Wow – suddenly life is different! For nearly two years we’ve been in the thick of seeking dismissal from the PCUSA to a new denominational home, the ECO. Tuesday the Presbytery voted to dismiss us, though not without some heated debate, and efforts by some to change the settlement agreement we had worked out with their negotiating team. But gratefully, in answer to so many prayers, the vote was nearly 3 to 1 to dismiss us with the terms we voted upon as a congregation last month.So we’re in a new day. But it is a day with its own challenges. Let me suggest to you several that come to mind.
First, we have to learn how to identify ourselves without the foil of the PCUSA. For years, when we have been challenged by evangelical friends about being part of the PCUSA, we have responded, “but we’re different.” Now we are different – literally. And we can no longer use that foil as an identifier, for which it was never really adequate anyway. Now we must “identity ourselves” in Christ as a Reformed congregation, in Richmond, in 2013. We get to do so in partnership with ECO congregations, a far more healthy partnership for us.
Keith Hill is the pastor of St. Giles Church in Richmond, Va.