Yesterday, General Council was notified that the session of one of our churches (Heritage Presbyterian Church, Houston) has called a congregational meeting for the purpose of voting on its proposal that the church be dismissed with its property from the PCUSA, and affiliate with the New Wineskins Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. This is the first church in our presbytery to do this and we are very saddened by this development.
Almost exactly a year ago Presbytery of New Covenant approved a process addressing congregations seeking to withdraw from the denomination in the hope we would never need it. The goal of the process is to make reconciliation and relationship the most important aspects of the process, whatever the outcome of the congregational vote. Now we will find whether the process will work as envisioned.
Heritage invited presbytery to send representatives to attend and speak at the discussion meetings and the congregational meetings, saying that their issues were not with Presbytery of New Covenant but with the national denomination. We're appointing a review team to do that and appreciate the collegiality evidenced by the invitation.
Prayers for all involved are appreciated.