Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Londonderry: Settlement Announced (Updated 3x)

Londonderry Presbyterian, evangelical group reach settlement

Details: LPC (NW/EPC):

Layman has the official announcement and court filings as PDF: Proposed settlement

Call to Congregational Meeting

The Session calls the congregation of Londonderry Presbyterian Church EPC to a special meeting on Sunday, August 17, 2008, immediately following the 10:00 am service, for the purpose of ratifying the negotiated settlement agreement with the Presbytery of Northern New England (PNNE) and the Session of Londonderry Presbyterian Church PCUSA.

Official Announcement Also on: LPC(PCUSA) website

The Presbytery of Northern New England, the Session of the Londonderry Presbyterian Church (a particular church of the Presbyterian Church (USA)), and the currently unnamed New Wineskins Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Londonderry have reached agreement to resolve their lawsuit. Under the settlement agreement which has been approved by both churches' governing bodies, but is subject to ratification votes by each church's congregation by August 31st, the Londonderry Presbyterian Church, which is a particular church of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), would receive the name, buildings, and property at 126 Pillsbury Road. The New Wineskins Church would receive 15 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to this location. All parties involved are grateful that this outcome could be reached, and pray that God's Spirit will continue to move powerfully in Londonderry. Praise God!

UPDATE 2: Layman Story

UPDATE: Eagle Tribune

The conservative members will also take to their congregation: a fund, Bibles, handbells and recently acquired furniture and computers.

Judge Tina Nadeau approved the settlement Monday, according to Roy McCandless, an attorney representing PCUSA. Both congregations will vote by Aug. 31 whether to ratify the agreement. McCandless said the two sides hammered out a joint statement yesterday to announce the deal had been reached.

Ed: The sanctuary was built in 1837, the educational wing in 1974 and expanded in 1996. In the long run, the EPC side may have gotten a better deal. I hope the PCUSA side can afford the original church building.


Reformed Catholic said...

Based on the size of the PCUSA church, which I believe is less than 100, I would think the congregation would have to be supported by the Presbytery for some time to come.

Jim said...

BTW, I was Catholic until 4th grade. My parents stopped going to church and took us out of Catholic school (with nuns even).

Reformed Catholic said...

Jim, that's interesting. I had 12 years of Catholic school. Like George Carlin's experience, in senior year we had a comparative religions class, like Carlin, it made be a questioner and I gave up on Roman Catholicism.

Well, back on Londonderry. The Layman has this The EPC congregation can either build on the 15-acre parcel or choose to sell it. Both congregations would have the right of first refusal if the other decided to sell its property. Glasier admitted there might be some awkwardness in meeting next door to the former building and the members they knew and worshipped with.

Based on the 2 to one ratio of members in the EPC church to the PCUSA one, I suspect that if the EPC congregation decides to sell, the PCUSA congregation will not be able to purchase that 15 acres at market value. Vice versa, I doubt the EPA congregation would want to buy a 125 year old building when they could sell their property and build a new campus somewhere else.

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