Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Presbytery files countersuit to recover Peters Creek property (3x)

Three Rivers Episcopal Blog (stay and fight): Presbyterian Property Dispute in Western PA From Pittsburg Post-Gazette story:

In ongoing property litigation over Peters Creek United Presbyterian Church, Washington Presbytery has filed a countersuit against the Rev. L. Rus Howard and a church treasurer, demanding return of all church property and rent for use of the buildings.

They can sue Peters Creek United Presbyterian Church. We have already filed suit against them. But to file a suit against two individuals, one of whom is a 74-year-old widower on a fixed income, is ... just an attempt to harass and intimidate and scare," said Ray Peterson, spokesman for the majority.

The Rev. Charles Perrine, interim presbyter of Washington Presbytery, said countersuits are routine in property litigation.

"We named them in response to the suit they filed against us. We are preparing for the trial, as is the judge, as are the folks in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church," he said. (Ed: I assume he meant to say EPC version of Peters Creek, and not the Denomination)

Layman Article: Presbytery's claim of assets lists individual church leaders.
  • The presbytery's countersuit also demands return of all church property and rent for use of the buildings.
  • The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the total in the presbytery's claim was about $3 million.
  • The presbytery has included among the assets even the possibility that one member might leave $1.5 million to the church - a gift that has only been discussed by the session

Editorial: It is time for the Moderator Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, to live up to his statements and the entire church to live up to the resolution passed at GA 218. Please act like Christians and not Lawyers.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wellpinit Presbyterian Closes Its Door

Spokesman Review story: Faithful Farewell: Wellpinit Presbyterian Closes Its Doors. Sorry, this site will not let me link to the story. You have to search for it.

Being a dog person, I appreciated the picture in the story: "Dog is just God spelled backwards," observed Tina Wynecoop as Buddy made his way into the final service at Wellpinit Presbyterian Church.

Wellpinit is the home of the Spokane Tribe of Indians.

I can not find which denomination this church was a member. I did find the school system website. They serve 570 students.

I did find a photos from 1920 of its predecessor, Spokane River Presbyterian Church. Photo 1 Photo 2

Londonderry Trial Begins (Updated 3x)

UPDATE!!!: IMPORTANT: Check out the comment at Reformed Pastor by Mac McCarty: Londonderry Church Trial Begins

However, there was also a place on the poll form for “Comments.” The comments showed that a vast majority of the “No” votes added words to the effect of “But if we could keep our property, “Yes.’” That information apparently did not get to the presbytery.

Eagle Tribune story: Trial begins in Londonderry church dispute - By Margo Sullivan

Layman Story: With new pastor, N.H. church battles presbytery for property

  • Eric Meyer, president said the church leaders kept secret a straw poll showing 61 percent of the congregation wanted to stay in the national church.
  • 71 percent of the congregation voted to leave
  • The church leaders "struggled with a competing sense of responsibility" toward the entire congregation and honoring "their own sense of Scripture."

I found (again?) the Londonderry PCUSA website for "this" church. They are meeting at Tupelo Music Hall. They have a Pastor, Associate Pastor, Session and an AC listed on their website. They also have a legal info page that is empty, but the Pastor does cover some items in the July newsletter. His attempt to justify his position, seems like a swipe at those who disagree. I may be thin skinned, if so, it is because it has been beaten upon too many times. There is also a May 2008 Newsletter that has "legal" arguments. There is also a brief statement in the first one: January 2008 Newsletter

Editorial: Regarding the straw poll vs the vote to leave. I am not surprised by the change. Too many people in the pews are not aware of the facts of GA misbehavior. They are busy serving the Lord and not watching what National is doing. That is the job of the leaders (pastor, session). They are the spiritual leaders and not just a board of directors. When the congregation is made aware of the FACTS, the voted changed. National kept saying "Nothing has Changed!", we now know that is a lie.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Kirk of the Hills - No News is ....

Kirk of the Hills - No News is ....

No News.

If someone will leave a comment, even anonymously, with an update, that would be nice. Some churches in EOP are waiting on the case, so they too can leave, without fear of lawsuits.

  • What is the hold up?
  • Is the Judge over scheduled?
  • Are negotiations underway?
  • Are the Lawyers for one side or the other busy?

UPDATE: So you don't have to open the comments. Judge Sellers is considering a ruling, and is a very thorough judge and takes his time when making a ruling.

How to Lie with Statistics

I finally am satisfied that my new software works and is spitting out correct data. The hard part is interpreting the data. That is why they wrote that book on "How to Lie with Statistics", by Darrell Huff (Author), Irving Geis (Illustrator), © 1954 (Good Grief, the same year I was born!) Reprinted in paperback 1993, still used in many beginning statistics courses! My wife's intro course used it in 1972!

