Monday, May 26, 2014

Reasons to #StayPC(USA)

A few links to churches who went through discernment and decided NOT to join ECO. Also included is a church in our Presbytery of Los Ranchos which has decided to #stayPC(USA). Articles are arranged in chronological order with the most recent articles first. But before you read any of them, I encourage you to watch the very first video link to Dr. Mark Labberton on Discerning vs.Voting. Discerning is all about listening, listening in community, waiting on God together as we pray and share together, not just individually. "Life is not very wisely lived when it is a vote practice... A vote should be the last step." This is why I am blown away by the speed (less than 30 days) and timing (end of School year, prior to VBS, a huge trip to South Africa) of our Session racing us through the process of congregational discernment. I have also included in the list below the blog post advice for at least 3 to 9 months of congregation discernment by former IPC Pr. Mark Roberts. God is faithful and will help us to be faithful too. Thank you.

Video (above) of Labberton, Mark. Discerning vs. Voting.  URL:

Christiansen, Eric. (2014). Trinity StayPC(USA). A Voice for Staying the PC(USA). Eric was ordained a PC(USA) pastor. Browse his blog but also read his post of February 2014:  Voices Staying PC (USA) and Jim Currie's (Pasadena First Pres. pastor), Some Theological Thoughts on Why Stay PC (USA). URL:

StayPC(USA). 2014.

First Church in Houston is staying in PC(USA). 24 February 2014. URL:

Tankersley, Jerry. 2103. Why Stay in the PC(USA). Jerry is the pastor at Laguna Pres. Church. URL:

Roberts, Mark. 2008. Why Not Just Leave the PC(USA)? Mark is the former pastor at IPC and he wrote a lot on this issue. He did not feel called to leave the denomination. URL: 

Roberts, Mark 2008. The PC(USA) and Church Property. In this article, Mark provides fantastic advice for a church about discernment - an open process that allows the congregation three to nine months to pray and study. Here's the relevant excerpt from his blog: Finally, the process should be timely. It should be neither too long nor too short. I’m not able to put a specific number of months on the ideal range, though I can imagine something like three to nine months. If a process is rushed, then people will not have the chance to pray adequate, think carefully, speak openly, and listen attentively. If a process is dragged out, the church will be hurt by the delay. Let’s face it. If a congregation is considering leaving the denomination, this will take a great deal of that congregation’s time and energy. It will, for a season, distract a church from its mission. I can envision church leaders wanting to accelerate the process to a sprint and presbytery leaders wanting to slow it down to a crawl. Neither pace will be edifying to the congregation, or even to the presbytery. Church leaders, both in the congregation and in the presbytery, should be sure that the timetable for the process is neither too short nor too long. 

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