At Saturday’s (Jan. 24) meeting, the Presbytery of San Gabriel postponed a motion to establish an Administrative Commission, that among other duties will “assume full authority over the session” — for Korean Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Rowland Heights, Calif., until its May 13th meeting.
Following the meeting, Charles Lim gave an update on the meeting in a comment on The Layman Online’s original article on issue: “Thanks to many courageous true Christians on the floor, we were able to postpone the establishment of Administrative Commission until next presbytery meeting in May.”
He continued, “Since our session is unanimously united and more than 91 percent of church members support us, we are not afraid of presbytery, synod or GA! We will stand firm knowing that God will be with us! But they will come back more cunningly and strongly in May. Please remember our case and keep praying for us.”
Another post by Samuel Kim said that “As I observed the meeting, it appeared that the voters were split nearly half and half over the issue. But it was clear to me that the PET and the ruling body of the presbytery have set their mind to side with the 9 percent that wants to stay with the denomination.”
After the church had reached an agreement with the presbytery engagement team for gracious dismissal – and approved it by a 91 percent majority vote — San Gabriel’s presbytery council recommended that the presbytery establish an administrative commission with the powers of original jurisdiction for the church.
In a Jan. 22 letter to the presbytery, Peter Chung, clerk of the session of Korean Good Shepherd, wrote ““Considering that the church had reached an agreement with the PET for dismissal with property, with payment terms agreed upon and ratified by the congregation by a 91 percent majority vote, we are at a loss to understand how the PET now concludes that there is a ‘deadlock’ or that it has been unable to negotiate terms. The congregational vote approving the terms occurred with PET participation and supervision in March 2014. Of 812 validated votes, 738 voted in favor of the dismissal terms, with only 74 opposed. The vote was conducted decently and in order,” he wrote.
Chung asked the presbytery to “follow its own guidelines and Book of Order, even as we seek to obtain gracious dismissal to another Reformed Body. We have respected and complied with the Book of Order and the presbytery’s GDP. To cast aside the stated desires of 91 percent of the congregation and seek to impose a new governing body over the session does not seem like grace or forbearance when we have trusted the process and acted in good faith.”
According to the council’s motion, if approved, the AC would be authorized to:
- “Conduct an administrative review of the session and its responsible management of the church’s worship and congregational life as a community of faith, hope, love and witness and the management of the physical property of the congregation for the furtherance of its mission.
- “Assume full authority of the session.
- “Determine the application of the Presbytery’s Gracious Dismissal Policy on behalf of both the church and the Presbytery, bringing a recommendation to the full Presbytery.
- “Determine as the presbytery whether there is a schism within the membership of the congregation and whether the Presbytery is unable to effect a reconciliation of a division into separate congregations within the Presbyterian Church (USA) and determine as the presbytery if one faction is entitled to the property because it is identified by the Presbytery as the true church within the Presbyterian Church (USA).”
Related article: Presbytery threatens to renege on agreement with Korean church