A member of Colonial Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, which has been locked in conflict with the PCUSA’s Heartless Presbytery, left a comment on my previous post on the situation. She has further news on the situation, and has given me permission to share that as a post. She writes:
As a member of Colonial, I am proud to say we “Officially” left the PCUSA today and joined the EPC. For us, it is business as usual. Of course we want to keep our property – we are paying for it, never a cent from Heartland. If it is decided that Heartland technically owns it, they also occur all the debt that goes with it – they cannot afford that kind of debt.
This past week, right before we took our vote, we received a letter from our Elders that was sent from Heartland, basically saying our Elders are incompetent and do not know what they are doing. We elected those people so basically they are saying the same thing about us. It is sad Heartland is caught up in the financial and political aspect of things rather than focusing on the real issue: Christ, spreading the Word and missions for the greater good of all of humanity.
We will continue to pray for Heartland and if this is their “gracious” plan for exiting, I pity their enemies.
She has also sent along a link to an archive of the various documents pertaining to the Colonial discernment process, including communications from the presbytery, which you can find here.
Thanks for the information, sister. Our prayers will continue to be with our brothers and sisters at Colonial.
UPDATE: This comes a little late, for which I apologize to my contact at Colonial. She has sent along scans of two other documents that need to be out there to substantiate some of what she says above. Here they are:
The notable thing here is the remark in the administrative commission’s letter:
There is no provision within the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) for a congregation to vote itself out of the denomination. Individuals are able to leave the congregation but no majority vote can move the whole membership from the congregation.
This is technically correct, of course. Congregations can’t vote themselves out of the PCUSA. What they can do, however, is survey the congregation to find out what the will of the members is, and take a vote of the congregation to ask for dismissal. Colonial has done both of those things. Heartless’ administrative commission, however, isn’t interested in trivia such as what the desire of the congregation might be; its only interest, to all evidence, is in keeping the property.