By Emily Petsko, The Observer-Reporter. (Pennsylvania)
There is a time to rend and a time to sew, the Rev. Doug Brandt preached to the Peters Creek Evangelical Presbyterian congregation during an emotional service Sunday morning. The passage from Ecclesiastes was familiar terrain, but it resonated with parishioners as they prepared to leave behind the brick church on Brookwood Road.
It was their last church service at the worship site that served Presbyterians in Washington County for 220 years.
“Rending a garment in grief shows emotion, doesn’t it?” Brandt said. “We have some hope for the future, but today, we’re experiencing a great deal of grief because we leave this place behind and move out into the unknown.”
Church leaders said the congregation’s decision to vacate the property was one of necessity.
They had been renting it since last fall from the Washington Presbytery, but church officials said the monthly payment of $3,000 – plus upkeep and utilities – became too burdensome.
The final sermon marked a symbolic end to a lengthy legal battle over the ownership of the church that began nearly eight years ago when the congregation voted overwhelmingly to leave Presbyterian Church (USA) in favor of the more conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
This is an important time in the life of this congregation. Where does God want it to go and What does God want this congregation to do? It is important that this congregation continue to function as the Body of Christ. In todays selfish/secular world , we need the church more than ever. We must trust in and follow the Lord always.
PCUSA inherits another empty church.
So…..I suppose PCUSA thinks it “won” here?! This gets more vile and decadent all the time.
Out of curiosity, after seeing a pro-gay marriage add on TV last night that featured headline, “Presbyterian Church Supports Marriage Equality,” I googled to see if the presbyteries had, indeed, approved changing the Book of Order to recognize gay marriage. Sadly, the PCUSA did, but I expected as much. The event passed unnoticed at the Riverwood Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Tuscaloosa, AL where services (including 40 minute, Biblically-based sermons drawn from “God’s Inerrant Word”) focused on early missionaries and their relationship to the churches in Turkey and Greece. Come, join us. Christ and His Church are waiting.