In a called meeting, the Session of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Aurora, Ill. voted to cancel the congregational meeting previously called for September 14. At that meeting the congregation was scheduled to vote on whether or not to seek dismissal from the Presbyterian Church (USA). The Session also cancelled two town hall meetings that were to be held leading up to the September 14 vote.
Rev. Charles Legvold, in an email announcing the cancellations said, “The reason for the decision is simple mathematics. Since we have been bound to base the required 75% supermajority vote on the last officially reported membership number of 313, rather than our actual current membership of 233, there is no possible way to meet the supermajority.”
Doing the math one sees the bind: 75% of 313 is 234, which is one vote more than Westminster Aurora actually has on the rolls at present. The vote could not possibly succeed, even with 100% affirmative participation of the entire current membership.
When it comes to presbytery dismissal policies, the devil is almost always in the details.