For example, 2,570 (25%) active Churches did not pay percap in 2007 and they had a combined income of $270,431,754 (13%)!, Makes for a good headline, but is it accurate? Which of the following numbers is the most meaningful to you?

Description# ChurchesIncomePercapMembers
Active Churches 10,172 $2,097,432,727 $43,424,221 2,104,855
No Percap 2007 raw 2,570 $270,431,754   381,134
No Percap 2007 NCD (non-reporting) - 117 $0   0
No Percap 2004-2007 & (w&m&I>0) Non reporting? - 530 $146,815,885   131,965
No Percap 2007 corrected 1,923 $123,615,869 $5,137,864
(Avg 20.62)
No Percap 2006 but some in 2007 & (w&m&I>0) 619 $140,542,085 $3,338,842 120,494
No Percap 2006-2007 but some in 2004/2005 & (w&m&I>0) 198 $51,870,420 $589,240
No Percap 2007 but some in 2004-2006 & (w&m&I>0) 491 $109,412,120 $1,869,013

In trying to figure out how many churches failed to report for 2007, 765 Churches have m6=m7>0 and w=0 and i=0 and p=0 AND 64 Churches have m=0 and w=0 for the first time.

See my other page Statistics for 2007 for more lies, .... data!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Not One Penny!

From a Layman Story: Minister's 'grassroots response':Withhold money from denomination

The Rev. Jim Yearsley of Tampa is leading the "Not One Penny" campaign, which he described as "a grassroots response that really calls the national bureaucracy to account."

The Rev. Jim Yearsley is pastor at Village PC(309 mbr/$365,704 Per:$4,399) but this response does not seem to be connected to the church officially.

Where did this quote come from?

  • Robert Goodloe Harper(about France June 18, 1798): "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute."
  • German Social Democracy (1889): "Not One Man, Not One Penny" (Refuting Hitler)
  • Now used by many anti-war groups

Beaver-Butler Presbytery (PA) releases Chippewa UPC

Story from the Layman: Presbytery conditionally approves financial terms for congregation's dismissal

Here is a blog from an A/C member! Jim Powers on Powerblog

  • $11,200 for three years to support PCUSA missionaries and other programs.
  • Terms must still be approved in an official vote by the congregation
  • June 8, the congregation voted unofficially, 117-9, to seek dismissal to EPC
  • Presbytery approved 3-1 margin on July 22.
  • For 2007: 176 members, $250,288 budget
  • Chippewa UPC: Rev. Scott Graham, Pastor
  • Beaver-Butler Presbytery
  • Synod of the Trinity

I threw out the bath water but not the baby.

I got so fed up with my software to scan churches, that I threw out a big chunk of the code and started over. (This is the hardest lesson a programmer has to learn - swallow one's pride). I added a "calculator" engine to select which churches match a user's request.

I moved all of the stats to another page: Stats

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Is a church active or not?

How do you judge if a church is active or not from the outside? I have the statistics from PCUSA to look at. I can also look at websites for the churches. PCUSA does not have all of the websites, some are out of date, some PCUSA does not know about. They rely on the session clerk's to update their own info.

Membership numbers are being duplicated from previous years by somebody, but who? Clerks, Presbyteries, PCUSA. The problem is not just churches that have left for EPC/NW but churches that have not filed the statistics.

I proofed some of the ones that the formulas found by checking google and concluded that they are active because there website shows them to be a NCD. So I added that as a criteria for active.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Statistics for Inactive and Left/Leaving

I added two fake presbyteries. Their are 89 Churches in the Left/Leaving Presbytery and 806 churches in the Inactive Presbytery. These churches are not longer in totals for the individual Presbyteries. There are several other churches they need to be marked inactive, I will continue proofing the list.

See my stat page: List of Synods/Presbyteries/Churches

Monday, July 14, 2008

Statistics for each Presbytery UPDATED 3x

I just noticed that Geneva Presbytery had NO data. I added 2006 and 2007 data for 60 churches and 7,300 members at my stat page: List of Synods/Presbyteries/Churches

I have taken the "inactive" churches out of the active list. I found 811 churches. By asking which churches have:

  • membership unchanged for 4 years
  • worship unchanged for 2 years
  • presby=yes
  • not NCD
  • Income 2 years = 0

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Statistics for each Presbytery UPDATED

On the list of Presbytery page I have all of the statistics for 2006 vs 2007.

Updated: added diff and %diff for each presby.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Most Significant Action taken by the 2008 GA?

