Thursday, December 24, 2009

What is your Opinion? Christmas Eve Service during a Blizzard warning!

NE Oklahoma is having its first ever, blizzard warning. The Governor has declared a "State of Emergency" state wide.

Most churches in the area have canceled services. I do not understand why other churches have not. They are endangering their staff, that must show up. Is the Church legally responsible if their staff gets hurt?

Jesus said: "The Sabbath was made for man, Not man for the sabbath."

What is your opinion? What are you church rules?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

PCUSA not the only Presbyterian Denomination with Property Problems!

New Zealand: Sunday Star Times

Congregation fights in court to keep church

Members of the Orakei Presbyterian Church, sited on prime Auckland real estate and valued at $2.5 million, have engaged a lawyer and last week complained to police about "patronising and condescending" steps taken by the church's regional body to close the doors on the predominantly Samoan congregation

Friday, December 11, 2009

Presbytery turns thumbs down on historic church

Layman Story:
  • Jermain Memorial Presbyterian Church, Watervliet, N.Y. (68 members/Open 1874)
  • Albany Presbytery
  • Presbytery voted on Nov. 17 to dissolve their church, effective May 31, 2010.
  • Members and Session do not want to close.
  • Trust fund and property may encumber the closing of the church.
  • Population of Watervliet: 10,000
  • 1st Watervliet PC (63 Members/2 miles away)
  • 1st United PC, Troy, NY (2.5 mi/139 members/More Light)
  • Woodside PC - Wikipedia: The church ceased to be used by the Presbytery in 2003. In a process aided by the Hudson-Mohawk Industrial Gateway, the church was reclaimed by the Burden and Corning Heirs in 2005 due to a reverter clause in the original deed. Soon after, the Burden heirs bought the Corning's share. The church was purchased in 2007 by the Contemporary Artists Center, a non-profit arts organization.
  • Bethany PC, Menands, NY (79 Members/2 miles away)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Presbytery bans minister, dissolves church

Layman Story: Presbytery bans minister, dissolves church

Session clerk: ‘We didn’t die. We were murdered.

Seventh Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, Rev. Ian Lamont

Presbytery of Cincinnati

WCPO TV Story:

Cincinnati 10 Story

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

S.F. Presbytery OKs ordination of Lisa Larges then BLOCKED

The San Francisco Presbytery agreed late Tuesday to ordain the first openly homosexual minister in the denomination.

The vote of 156 for and 138 against the ordination came after hours of contentious debate at the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley. It is possible that the decision to ordain Lisa Larges, a deacon at Noe Valley Ministry Presbyterian Church, could be appealed.

From The SF Presbytery website:
We know that many will be coming specifically for the evening report of the COM, but we sincerely hope that all of you will come for other equally important reports that will be presented before the dinner break.
Her Statement of faith, etc. in in the COM pt2 Report

News Sources:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fate of 150-year-old church up for vote Story: The Presbytery of Cincinnati will vote at 5 p.m. Tuesday on the future of one of Cincinnati's oldest Presbyterian churches, Seventh Presbyterian Church at 1721 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills.

If the leadership votes to close the church, the church congregation must forfeit the property to the Presbytery but all church contents belong to the church congregation

Church members held a vote in October to close its doors.

ED: "The contents belong to the congregation" is a new one on me

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Westminster Presbyterian Church, Sacramento, CA

Sacramento News Review Story: "Thompson don’t preach"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Washington Presbytery appeals property case loss

Layman Story: Washington Presbytery appeals property case loss

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

South Louisiana Presbytery found in contempt of court

Layman Story: South Louisiana Presbytery found in contempt of court

The name of Mark Tammen, an attorney for the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Office of the General Assembly, is on 398 of the documents, suggesting the denomination’s heavy involvement in this case.

3 Valley Presbyterian churches part ways

Layman Story: California congregations finalize split from PCUSA

Fresno Bee Story: 3 Valley Presbyterian churches part ways

  • Trinity Presbyterian Church in Clovis
  • First Presbyterian Church in downtown Fresno
  • Fowler Presbyterian Church

"The relationships we share with these three congregations, as brothers and sisters in Christ, are more important than property," said the Rev. Rick Irish, interim leader of the Presbytery of San Joaquin, which governs Valley congregations within Presbyterian Church (USA). "Therefore, we didn't make property an issue."

