Author Topic: Texas' Largest Presbyterian Church (USA) Congregation Votes to Leave Denomination  (Read 877 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://www.christianpost.com/news/texas-largest-presbyterian-church-usa-congregation-votes-to-leave-denomination-107771/

Texas' Largest Presbyterian Church (USA) Congregation Votes to Leave Denomination

By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter
October 30, 2013|6:40 pm

The largest Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation in Texas has voted to leave the mainline denomination over theological differences.

Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas, which has approximately 4,000 members, overwhelmingly approved a resolution recently that would involve the congregation seeking dismissal from PC (USA).

Eighty-nine percent of the members present at the Congregational and Corporate Meeting held at the church voted in favor of leaving PC (USA).

Last month, Highland Park Presbyterian leadership unanimously approved a resolution to begin the process of dismissal from PC (USA).

The Session recommended dismissal from the mainline denomination and membership into the newer more conservative body known as the Evangelical Covenant Order (ECO) of Presbyterians.

Monty Montgomery, elder and co-moderator of the Session-Appointed Discernment Coordinating Committee at HPPC, told The Christian Post that the process of joining ECO has already begun.

"HPPC's next step is to apply for voluntary affiliation and membership in ECO," said Montgomery.

Rev. Joe Rightmyer, interim senior pastor of Highland Park Presbyterian, said in a statement Sunday that the move to ECO involved a 'restoration' of the church's Presbyterian roots.

"By joining ECO, we are not walking away from our Presbyterian values; we are restoring them," said Rightmyer. "With this vote to change, we will still be in the rich stream of Presbyterian theology, and we are ready to begin working with other churches in a growing denomination that is guided by the same beliefs and tenets that direct us."

Members present at the Sunday meeting also voted nearly 90 percent in favor of joining ECO once dismissed from PC (USA). Pending the completion of the dismissal process, Highland Park Presbyterian belongs to the PC (USA) regional body known as the Grace Presbytery.

According to its website, Grace Presbytery is comprised of 162 congregations totaling about 41,000 members. This means that should Highland Park Presbyterian leave, the regional body's membership numbers will decrease by nearly ten percent.

In response to the news, Grace Presbytery posted a comment from The Rev. Joe Clifford, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, on their website.

"Their decision to leave our denomination is heartbreaking. I grieve the loss of this important congregation and their witness as part of our communion these past 87 years," said Clifford. "Let us pray that whatever resolutions are reached, all parties involved may continue to advance the mission and ministry of the body of Christ in and for this broken world, even in the midst of our own brokenness."

The vote comes as Highland Park Presbyterian continues its lawsuit against Grace Presbytery to maintain control of the Highland church property.

"On Oct. 14, Texas District Court Judge Emily Tobolowsky granted a temporary injunction, effectively extending protections through the course of the lawsuit," said Montgomery to CP. "The injunction safeguards the congregation's exclusive rights to control and use the church property during the litigation. The lawsuit is pending in the 298th Judicial District Court in Dallas County."
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Offline sinkspur

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Presbyterians are a congregational denomination.  So what's with the argument over property with the regional body?
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Offline evadR²

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Same thing that happened with the Episcopalians ...you can leave but your not taking any of the church assets with you.
November 6, 2012, a day in infamy...the death of a republic as we know it.

Offline NavyCanDo

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"The Session recommended dismissal from the mainline denomination and membership into the newer more conservative body known as the Evangelical Covenant Order (ECO) of Presbyterians."


For about 7-years we went to an Evangelical Presbyterian Church which also was a conservative break- off denomination from the main liberal body of Presbyterians churches. When we were searching for churches near home we were attracted to EPC by its church BIO, and how they formed and why they didn't agree with the Liberal direction that the mainstream Presbyterians were taking. After a few visits and seeing lots of Bush/Cheney bumper stickers in the parking lot we knew it was safe from the Progressive influence from the religious Left.    We have moved on though to a non-denominational evangelical church that we like even better.    Presbyterians are not known  for their  lively services, and it was getting harder and harder to convince the family to get up on Sunday, and my son was not enjoying Sunday School.   So we started looking again for a conservative church politically, but  a lively church with services that  you enjoyed, and people who treat you like family, and a program for the kids that kept their interest, so for the last 4 years we have been going to New Life Christian, and we love it.  Now the family is eager to get up Sunday and hop in the car.
A nation that turns away from prayer will ultimately find itself in desperate need of it. :Jonathan Cahn

Offline evadR²

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"The Session recommended dismissal from the mainline denomination and membership into the newer more conservative body known as the Evangelical Covenant Order (ECO) of Presbyterians."


