Wednesday, June 20, 2007

At our Fall geographic cluster of churches, we voted to allow those who wish to leave our denomination to take their property with them. I asked, as did others, that my vote against this be recorded by the stated clerk.

At a called meeting on Monday, we adopted guidelines for how we will release churches to other denominations. We discussed the importance of handling each case on it's own merits, without a blanket plan, as well as the need to have agreed upon guidelines on how we would divorce one another.

I cannot express the grief I feel over these developments.

I cherish the holy mystery of the Body of Christ. To see the Body divide, fracture and disperse grieves me terribly.

While I think I understand why various congregations wish to move to other denominations, I do not like it.

I hope, for them, that they find the perfect denomination in which to live out their corporate faith in Jesus. I mean this.

Our larger geographic cluster of churches came down to meet with us (not me, but the powers that be) to let us know that we are acting outside of our covenant with the larger church. A letter will be sent to us sometime. I hope I get a copy.

At the Monday meeting, a brother in the Lord said he had copies of the letter for us to see but I couldn't catch him quickly enough. He then suggested that we might, as a geographic cluster of congregations, consider removing ourselves as a group to another denomination.

I am sad.

St. Casserole


cheesehead said...

I am sad on your behalf, sad for those other congregations, sad for the powers-that-be, sad for those of us who stay on, missing our departed brothers and sisters in Christ.

Nobody wins this one.

more cows than people said...

for a lot of reasons i share your grief profoundly upon reading this. this is just. so. sad. i commend you for voting to honor our church's connectionalism through respect for the property clause. i also commend your presbytery for showing grace to hurting brothers and sisters. i grieve, though, deeply.

Quotidian Grace said...

I'm grieved to read this, too. My presbytery set up a set of guidelines in the event a church wanted to withdraw that I think are a delicate balance between honoring the property clause and treating them with grace. So far it hasn't been put to the test, and I pray it won't be.

Presbyterian Gal said...

What I pray for with this is that there is a healing place on the other side of this where we'll all be back together, once we all have the whole picture.

Sue said...


Christine said...

Over here next door at the Presbytery of Slow Learners two congregations have now taken the presbytery to court over church property in the past year. It is indeed a sad business.

Teri said...

This is coming up for us too...two churches wish to leave. I do not know how it will go, but I do know it won't be pretty.

{{St. C. and other sad presbys}}

Mary Beth said...

I am so sorry for this. It is happening in my demonination and in my family, too.

I am grieved for you and with you and for the Church.