On Sunday, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Clovis held a service to complete the split and join the more conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church, based in Litonia, Mich.

Two other congregations, First Presbyterian Church in downtown Fresno and Fowler Presbyterian Church, held similar services Oct. 18.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Personal Note

My house was hit by the fall break teenage vandalism this year. Every year they seem to do damage during fall break somewhere in town. This year I got spray painted on my garage doors. I've had to wait two days for warm dry weather, to paint over it. One door had bad words and one had a pentagram and 666. I display a large cross and nativity every Christmas, so the neighborhood kids know I am a christian. We heard them speed away in their car, so at least one of them must be over 16. The police were so busy taking vandalism reports, they did ours over the phone! Due to budget problems, the police have been parking their cars at the fire stations, until a call comes in.

Heartland to pursue Gashland property

Layman Online: Heartland to pursue Gashland property

Monday, September 21, 2009

First (Fresno), Trinity (Clovis) and Fowler leave PCUSA

Layman Online Story: San Joaquin migration begins

Executive Summary

  • Three churches leave with the blessing of San Joaquin Presbytery
  • Seven additional churches are reportedly lined up for the next wave of exits
  • First Church Bakersfield
  • Hanford Presbyterian Church
  • The presbytery will be sustained by gifts in hand from its departing churches
  • the written ballot represented an almost 3-1 majority
  • There was talk of dissolving the presbytery

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Carrollton will prevail against Presbytery - Court

Layman Story: Louisiana’s 19th Judicial District Court has issued “written reasons” underlying its judgment that the Carrollton Presbyterian Church of New Orleans, La., “will prevail” in its property related lawsuit against the Presbytery of South Louisiana. Their website says 29 members.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ringwood, OK PCUSA church closed after 114 years.

Enid News and Eagle Story:
  • started in a saloon
  • only 12 active members
  • average age of the congregation is 78 years old
  • Most of the members started going because it was the most popular church at the time and their children wanted to go with their friends.
  • Ringwood’s population now is between 500 and 600

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PCUSA 2008 Statistics

PCUSA has place their 2008 statistics online. PC(USA) records steepest membership loss since reunion in 1983

I will gather them up and merge them with my version and put them on-line. It will take about 1 - 2 weeks. I also have newer software to put up on my sourceforge geoctools page

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ohio Supreme Court denies Presbytery’s property appeals

See Layman for full details: The battle between Hudson Presbyterian Church and Eastminster Presbytery has ended with the congregation maintaining ownership of its property free and clear. The Ohio Supreme Court declined to review the Appellate Court’s decision, denying Eastminster’s request for a discretionary appeal. This finalized the decision favorable to the Hudson Presbyterian Church as held by the Magistrate, the Trial Court Judge at the Court of Common Pleas, and Ninth District Court of Appeals.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Final Vote Is In.

Layman: Del Suroeste has voted 0-41. I have update the statistics and the excel file on google docs. That completes round 5 and round 6 has already been scheduled!

I think everyone that voted yes, will have the integrity to vote yes on removing the property clause.

UPDATE: Presbyweb has their vote count reversed!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Property battle over FPC, Oakfield NY

Layman Story:

The remnants of the congregation that split from the Presbyterian Church (USA) two years ago dropped its appeal and surrendered the property to the Presbytery of Genesee Valley on May 19.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Divest this! More info from the Boycott Israel campaign

Blog: Divest This!:

An interesting quote:

with politics filling a void left by a spiritual vacuum among churches dealing with modernity

Redford Avenue PC Detroit closing and merging

Detroit News
  • consolidate with the Southfield Presbyterian Church
  • Redford Avenue PC on West McNichols near Grand River
  • 130 members left
  • It once boasted a membership of 3,000 parishioners.
  • $8,000 budget deficit
  • four-story, 44,000 square-foot red-brick building
  • 103-year old

