The number of churches that were dismissed from Presbyterian Church (USA) last year has increased by fivefold compared to 2011, says a recently released report.
According to statistics released Thursday by the Office of the General Assembly for PC(USA), 110 congregations were granted dismissal in 2012 in order to join other denominations; in 2011, the reported number was only 21. In 2010, at the 219th General Assembly of PC (USA), a majority of presbyteries, or regional bodies, voted to approve Amendment 10a, which lets presbyteries allow for the ordination of openly homosexual clergy. Because of this amendment, many conservative congregations in PC (USA) decided to pursue dismissal from the mainline denomination, usually for more conservative Presbyterian sects.
Emily Enders Odom, communications coordinator for the OGA of PC(USA), talked about the issue of dismissal within the denomination in a press release sent out on Thursday. Odom noted that most of the mainline protestant denomination did not experience these dismissals. "Even as congregations and their respective presbyteries faithfully, although often painfully, sought to discern their denominational affiliation in serving Christ's mission…only 29 percent of the denomination's 173 presbyteries dismissed churches in 2012," said Odom. more >>
One of the largest Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations in the United States is presently weighing the possibility of leaving the denomination due to theological differences.
First Presbyterian Church of Houston, founded in the early nineteenth century and with an estimated 3,600 members, voted earlier this year to enter a discernment process over the possibility of seeking dismissal.
James T. Birchfield, senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church, told The Christian Post that the congregation wants to consider where they stand in relation to the views of PC(USA). more >>
Two Presbyterian Churches have called upon Christians to engage in a "season of prayer" focused on the uncertainty found in the rising tension between North Korea and South Korea.
At a consultation meeting held last week, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Presbyterian Church in Korea (PCK) issued a joint statement calling for a seasonal time of prayer that would take place during the summertime, from June 25 until August 15.
"For the people of the PCK, this season of prayer will be a time to remember the suffering of separated families on the Korean Peninsula; and to acknowledge that, since the partition of the peninsula, the Christian commitment to reconciliation has been compromised by the trauma of a fratricidal war; discipleship compromised by bitterness; and faithfulness compromised by fear and hostility," reads the joint statement in part. more >>
An Oklahoma congregation affiliated with Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted to leave the denomination and join the more conservative Evangelical Covenant Order.
Members of First Presbyterian Church of Edmond voted Sunday to continue the process of dismissal from the Indian Nations Presbytery of PC(USA). According to the Edmond Sun, of those present, 815 voted in favor of dismissal while 55 voted against. Voting members had to be in good standing and present for the proceedings.
"I think this vote, a huge landslide vote, is a vindication of the direction that the leadership felt God was calling this congregation to move toward," said Mateen Elass, senior pastor of First Presbyterian, in an interview with the Edmond Sun. more >>
A growing evangelical church in Arizona has purchased its third campus, a sanctuary constructed in 1927 and formerly owned by a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
City of Grace, which already has campuses in Mesa and Scottsdale, bought the Historic First Presbyterian Church of Phoenix property earlier this year and is presently renovating the facility.
Terry Crist, senior pastor at City of Grace, told The Christian Post that the purchase of the Phoenix-based property was years in the making. more >>
The highest commission of Presbyterian Church (USA) has cleared a clergywoman of charges that she violated church law when she opted to marry her partner in 2009.
Permanent Judicial Commission of the General Assembly of PC(USA) made its decision regarding an appeal against the Rev. Laurie McNeill in Louisville, Ky. on Sunday.
"The facts of this case do not support disciplinary action under…the Book of Order. Nothing in this decision modifies standards and norms of the church's understanding of marriage," reads the decision in part. more >>