To be — or to be something else.
That’s the question facing two Yakima Presbyterian churches, Westminster and First Presbyterian.
They are in the process of deciding if they want to change to a different Presbyterian branch or leave the Presbyterian fold altogether. Both are currently part of a denomination known as Presbyterian Church USA, or PCUSA.
At its heart, the issue is multifaceted. But, basically, First Presbyterians are concerned about matters of fidelity and salvation, while Westminster members are troubled by what they say is an unwieldy bureaucracy.
“This could be a very significant step,” said G. David Lambertson, executive of Presbytery of Central Washington, a PCUSA denomination that oversees 39 congregations in the middle of the state with more than 6,000 members.
“It’s a painful decision,” said the Rev. Duncan MacLeod, pastor of Westminster since 2009.
“None of us is very happy to go through this process,” said Joe Park, a member of First Presbyterian who has served in Presbyterian leadership for 48 years.
(Photo by Andy Sawyer/Yakima Herald-Republic)