For about 7-years we went to an Evangelical Presbyterian Church which also was a conservative break- off denomination from the main liberal body of Presbyterians churches. When we were searching for churches near home we were attracted to EPC by its church BIO, and how they formed and why they didn't agree with the Liberal direction that the mainstream Presbyterians were taking. After a few visits and seeing lots of Bush/Cheney bumper stickers in the parking lot we knew it was safe from the Progressive influence from the religious Left.    We have moved on though to a non-denominational evangelical church that we like even better.    Presbyterians are not known  for their  lively services, and it was getting harder and harder to convince the family to get up on Sunday, and my son was not enjoying Sunday School.   So we started looking again for a conservative church politically, but  a lively church with services that  you enjoyed, and people who treat you like family, and a program for the kids that kept their interest, so for the last 4 years we have been going to New Life Christian, and we love it.  Now the family is eager to get up Sunday and hop in the car.

Word.

Good for you and your family.
November 6, 2012, a day in infamy...the death of a republic as we know it.

Offline mountaineer

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Quote
Rev. Joe Rightmyer, interim senior pastor of Highland Park Presbyterian, said in a statement Sunday that the move to ECO involved a 'restoration' of the church's Presbyterian roots.

"By joining ECO, we are not walking away from our Presbyterian values; we are restoring them," said Rightmyer. "With this vote to change, we will still be in the rich stream of Presbyterian theology, and we are ready to begin working with other churches in a growing denomination that is guided by the same beliefs and tenets that direct us."
What's going on in the PCUSA is like when reasonable and patriotic Democrats say, "I didn't leave the Democratic party, the Democratic party left me."

The leftist PCUSA now barely resembles a Christian church at all, let alone one reflecting the reformed values and beliefs of the Presbyterian tradition (now visible in the EPC, ECO, PCA and a few smaller presby denominations). The PCUSA in the past has gone after departing congregations' property and assets with a vengeance. My own former church's fight with the presbytery ended up going to the U.S. Supreme Court back in the 1980s before we were able to keep the building (we left the PCUSA's predecessor, UPCUSA, for the PCA).

Nowadays, however, most PCUSA presbyteries just demand a payoff, kind of a "departure fee," and then they waive any further interest in the congregational building or other assets.

I'd love for my current PCUSA church to leave the denomination.
Life is too short to leave the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket.

Online jmyrlefuller

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Although I'm not a Presbyterian (I was raised in the Methodist tradition and think Calvin got a number of things wrong), I too have seen the increasing leftward shift of the church. Just yesterday the local pastor started going on about how we uber-wealthy Americans (note that we live in one of the more economically depressed parts of the country, which he promptly pooh-poohed) spend $6 billion a year on Halloween and how we could feed the entire world for six months with that money.

Well, notwithstanding the laws of supply and demand that make such a statement blatantly wrong, I note that Judas Iscariot also had grand plans for feeding the poor with other people's money, and we all know how that turned out.

The pastor's stepdaughter, I may also note, is an Obamacare fan.

So, after five years, I'm done with that place and am looking elsewhere.
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

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Offline Rapunzel

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I would tell them why I left, JMF
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Online jmyrlefuller

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I would tell them why I left, JMF
There are other reasons (exhaustion, being the only single guy in a church full of families, and an awkward, um, situation between me and the stepdaughter), but I am writing my opus today that explains that and my numerous other reasons for leaving. It's kind of complicated-- I've been part of the music team there for most of my time there so it's not like I can slip out unnoticed.
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

"In the excitement of great popular elections, deciding the policy of the country, and its vast patronage, frauds will be committed, if a chance is given for them." —Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Although I'm not a Presbyterian (I was raised in the Methodist tradition and think Calvin got a number of things wrong), I too have seen the increasing leftward shift of the church. Just yesterday the local pastor started going on about how we uber-wealthy Americans (note that we live in one of the more economically depressed parts of the country, which he promptly pooh-poohed) spend $6 billion a year on Halloween and how we could feed the entire world for six months with that money.

Well, notwithstanding the laws of supply and demand that make such a statement blatantly wrong, I note that Judas Iscariot also had grand plans for feeding the poor with other people's money, and we all know how that turned out.

The pastor's stepdaughter, I may also note, is an Obamacare fan.

So, after five years, I'm done with that place and am looking elsewhere.

I am SO in the same place with my PCUSA church.  I joined that church in 2007 when I re-located to DE from Texas, as I needed to make the move to take care of my elderly mother, and I wanted to keep her connected to her church by joining myself.  THAT worked out great, and I was so lucky to unexpectedly meet a wonderful man there, and eventually marry him 3 years later.  We had a large memorial for him at that church when he died unexpectedly.

I have a lot of emotional attachments to that church, but I am getting so tired of more and more liberalism being injected into the sermons, and I am feeling more and more out of place there as a result.


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