Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kirk of the Hills - Releases Legal Documents Pt 2

Kirk has added another legal page with these documents: I will update when I check them out. The family "business" went well, Thank You to all those who offered prayers.

Riverside Released to PCA - No Fee

Storm Lake Pilot Tribune: The small Riverside Presbyterian Church in Linn Grove will get to keep its church.
  • Quite Claim Deed
  • Church Records to Presbytery
  • No Fee

Monday, April 28, 2008

News For April 28 - PCUSA grouchy as ever!

Bay PC and Western Reserve Negotiating

"The Plain Dealer" a newspaper for Cleveland, OH has an article on Bay Presbyterian Church negotiating leaving PCUSA with Presbytery of the Western Reserve. Both web sites have documents with their viewpoints on the negotiations. The Presbytery has a new? reason for setting the price of leaving "lost of membership".


  • Amicable end sought, but buyout figure is issue
  • Compensation for the loss of giving and membership.
  • Presbytery initially asked for $3 million over 10 years
  • Presbytery now asking for $1 million over 10 years
  • Church is offering $550,000 over 10 years
  • Presbytery to meet May 28
  • Church to meet May 18

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

IRD under attack or exposed?

The Tri-Cities Personal News and Media Center (timesnews.net) has an article on a film that examines the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD). It appears to be an attack piece. The producer had already decided that IRD is bad, before the film was made. The review, while not meaning to, shows that the film just drips with bias, anger, and closed mindedness. The IRD has a detailed and fact filed response on their web page. At least the film has the integrity to post a link back at the IRD review.

Article: IRD: Renewal or Ruin?

The basic premise stated is that IRD seeks to affect three denominations,
  • United Methodist Church
  • Episcopal Church
  • Move toward rigid doctrine
  • Silence their social witness
  • Undermine the witness of the church by fueling controversy to its own benefit.
In a way, I agree with this assessment. We believe that:
  • The essential doctrines should not change.
  • Much of the so-called social witness, is politics in disguise.
  • The false witness of the church is heresy.
  • The controversy is to HIS glory.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dismissed: Memorial Park PC to pay $575k to leave.

UPDATE:Presbytery approves dismissal and property settlement by a vote of 132-82

UPDATE 2x: Letter from Pastor to Congregation: Vote: 132-82-5

Our Clerk of Session, Jim Belliveau, attended the meeting and handed them a check for $200,000 to seal the deal. Jim said that among the 82 “no votes” there was a good deal of anger and hostility. There was talk of “taking over the property” and some found it hard to believe that there was not a ╩║true church╩║ to be found. A number of people vocalized that they wished the Presbytery had fought “all the way” in court for the property.

Ed: Newspaper got the count wrong (see comments)

Note: Congregation voted: 664-25 to disaffiliate on Jan 19 & 20, 2008. and voted 951-93-4 to request dismissal on June 3, 2007.

Note: The congregation meeting on Sunday, April 13, 2008 will vote on whether to accept this settlement.

Pittsburgh Trib Review: "Pittsburgh Presbytery is expected to approve a $575,000 settlement with Memorial Park Presbyterian Church in McCandless, PA at a meeting on Friday, April 18, according to the Rev. Doug Portz, acting pastor to the presbytery.

The settlement allows Memorial Park to keep its more than seven acres of property, worth roughly $7 million. The settlement also enables Memorial Park to leave the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and join the more conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

Memorial Park had filed a complaint in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court on Jan. 4 seeking a declaration that the church solely owns its property and that the Pittsburgh Presbytery and its parent, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), had no claim to it."

PDF: Feb 6, 2008 Pastoral Letter on Memorial Park (Acting Head of Staff)

PDF: April 1, 2008 AC Letter on Memorial Park

PDF: Full Agreement

PDF: FAQ for Presbytery Meeting

PDF: Presbytery Press Release on Vote to Dismiss.

Friday, April 4, 2008

SC church sues to clarify land ownership.

The Island Packet Newspaper story covers a lawsuit by Providence Presbyterian Church of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina against Charleston Atlantic Presbytery. They also are unhappy with PC(USA):
  • the top-down bureaucracy
  • some theological issues
  • cut their missionaries down to almost nothing
Their website shows they may support more mission work than PC(USA). (ok, slight exaggeration, but impressive mission work.) The Church is listed of having 787 members and contributions of 1,280,773 as of Dec 2006. They were founded September 7, 1986 with 127 members. Their website states they have 668 active members. They are aligned with The Confessing Church Movement. Providence is a member congregation of the New Wineskins Association of Churches.

It is interesting that the article has two lines next to each other on property:

On the land subject, PCUSA doctrine states that church properties belong to the denomination.


"That's what you agree to when you practice Presbyterianism," said Jimmy Stuckey, an attorney for the Charleston presbytery.

The first line says it is only doctrine, the second that it applies to ALL Presbyterians, not just PCUSA. Hopefully the lawyer misspoke or was misquoted. That is not EPC doctrine, it was not doctrine until the merger for many churches.

Providence Presbyterian Church 171 Cordillo Parkway Hilton Head Island SC 29928

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Separation, Texas-Style

The Reformed Pastor Blog has an detailed and enlightening article on Heritage Presbyterian Church in Houston. It re-enforces my opinion that many of the AC's trying to deal with departing churches are drive by Greed and Idol Worship. They want money for property they did not pay for, care for, or use. They think of PC(USA) as a god to be worshiped instead of a creation of man.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

St. Paul’s PC dismissed w/ Property, No money!

St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Somerset, PA (A-33) was dismissed with their property by the Presbytery of Redstone, 48-41. They voted to request dismissal on Dec 16, 2007 by a congregational vote of 173-10 to EPC. Of the 10 that voted NO, only 2 wanted to stay with PCUSA.

UPDATE: Presbyweb reports that motions for restitution and postponement were defeated. Editor: I was disappointed by the reported attitudes of Rev. Keith Conover and the COM chair Rev. Martin Ankrum. Greed and Idol worship do not belong in Christian behaviour.

Church members have considered building a new building or expanding the current one. There also have been talks of joining with the Somerset Anglican Fellowship, formerly part of St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church.

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.


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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
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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

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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



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NewsPC(USA) NewsPresbyterian Church (U.S.A.) News Service
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NewsThe Layman OnlineTHE News Source about PC(USA)
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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
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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)
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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
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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)

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