(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.”
“When PC(USA) presbyteries consider entering litigation against a church, the PC(USA) will encourage them not to do so.”
I’ll believe this when I see it, this would interfere with the louiville sluggers growing real estate business.
As we celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Let us not forget that Reformation is an ongoing process, not a single event in history. And in that matter, as applied to the UPC/PCUSA, the ECO, EPC and to a degree the PCA is the “Reformation”, they are the response of God to the prayers of the people. Is the logical, theological, spiritual successors to Presbyterianism in the Reformed tradition. The people have prayed for renewal of the old mainline liberal entity, and God has responded.
As to the ongoing ECO-PCUSA dialogue, indeed thoughtful discussion, reasoning and finding common ground is far better than hate, angst, and lingering resentment over matters of bricks and conduit. But make no mistake in the greater Kingdom of God, who has a future and who does not.
“to a degree” the PCA? What do you mean?
Tom: Unlike say, the Associate Reformed Branch or even the Cumberland’s that trace their roots along a different root than the mainline liberals. The ECO, EPC and PCA were reactionary to an event or a series of events in the mainline establishment. In the case of the PCA it was the legacy of the fundamentalists/modernists splits of the last century, women’s ordination, the “Keyonization” of the church. In essence the removal of the theological space and ability to worship and work by any who would disagree with the majority, a stripping away of the rights of the minority. As we witness now as to all things LGBTQ and the Administrative State PCUSA. I said to a degree about the PCA in reference to it being the first really modern exodus out of the entity due to UPC/PCNA/PCUS excesses. Now some would say the PCA has some explaining to do on matters of race relations and policies of its past, others would take it to task over the issue of women’s ordination, which the EPC/ECO allow as a matter of local policy and church autonomy on those matters. Regardless I do consider the PCA a corrective movement, a reaction to a more Westminster understanding of polity and freedom of conscious embedded in the Confession. Hence a God given and God directed reaction to, and in a sense of Reformation in the Presbyterian branch.