FPC Aurora request dismissal from Blackhawk to EPC

Layman Story:
  • First Presbyterian Church in Aurora, Ill.
  • Blackhawk Presbytery
  • to Evangelical Presbyterian Church
  • Rev. Jeffrey Moore
  • Administrative commission
  • April 5 the congregation voted 317-17 (95 percent) to request dismissal
  • 847-members
  • Blackhawk Presbytery is the home presbytery of Mark Tammen, associate stated clerk and a constitutional lawyer for the denomination. He was among the group that produced the “Louisville Papers,”

UPDATED Layman Story: “We’re going to dismiss them,” John Rickard, the executive for the Blackhawk Presbytery, told The Layman Online Friday. “We’re not trying to beat up on each other.”

Friday, May 8, 2009

Better Statistics

The GA Junkie blog has a set of articles on the vote to replace F/C, 08-B.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Maybe Abstain does not count inside the Presbytery?

From the Voting Protocol on PCSUA:
... Also, in case anyone should ask, when the presbytery votes on an amendment, the question is decided by a simple majority vote. No absentee or proxy votes are allowed.

I know this is NOT the case for the overall vote, abstains count as NO. According to the PCUSA Book of Order. So I would like to know the source of this instruction.

Thur May 7 Voting

  2009 2001
Presbytery RemoveF/CAbs RemoveF/CAbs
Middle Tennessee 95139  95118 
Northern Waters 5211  4130 

Neither one seems to have the agenda for public consumption. Northern Waters hides it behind a login.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Hidden Cause of Financial Collapse

For a slow "news" day.

I believe the real cause of the financial troubles is the over use of debt in the corporate world. Companies should reinvest in themselves instead of getting loans.

As it is now, If you don't have a large debt, someone with big pockets, will swoop in and do a LBO (leverage buyout). Carl Icahn and Boone Pickens were noted for this tactic, as corporate raiders.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Macrame Cross - Where to find it.

I am looking to buy a replacement for my macrame cross. It is white on the front/back and black along the edges. The knots are "square" and it is on a black string that is a fused joint. All of the string appears to be nylon. No beads, no metal. I THINK I bought it 20 years ago at a D.C. Talk Concert at a Carmen Family Conference. Click on the pictures to see it in full scale.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Voting Tuesday: Detroit and Lehigh

Presbytery2009 Vote2001 Vote
Detroit141-92 (replace)48%-52% (keep)
Lehigh60-46 (replace)45%-55% (keep)

Lehigh has sent out a special letter about the 2 min per side, until one side runs out of speakers or 50 minutes. Their agenda shows a 5:00 starting time for debate.

Detroit has an interesting agenda:

4:40 Description of the process and expectations.  Moderator (15)
4:55 The Constitutional history and consequences (15) Stated Clerk
5:10 Presentation of the cases  (20)
Pro: (5) The Rev Mary Austin
Con: (5) The Rev. Johnie Bennett
Pro: (5) Elder John Lovegren  (Detroit, Jefferson Avenue)
Con (5) Elder Francile Anderson (Waterford, Community)
5:30 Recess to Kaleidoscope Bible Study Groups
5:40 Convene Small group discussion  (Kaleidoscope Bible Study) (60)
6:40-7:40 p.m. (Special order of the day) WE SHARE GOD’S BOUNTY 
Dinner & Fellowship—Table and room reservations available for small groups
7:40 Small groups reconvene (30)
“I intend to vote (yes/no) because _______.”
“I am not sure how I will vote because ______.”
“Other “I” statements or “pass.”

8:10 Reconvene in Plenary (Special Order of the Day)
8:10 D. Coordinating Cabinet:  Rev. Sue Ellis Melrose
Debate on whether we shall approve Amendment B.  (limited to 2 minutes) (30)
8:40 Vote by ballot

Translate Liberal Speak

"The big story here is that many traditionally conservative areas of the country voted to accept gay clergy and lay officers in the church," said Tricia Dykers Koenig, national organizer for the Covenant Network of Presbyterians.


We have driven out those who disagree with us, by voting on this, over and over and over again. Sometimes they left one family at at a time, sometimes a whole church. Many times we where able to steal their property as well. We made up the rules as we went along, since we have no higher power than ourselves. We will vote again, break the rules, bend the rules and harass and call names those who speak out against us.

