By Viola Larson, Naming His Grace blog.
Sacramento Presbytery, my presbytery, will be voting on a new dismissal document at the next presbytery meeting. You can read the policy here: Gracious Dismissal Policy Review Task Force- Proposed Policy. This change comes just as three more churches in the presbytery are in the midst of discernment. The policy is supposedly meant to bring the dismissal policy up to date with the most recent church court cases. For that reason the writers of the document cite, “Tom v Presbytery of San Francisco, GAPJC (General Assembly 30 Permanent Judicial Commission) Remedial Case 221-03 (2012).” 
But I think this dismissal policy goes much further than anything intended by the remedial case. As I read the policy that will be voted on at the next presbytery meeting, May 14, I had a question which hopefully my readers can answer. Does anyone’s presbytery have a policy that is like this policy or is this something new? I will highlight some of what I think is important.
Property is a big part, of course. Here is what it says about the property of a church that is leaving
“Care for Property
Within the important constraints set out below, and as long as it recognizes its fiduciary obligation to the entire denomination codified in G-27 4.0203 “The Trust Clause” and G-4.0207, Presbytery may permit options in dealing with PC(U.S.A.) property being used by a Congregation. These 1 options include: (1) retaining the property for those members of the Congregation who wish to remain in the PC(U.S.A.); (2) leasing the property to the departing Congregation; (3) selling the property to the departing congregation; (4) leasing the property to the departing Congregation with an option to buy; (5) selling the property to a third party. The choice of which option to offer shall be made according to which option is in the best interest of the PC(U.S.A.) in consultation with Presbytery’s Congregational Support Ministry Team or its successor.”
As a writer and in a culture which has lately been concerned with the issues of freedom of the press and freedom of religion I was very surprised at the new policy’s rules for the media.