During the congregational meeting, 616 ballots were cast, and 552 voted in favor of entering into the discernment process with New Covenant Presbytery; 64 voted against entering the process.
Sam Knight, interim pastor, and David Finck, session clerk, told the congregation in a letter that it was important for the church to understand that “the vote was to enter into the discernment process and not a vote to leave” the Presbyterian Church (USA).
“The elders have been very clear in their own conversations that no conclusion has already been reached and that this process calls us to genuine discernment about our future,” the letter read.
The motion presented to the congregation read:
“That Grace Presbyterian Church Houston enter into the Presbytery of New Covenant Discernment Procedure, the purpose of which is to allow Grace to evaluate its connection with the PCUSA in a structured and Christ-honoring way. Additionally, pursuant to the Discernment Procedure, the quorum for any future meeting of the Grace Congregation, held to vote on requesting dismissal from the PCUSA, shall be 30 percent of the active members of Grace.”
The letter stated that the elder “believe that Grace has come to a crossroads and it is important to the church’s future to discern if the theology and practices of the PCUSA and that of Grace remain compatible.”
It continued that the elders thought that the question could be answered by participating in the presbytery’s reconciliation and dismissal procedure.
The church has created a “Denominational Issues” resource page on its web site to help the congregation through the process.