More Hanging Chads for PCUSA

All three sites that I use to gather voting information; Presbyweb, Yes08, and Layman as not tracking abstain votes of the delegates. I notice that many leaders of organizations have a tendency to ignore abstain. As an amateur parliamentarian, this make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Since most votes are determined by majority of those voting, the abstains officially count as NO votes. SO, in a close vote, not counting abstains, could illegally alter the vote. This depends on the rules of each Presbytery. Nationally, the Abstains mean No, as it is majority of all Presbyteries, whether they vote or not.

One blog happened to mention that the Presbytery of San Francisco vote was 167-177-4. This changed %No from 51.45% to 52.01% or 167-181. I hope each and every clerk (Presbytery, Session, ...) knows better and it is only the web sites that are sloppy in their reporting.

By my count 6 Presbyteries are in the 2% difference bracket. Could any of these votes be invalid?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Results - IT IS DONE 69-88-1

  • Northern Plains: 21-33: NO
  • Boise: 25-34: NO
  • De Cristos: 59-48: YES
  • Sierra Blanca: 23-30 NO

News Coverage:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When is a web page not a web page?

Executive Summary: When it does not follow Standards. (non-proprietary coding).

Details: Sometimes website work by accident. Web programmers/admins, etc. have gotten lazy or complacent, and still thinks the web revolves around Microsoft's Internet Explorer(IE). The latest figures show IE market penetration falling as fast as PCUSA membership. These figures are from March 2009 and represent Global usage. FF has about double the market share in Europe.

  • 67% Microsoft's Internet Explorer(IE)
  • 22% Mozilla's Firefox (FF)
  •  8% Apple's Safari
  •  1% Google Chrome - Beta
  •  2% Other

What web pages have irritated me enough to write this blog entry?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Break Even

  • San Jose: 84-81 (2001: 85-75)
  • South Louisiana: 42-55 (2001: 51-71)
  • Total 65-82

All-in-All, no change, but the "pro-equality" group can not afford to break even at this stage.

Next Up:

  • Apr 17: Alaska
  • Apr 21: National Capital, Salem, San Francisco, Wabash Valley
  • Apr 25: Boise, de Cristo, Northern Plains, Sierra Blanca
  • Apr 28: Detroit, Lehigh
IF the "pro-equality" group "wins", will they give equal treatment to those churches who do not want a LGBT Pastor, Elder, or Deacon? Or will they be required to have a "balance"? That is liberal code for quotas.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Two more Yes Votes

  • Northern New York Yes- voice
  • Long Island: 78-29
As expected.

Limits on Debate at Long Island

The Presbytery of Long Island is scheduled to vote on the amendments today. According to their docket, each person is limited to 1 and 1/2 minutes. Will the "yes on 08" crowd complaint about one of their own limiting debate, like they did for a Presbytery that voted against them?

Anyone who is persuaded by the last minute debate, has not done their homework or is so wishy-washy, that they should not be a delegate. Therefore, 20 years of debate should be enough for everyone.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lisa Larges is already breaking the rules.

The Fidelity/Chasity rules applies to Elder, Deacons, and Pastors. A complaint should be filed against her being an Deacon.

Vote Count Spreadsheet Update

I updated the spreadsheet of vote counts up on Google Docs. Pick it up if you want to play. I added the raw counts from Presbyweb, Layman, YesON08, and mine.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More from the Yes 08B

I did a little more looking at the Yes ON 08 blog. They continue to use rhetoric that is correct from their point of view:
  • the "don't ask, don't tell" anti-gay policy
  • The anti-gay policy is section G-6.0106b
  • pro-equality vs anti-equality
  • pro-LGBT vs anti-LGBT
  • "You do have to figure that since God has created roughly 3% of the population as gay, many of the voters in this presbytery (Eastern Korean) are voting against equality for their own children, quite possibly without even knowing it."
Their summary of the vote is if not this time, then next time, as the change is shifting in their favor. They are some-what right, because they are Forcing out the out side to EPC with their "hate speech" and "poison the well" attack strategies.

