As many of you already know (or have heard), the Presbytery voted unanimously yesterday to extend the deadline for the settlement agreement between the Kirk of the Hills, Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery and the Presbyterian Church (USA). The previous agreement, in outline form only, was approved by the Presbytery on Sept 19 and by the Kirk on Oct 19. That previous agreement called for a closing on the transaction by Nov 15. That did not occur, largely due to extensive conversations about the exact form of the sales contract, personal property, title insurance, and the question of review by the Synod. Those questions have now been answered to the satisfaction of all parties, with the Kirk congregation voting in favor of the agreement on Nov 30 and the Presbytery vote on Dec 2. The deadline has been extended to Dec 15, which will allow us to acquire the necessary paperwork - title insurance, updated abstracts, mutual dismissals and releases, and the like. At that time, the Kirk will pay Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery $1,750,000 and the Kirk will gain full and clear title to all real and personal property which has been under dispute.
A word of explanation – there have been and will continue to be legal motions filed between now and Dec 15. This is “routine” in that all involved do not want to miss the deadline for the filing of particular motions in the event that the final sale does not occur. This is only fair to both sides. However, at the closing there will be filed dismissals of all pending motions with the District Court and the OK Supreme Court. We do not anticipate any problem with the closing, but we expect the attorneys for all parties to exercise due diligence, which includes keeping all legal options open until the sale of the property to the Kirk is complete. Please do not read anything more than that into the reports you may hear of further court filings.
Let us thank God that this period of trial (both legal and spiritual) is now nearly over. Let us continue to pray for those on all sides of the issue who have invested so much time and energy in this struggle. Finally, let us continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. The Kirk of the Hills congregation may not be a member of EOP any longer, but that does not mean that they are not still our neighbors, our friends, and fellow disciples who seek to know and do the will of Christ.