What does the Presbytery of South Louisiana See as the most significant action taken by the General Assembly?
Help Christ’s Church Grow Deep and Wide under the guidance of the Holy Spirit by Evangelism and Discipleship.

Only if you click on the newsletter do you get the damage control letter from the Moderator, GAC and Stated Clerk.

Later in the same newsletter you learn:

"Three of the Four Commissioners to the General Assembly currently serve on your COM[Committee on Ministry]"
Scary! This is why there is such a disconnect between commissioners and Presbytery votes.

South Louisiana drops suit against Woodland

Layman: Lawsuit withdrawn against New Orleans church that voted to leave PCUSA for EPC

Presbytery of South Louisiana has withdrawn a lawsuit against Woodland Presbyterian Church in New Orleans. The suit was withdraw without prejudice. One one hand, this means they can refile, on the other hand, it means the church cannot force the Presbytery to pay lawyers fees.

The congregation voted on June 8, 2008;

  • 150-6-6 to disaffiliate
  • 157-3-2 to affiliate with EPC/NW

Monday, July 7, 2008

Statistics for 2007 - Churches that went to Zero

As you can see some of the churches went to EPC. Note: The test was 10 or more members in 1996 to zero in 1997.
  1. Westminster PC of Niles,MI 17->0
  2. First PC of Dundee,MI 36->0
  3. First PC of Middle Point,OH 22->0
  4. Riverside EPC of Sartell,MN 45->0
  5. Covenant EPC of Omaha,NE 706->0
  6. First PC of Willow City,ND 21->0
  7. Whitefish PC of Stone Lake,WI 27->0
  8. Kishwaukee Community EPC of Stillman Valley,IL 417->0
  9. Chicago PC of Chicago,IL 18->0
  10. Chuckey PC of Chuckey,TN 21->1
  11. St Helens PC of St Helens,KY 13->0
  12. Arrow Rock Federated PC of Arrow Rock,MO 45->0
  13. Dawn PC of Dawn,MO 45->0
  14. Murphy PC of Murphy,NC 67->0
  15. Clay PC of Clay,NY 35->0
  16. Calvary PC of Auburn,NY 104->0
  17. East Pembroke PC of E Pembroke,NY 59->0
  18. Bethlehem PC of Buffalo,NY 83->0
  19. Chishoktak PC of Bennington,OK 12->0
  20. First PC of Overton,TX 12->0
  21. Faith EPC of Brownsville,TX 121->0
  22. Jerusalem PC of San Antonio,TX 55->0
  23. First PC of Liberty,TX 11->0
  24. Mt Holly PC of Mount Holly,AR 49->0
  25. Creedmoor PC of St Bernard,LA 23->0
  26. Forks of the Brandywine EPC of Glenmoore,PA 246->0
  27. Rayne PC of Indiana,PA 26->0
  28. Springfield PC of Jackson Center,PA 22->0

Statistics for 2007 - Kirk is still in PCUSA???

IF you check out the statistics that PC(USA) has on-line for several churches which left in 2006, The statistics page for each church has fake (duplicates of 2005) numbers in 2006 and 2007 for Membership, Females and Adherents! There are many that left in 2007, that are still there, but I have a hard time faulting the inclusion of those in the 2007 numbers, but what about current numbers?

If these were used in the numbers announced at GA2008, the lost (57,572) is much larger by at LEAST 3,000.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Presbytery of Philadelphia dismisses Oreland PC

Newspaper "The Bulletin": Presbytery of Philadelphia dismisses Oreland PC.
  • Fully 97 percent of voting church members supported dismissal.
  • 2007: 416 members, 245 worship, $771,895
  • On May 20, the regional court authorized his church's dismissal from the denomination - church property and all.
  • "We are incredibly thankful that the presbytery chose the high road. It wasn't easy by any means," said Rev. Farrell.
  • Rev. Jim Farrell is a 14-year pastor of Oreland Presbyterian Church, (near Philadelphia) PA
  • Rev. Farrell said his church's firm belief that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God was a longstanding, irreconcilable difference with some in the PC-USA.
  • Oreland Presbyterian Church awaits a final vote to join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church
[Ed. This is a new one for me!]

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Question on Delegates?

I have a question on delegates to the General Assembly! There were several kinds of delegates. On voice votes, what is to prevent AD's from shouting out?
  • Commissioners: 50% Elders and 50% Pastors - elected by each Presbytery, the only ones with votes in the big session?
  • YAD - Youth Advisory Delegates: elected by each Presbytery
  • TSAD - Theological Student Advisory Delegates
  • Mission Advisory Delegates.
  • Ecumenical Delegates - From other denominations
  • Corresponding Members - Staff from all levels
  • Observers - Press, bloggers, others.

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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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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