(By Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post). The Presbyterian Church (USA) and a conservative church created in response to the mainline denomination’s theological direction are working together to help facilitate a less divisive and more unifying dismissal process for congregations.
Representatives of PCUSA and ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians met in late September for two days to discuss how to properly conduct the dismissal process for congregations seeking to leave the mainline denomination for the newer conservative group.
ECO Synod Executive the Rev. Dana S. Allin told The Christian Post in an interview on Wednesday that the talks came in response to various problems that were arising for some churches trying to seek dismissal from the PCUSA.
“I would say we agreed to do the talks because we saw the pain and damage that was occurring because of dismissal processes that were not handled well,” explained Allin.
“We wanted to be able to have these processes honor God and give witness to the world even in the midst of disagreement.”
Allin provided CP with a copy of the letter he sent out to ECO presbytery leaders, in which he explained that the two parties agreed to better communicate and work together on issues of dismissal, including a joint effort to “highly discourage civil litigation.”
“When a PCUSA church approaches ECO and is contemplating court, we want to encourage those congregations to pursue alternative resolutions,” wrote Allin. “When PCUSA presbyteries consider entering litigation against a church, the PCUSA will encourage them not to do so.”