Of course, If I wanted to follow their pattern, I would name the fight as "pro-sin" vs "pro-bible"

Saturday, March 7, 2009

PCUSA troubles.

From the Louisville Newspaper: Presbyterians announce furloughs, salary freeze

They try to blame the economy and then decline in membership much later in the article for past troubles. The truth is people are voting with their feet, either individually, or as a group.

Compare that to this story from Tulsa World Newspaper: Tulsa Baptists shake it up - Name changes, no big office, many committees disbanded

Monday, March 2, 2009

News from the Change 08B crowd

The blog Shuck and Jive has a story on Indian Nations Presbytery vote on "B". It accuses delegates of not allowing a debate on "B". Unfortunately, this blogger has a history of such extreme support for GLBT, that I have to take the report with a grain of salt.

Here is the original report on a different blog: yeson08b. When you look at the site, you notice the typical political trick, Use the right name to slander your opponents instead of logic. They use the phrase "anti–equality" to describe those who want to keep the fidelity/chastity clause. I sure the other side could use "pro-sin" to describe those who want to change 08B.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Program and Data Release

My map program geoCtool is released on SourceForge. It is under the GPL license, like Linux. So it is free to copy and distribute, and change.

I have included data for PCUSA, Presbyteries, Synods, Churches, States, Counties.

From the To DO List:

  • Add polygon simplification
  • Fix bug on polygon combine, that double frees memory? One Combine per pgm run until then
  • Fix up all presbyteries county lists.
  • add lat/long for Synod office.
  • update statistics with 2008 data
  • add state and county capitols
  • add all Cites

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Three Indiana Churches dismissed from PC(USA) to EPC

Journal and Courier Website: Covenant Presbyterian, 2 others split from PCUSA
  • Midwest Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
  • initiated a discernment process in June 2007.
  • $975,000 Total?
  • The three congregations and the Presbytery of Wabash Valley are planning to hold a joint closing worship service shortly after April 15.
  • In the past two years, more than 40 congregations have left.
From Covenant PC website:

On the morning of Tuesday, February 17, the Wabash Valley Presbytery voted to approve an agreement allowing Covenant Presbyterian Church to be dismissed from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and to affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

One-hundred-fifteen delegates at the Presbytery meeting approved the agreement, while two delegates voted against it.

The official dismissal date has not been announced.

Dismissal agreements also were approved for two other Indiana churches; Frankfort First Presbyterian and Nappanee First Presbyterian.

We thank God for His continued faithfulness!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Help Wanted: PC(USA) maps

I think I have my map software completely working. If Satan does not insert any more bugs into the source. The big problem I have, is working out what the Presbytery boundaries are. I used the location of churches to help as a starting place. I have only the graphics on the PCUSA website to eye-ball the boundaries.

HELP WANTED: Does anyone have a better description of each presbytery's counties? Some of the Presbytery websites actually list the counties by name.

My software will generate mostly KML files, that can be imported into Google to draw pretty polygons and placemarks. Once I have all of the Presbyteries with the proper counties, I will release the data, with a free license for others to use.

  • Files for each presbytery with county outlines
  • Files for each presbytery with one outline (merge counties)
  • Files for each presbytery with one outline and each Church placemark
  • Files for each Synod with presbytery outlines.
  • One file with all Synods & presbyteries.
  • Files for each state with the county outlines.
  • One file with all states outlines.

To make these files, I have the following data files

  • Counties with outlines (simplified), state, fips code
  • Presbyteries with office location, list of counties
  • Churches with geo-location, address, phone, website, sizes, etc.
  • Synods withe geo-location, address, phone, website and list of presbyteries.
  • Presbytery Outlines (generated)

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



News Crosswalk The Intersection of Faith and Life
News Church Report National business news magazine
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
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WebStand to ReasonChristian Ambassadors for defense for classical Christianity
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WebAdvisory OpinionsPC(USA) Stated Clerk Advisory Opinions (not binding, nor authoritative)
WebPC(USA) Constitutional MusingsOffice of Constitutional Services - Unofficial Thoughts
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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)

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