Monday, June 30, 2008

GA summary

The GA junkie has a one-page PDF summary of GA activities. However it is still a little confusing on the $2m defense fund. This is only a donor funded account.

PCUSA GAC letter: Interpreting the actions of the 218th General Assembly

Dallas Morning News: Presbyterian News Service: Jerry L. Van Marter

New Wineskins: statement

Here is my micro-summary:

  • Moderator: The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, a young (39) contemporary church pastor from San Francisco.
  • Stated Clerk: Rev. Gradye Parsons, currently the primary Associate Stated Clerk
  • FOG: (Form of Government Revision) the Task Force will continue another two years
  • Ordination Standards and Same-sex unions:
    • proposed amendment to the constitution that would remove the “fidelity and chastity” language *
    • removed all Authoritative Interpretations (AI) on the subject
    • a new AI on allowing scruples exceptions for behavior
    • Chose to keep the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman
  • Confessions:
    • Recommend making changes to five questions in the Heidelberg Catechism *
    • Recommend including 1986 Belhar Confession *
  • Departures from the PC(USA):
    • Loses for 2006: 57,572 (2.5%) members
    • Start investigation of the EPC is actively recruiting churches away
    • Legal defense fund to help presbyteries
    • Encourages presbyteries to handle a church's request for transfer pastorally and with graciousness.
  • Misc:
    • per capita was raised $0.36 to $6.15
    • Disapproved of per capita reform overtures.
    • Disapproved of divestment because of involvement in the Israel/Palestine conflict
    • Approved the Social Creed for the 21st Century
    • advocate for single-payer health care.
    • General Assembly Council -> General Assembly Mission Council
    • Youth Advisory Delegates -> Young Adult Advisory Delegates
* Must be approved by 75% Presbyteries.

Friday, June 27, 2008

One by One

Just to prove I am not too old to learn something new (I just had a birthday: 54) I found a website
(One by One)
that is a refreshing change from all of the GA garbage that is in the news this week.
"OneByOne's mission is to educate and equip the church to minister the transforming grace and power of Jesus Christ to those in conflict with their sexuality. "

EPC/New Wineskins has a Website

This is an example of a good modern website:EPC/NW

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hillsdale PC freed from Heartland, joins EPC

From KC Community News: Hillsdale congregation joins EPC and maintains building

Presbyterian church pays PC(USA) $90,000 for ownership of structure.

The Rev. Leslie King said the $90,000 was a far cry from the more than $400,000 that the building was appraised for by an independent appraiser hired by the commission as well as a county appraiser. She also said it was not the commission’s desire to make it so the Hillsdale congregation was unable to do ministry. But she also emphasized that it was important to the administrative commission that the Hillsdale congregation recognize that they were receiving gifts of generations from the PC (USA).

After discussing their options, the Hillsdale congregation decided to accept the offer, and Johnston said a loan was taken out to pay the PC (USA), which will be on top of the original loan that was used to purchase the building.

From Hillsdale Church website: Free at Last, Free at Last! Hillsdale Presbyterian Church is free at last from the PC(USA), and have joined the growing number of churches with the EPC. The sun is coming up and it looks to be a greeeeat future ahead in doing the Lord's work. Come join us. Thank You Jesus, Amen

Editorial: It's all about the money, is the way that I interpret Rev. King's statement. or as the gamers say: "All your churches belong to Us"

Heartland Presbytery:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Peters Creek UPC vs Washington Presbytery

Post Gazette Story: Court says Presbyterians who left church can sue

A Washington County court has ruled that members of a Peters church who left the Presbyterian Church (USA) for a more theologically conservative denomination can sue Washington Presbytery to keep the congregation's property.

In November, members and leaders of Peters Creek United Presbyterian Church voted 207-26 to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) and join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. They filed suit to keep the property. Washington Presbytery, the local governing body for the Presbyterian Church (USA), argued that the denomination's constitution gives control of church property to the presbytery, and that a civil court did not have the authority to interpret or overrule church law.

In a separate decision, Judge Paul Pozonsky did not permit a minority from the congregation who wanted to stay in the Presbyterian Church (USA) to become a party to the lawsuit. He ruled that the minority, which the presbytery has declared the "true church" at Peters Creek, was already adequately represented by both Washington Presbytery and the current leadership of the congregation.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Presbyterian membership loss worst in decades

Louisville - Courier Journal story The denomination lost 57,572 members in 2007 and now has 2,209,546 members, a drop of 2.5 percent over 2006.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Layman Online - Website is upgrading!

Layman Online is upgrading their website!

San Francisco Chronicle Views of PCUSA

UPDATED: The author has agreed to update the story.

San Francisco Chronicle story on Sunday, June 15, 2008: Bay Area churches opened door to same-sex vows by Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Religion Writer, has a table comparing Gay Rights and Different denominations. They either have a typo or mis-understanding of PCUSA. They have a check in the box for "Ordain partnered gay clergy". WRONG! They should have checked "Celibacy required for gays, lesbians" [to be ordained] according to this ruling (Top court prohibits scrupling fidelity-chastity standard) by the GA-PJC

General Assembly Blogging

"Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly with your God" is the theme for the upcoming 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

If you will be blogging from GA, I would like to add you to the list of links below, no matter what side your viewpoint is:


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

TWO More Churches Disaffiliate! UPDATED

FPC of Roseville, CA 299-1

Fair Oaks PC, CA 741-10

Presbytery of Sacramento: Sierra Mission Partnership

Reformed Pastor Blog: Big CA Churches Go to EPC

FPC of Roseville website

On Sunday afternoon, June 8th at a congregational meeting, the members of FPC voted to disaffiliate from the PC(USA) and to immediately affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). After waiting, working and praying for this over the past 8 months we have finally become an EPC church!

