EPC Pastor - Church Planter
BlogFull Court PresbyPastor Lance's Blog to his Congregation about PUP etc.
BlogClassical PresbyterianBlogging for the Reformed Resistance in the PC(USA)
BlogAnderson SpeakCommentary on Faith, Christianity, and the PCUSA by Noel K. Anderson
BlogBayou Christian Bill Crawford, Pastor First Presbyterian Church of Thiboduax
Blogblog 137Pastor Dave Moody, Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Sparta, IL.
BlogTruth in Love NetworkA group of Presbyterian elders who are concerned with the direction of the PC(USA).
BlogMark D. RobertsProfessor & Senior Pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church, CA
BlogInstitute on Religion and Democracy25 years of working to reform the social and political witness of American churches
Blog The Berkley Blog James D. Berkley, Director of Presbyterian Action
BlogTom's ThoughtsTom Gray, Co-Pastor, Kirk of the Hills, Tulsa, OK
WebStand to ReasonChristian Ambassadors for defense for classical Christianity
WebPresbyterian ForumWorking for reformation through overt political action
WebWiki:PresbyterianWikipedia's Presbyterian Overview
WebKirk Of The Hills, Tulsa, OKChurch in Tulsa, OK - Fighting for its Property.
WebKirk's Legal Docs (pdfs)Kirk Of The Hills, Tulsa, OK
WebKirk Docs (text)Kirk Of The Hills docs, Converted to text
PDFLegal Strategy #1PC(USA)'s Legal Strategy for churches wanting to leave
PDFPresbyteries Process #2PC(USA)'s Process for churches wanting to leave
DocSecret Document #3News about a third secret document
PicPresby Chart 1Chart showing the history of breakups and mergers (standard)
WebPresby Chart 2Presbyterian Church History-Lesson 13-An Overview of Contemporary American Presbyterianism
WebPresby Chart 3 (text)History of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Web Presby Chart 4 Denomination Family Trees (Interactive)
WebPresby Chart 5 ARPC Denomination Family Tree
WebMaps of ReligionsList of Many Maps of 2000 Census Data on Religion
PicMap: CountyMap of Denominations by County
Pic Map: Presbyterian Map of Presbyterian's as percentage of Population
Web ARDA Association of Religion Data Archives
PPTReport on PUPNew Wineskin's Report on PUP
PDFReport on PUPNew Wineskin's Report on PUP
PDFBook of OrderOfficial PDF Copy of Book of Order for PC(USA)
PDFBook of ConfessionsOfficial PDF Copy of Book of Confessions for PC(USA)
WebAdvisory OpinionsPC(USA) Stated Clerk Advisory Opinions (not binding, nor authoritative)
WebPC(USA) Constitutional MusingsOffice of Constitutional Services - Unofficial Thoughts
WebPC(USA) Amicus Curiae BriefsStated Clerk & AC on Litigation - Friend of the Court Briefs
WebGAPJC PC(USA)PC(USA) General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission Decisions
WebPension Board PC(USA)PC(USA) Board of Pensions
WebFoundation PC(USA)Presbyterian Foundation, New Covenant Trust and New Covenant Mutual Funds
WebPC(USA) BOO AnnotatedPC(USA) Book of Order - Annotated
WebPresbyterian CoalitionWorking for a Revitalized Church
WebConfessing Church Movement1,314/434,697
WebNew WineskinsNew Wineskins Association of Churches(2001)

Usage: This information, including formatting/html,..., may be used by other sites, without limit. In Fact, I hope somebody would take over, with more time on their hands.

Blog Archive