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Monday, 10 June 2013

PC(USA) Churches Leaving Denomination Increased Five-Fold in 2012

PCUSA Churches Leaving Denomination Increased Five-Fold in 2012
The number of churches dismissed from the Presbyterian Church (USA) last year increased dramatically compared to 2011, according to a recent report.
As reported by The Christian Poststatistics released late last week by the Office of the General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church (USA) showed 110 congregations were permitted to leave the denomination in 2012 in order to join others. In 2011, only 21 did so.

The article suggested that the action of a majority of presbyteries in voting to allow the ordination of openly homosexual clergy, prompted many conservative congregations in PC(USA) to request dismissal from the mainline denomination.

In January 2012, the conservative PC(USA) group, the Fellowship of Presbyterians, organised a conference in Orlando with around 2,100 Presbyterians from 500 different congregations. The result of the conference was the creation of a "new reformed body" known as the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, or ECO.

Jim Miller, of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, wrote "ECO now has 28 member churches, all of which were dismissed from the Presbyterian Church (USA). There are another 48 churches that are in the process of transitioning to ECO; and over 75 more are discerning a possible dismissal to ECO. A movement has launched."

Could this be what will happen in the Church of Scotland?  Were St George's-Tron, and Gilcomston South, no more than the vanguard of a major movement here?  Only time will tell.

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