While there are some remaining pastoral issues to be clarified, the transition was very smooth and rather seamless. The EPC welcomed the church that afternoon and Pastor Jim and Pastor Nancy were received as ordained ministers in the EPC at the same time.

We look forward to working with the New Wineskins Transitional Presbytery and within the Evangelical Presbyterian Church family. Thank you all for your work, prayers, patience and faithfulness.

Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church website:

Sunday, June 8, 2008, marked the beginning of an important, new era of ministry and vision for Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church. At a special called meeting of the congregation, members of FOPC voted to disaffiliate with the PC(USA). 751 official ballots were cast: 741 in favor of the motion, 10 against. The church was received shortly thereafter into the fellowship of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC).

The action means that FOPC has expressly ended its voluntary affiliation with the PC(USA) and renounced all jurisdiction of that denomination.

The move comes after many months of leadership by the Fair Oaks Session, including a series of educational meetings and a lengthy period of discernment by the congregation. It also comes after a lengthy period during which Fair Oaks attempted to work in good faith and within appropriate denominational guidelines: In an historic vote on October 14, 2007, the FOPC church family voted overwhelmingly to request that the Sacramento Presbytery dismiss it, with property, to the EPC. Negotiating teams from both FOPC and the Presbytery began work and presented terms of agreement to the Presbytery on December 4. The Presbytery voted overwhelmingly to accept the terms, which included a sizeable ministry gift to the Presbytery, leading the way for Fair Oaks' departure on January 1.

However, before the dismissal took place, and in actions similar to those across the national denomination, the Synod of the Pacific moved to stay the Presbytery’s vote and has yet to officially rule on the matter. Meanwhile, the Synod later blocked another vote by the Presbytery not to pursue appeals in the civil proceedings. Additionally, the Synod ordered the Presbytery to file “timely appeals” in the cases. In April and May, 2008, both Roseville and FOPC won rulings in California Superior Court declaring that the churches, not the Presbytery, own their real property.

As FOPC begins to write a new chapter in its long history of Kingdom ministry, we ask for your prayers for our friends in the Sacramento Presbytery and her member churches as they seek to continue their work in the PC(USA). We also ask for prayers for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and our new family of churches as we move forward to labor together for the cause of Christ.

Monday, June 9, 2008

UPDATED: Just When I Thought I Knew How Low PCUSA Could Stoop!

UPDATE 1: June 8, 2008: Disaffiliate Vote:150-6-6

Layman Online is covering an attempt by Presbytery of South Louisiana to get a TRO against Woodland PC (size:289) in New Orleans to hold a session called congregational meeting to consider whether to disassociate from PCUSA.

Layman Story 1: Judge denies presbytery's attempt for TRO

Layman Story 2: New Orleans church disaffiliates from PCUSA

Reformed Pastor Blog: Nice Try, People

Classical Presbyterian Blog: What Wondrous Love is This? A Micah Three tactic is thwarted in secular court.

The Path of Redemption Blog: Christ or the PCUSA? One of Jesus’ Dudes Stands up for the Gospel

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Will Make It Legal! (Emperor Whitewater Valley)

Emperor Whitewater Valley has voted to implement two Administrative Committees with powers only a Dictator could love.

To make matters worse, they misused the procedures to stifle debate, in a way that warms Satan's Heart.

Summary Quote from Reformed Pastor:
Welcome to the new PCUSA, where considering leaving is thought-crime, and will be dealt with summarily.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Presbyterian Lay Committee Steps Up to The Plate!

Layman Online is reporting that the Presbyterian Lay Committee has filed an amicus brief (Friend of the Court) to set the facts straight on PC(USA).

Or to match the analogy that I have been using: The Return of The Jedi! part 2

classical Presbyterian Blog: The PLC Enters the Fray

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

College Corner Votes to request Dismissal/Disaffiliation

The Return of the Jedi

From the Layman Online:
  • Vote to request dismissal 82-17
  • Vote to authorized disaffiliation if presbytery refuses dismissal.
The Jedi/Empire analogy if very fitting. The Empire tries to rule with force, the Jedi try to follow the law and are for peacefully negotiations.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Empire Strikes First!

Layman Online is reporting on Whitewater Valley Presbytery (64 Churches/20,000 members) vote scheduled for June 4 on a recommendation for two Administrative Commissions. The recommendations sound overpowering, possessive and threatening! This report makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up! From the recommendations:
  • "The COM sincerely hopes that no other churches will seek separation."
  • If a session, pastor or congregation "moves toward expressing a desire” to leave, the AC can immediately hire a lawyer and start separating the sheep from the goats.

Damn the Book of Order! - Full Speed Ahead!

  • First United Presbyterian Church (aka College Corner Presbyterian Church) 133 (2006) in College Corner, Ohio Lawsuit and TRO against the presbytery.
  • Wallace Street Presbyterian Church(160) in Indianapolis, Ind.
The Reformed Pastor has a very thorough and in-depth analysis. Because We Can

Lincoln Trails Synod

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