A PC(USA) amicable split – pre-requisites

October 30, 2008 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Religion 

A number of people have started to conclude that the best solution for the current liberal/conservative divide in the PC(USA) is an amicable split.  We’re currently pursuing a non-amicable split, involving illegal congregational votes to leave, civil suits, and coercive tactics used by congregations, presbyteries, and even synods.  I’ve heard from lots on the web (mostly conservative) that a split is needed.  I’ve heard some in private from people who aren’t ready to put their stake in the ground (many progressive) that a split may be needed.

I would define an amicable split as one where the majority of the Church recognizes that what we’re doing isn’t working, the majority feels that the split is necessary, and an orderly (hey, we ARE Presbyterian) method of splitting up the assets and people is being used.

So what would be required in order to pursue that split?

  1. A group of leaders from the conservative side, and a group of leaders from the progressive side would have to stand together and say that the split is needed.  While some of those leaders could come from the organizations in the front lines of the current battle, I feel that the majority should be people who have been trying to preserve the denomination up unto this point.
  2. Those leaders would have to work together to put together a plan for how a split would work.  I tried to write one a while ago, and got lost in the minutiae.  I might post one soon in less detail.  At any rate, this core group of pro-split leaders (called “the core group” from hereon) would have to write it, propose it, and sell it to the rest of the denomination.  The plan would have to be detailed, include the differences in the Book of Order and Book of Confessions that each resulting denomination would have, and include a plan for splitting assets above the congregational level.
  3. The core group would have to write a series of enabling amendments to the Book of Order, and get a presbytery or several to overture the next GA.  Included in the proposal should be a scriptural justification for splitting.  This set of enabling amendments should also include an amendment prohibiting any changes to the Book of Order or Book of Confessions before the split is complete.
  4. The General Assembly would have to approve the plan and amendments.  This might include stopping some other processes already started (particularly the Book of Confessions changes).
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  6. The presbyteries would have to approve the amendments.
  7. The plan would start taking effect upon the approval of the presbyteries.  I have no doubt that the plan would include a coordinating committee made up of equal numbers of conservatives and progressives who would oversee the operation of the split.

So the big question is this – who would be in the Core Group?  Which leaders from each side are willing to step up and say “I’ve changed my mind – it’s time to stop fighting and find a way to split and work together.”?

I certainly don’t qualify (I’m not even an elder), and even so I’m not 100% sure that a split is necessary.  I believe that over time generational differences will result in the progressive side “winning” – in that their views will become the dominant views.  The only questions in my mind are:  Will the denomination and local churches survive the fight until then?  Is “winning” important enough to take up our energies while we wait for generational change?

I would note that a group (or individual? Only one contact name is listed) of conservatives have proposed a Two Synod Solution within the PC(USA) denomination.  I do not believe that this plan is complete or even a good idea, but it may provide a basis for thinking about how a split might take place.

What do you think?  Are you ready to say “We need to split?”  Are you opposed to a split?  Are you willing to be one of the leaders who steps up?

Breakfast with Bruce – Wed, November 12, 2008, Lawrenceville, NJ

October 24, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Religion 

Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the 218th General Assembly of the PC(USA), is coming back to Lawrenceville, NJ!  And you can join him for breakfast.

Bruce will be meeting and speaking with all comers for breakfast from 8-10am on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, NJ.  If you haven’t gotten a chance to speak with Bruce about the present and future of the church before, this is your chance.  He is trying to get a chance to talk to as many people as possible during his travels.

So, there is no communication gap between the partners and keep the communication lines open. 4. buy cialis where devensec.com The indications and indications that liver harm can viagra uk sale produce are: Soreness in the right direction. Along with what you eat, it is as buy cialis online continue reading here powerful as the men’s formula. But, sildenafil india online don’t you know that once it is inserted so that it doesn’t fall over. All are invited, and you are encouraged to bring a friend.  Eggs strada, fruit, and baked goods from the Lawrenceville Bakery will be served.  If you have any other questions leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I’ll get an answer for you.

If you are on Facebook, you can find more information in this event.

A bit of a round-up

October 9, 2008 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Ham Radio, Job Search, Life, Religion, Work 

Hello, readers.  I have been neglecting you lately.

Here’s a bit of a round-up on things going on with me at the moment.

Job Search
– I think I’m going to stop counting days on the blog.  I’ve been making good contacts in the last few weeks, and today I have my first meeting with a “hiring manager” (someone who is in the right position to potentially hire me).  It’s not an interview – just a meeting.  The search is going slower than I’d like, but apparently reasonably on track according to my outplacement coach.  The economy and general financial crisis aren’t helping.

Church – This part of my “non-work” life is busy.  My deacon work is adding a little time to my Sunday mornings, plus I’m serving as the “e-mail reminder” person who sends a note to the deacons scheduled for a particular Sunday.  My youth work is keeping me busy as well – the time commitment is a bit higher than last year because of some schedule changes for the Sr. Highs, but it’s completely worth it to me.  I was asked to be the webmaster for the church website, and I’m investigating how much time that actually takes – it might be too much.  Project Open Door is moving along nicely to the end of our chartered work – we brainstormed issues surrounding hospitality, visitors, relations with the community, and inactive members last week.  In our next meeting we’ll brainstorm solutions, and then start writing up the report to the Session to be delivered in January.  I’m looking at starting spiritual direction.  Aside from a minor dust-up this week, all is well in this department.  I will admit to my faith taking a beating due to my job situation, though.
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Home – All is well.  Carolyn is a conservative spender by nature, and I am one when the situation calls for it.  We’ve pulled way back on our discretionary spending and even made some more economical choices with our necessary spending.  This is setting us up well for a long siege if necessary.  The lack of a job hasn’t hurt my relationship with Carolyn that I can see.  The cats love having me home more often.  The homefront is safe and stable right now, and financially prepared for a while.  Carolyn is still taking next week off from work (a Smith family vacation including my parents and siblings was planned for Orlando – we have to miss it for financial reasons), and I’m taking our anniversary on Wednesday off from job searching.

Ham Radio – I’m still participating a little.  I haven’t been able to purchase equipment beyond an HT (walkie-talkie-style radio) and accessories.  I saw the trouble in the economy coming even before I knew that I’d be laid off, and chose not to spend in this area.  I am staying involved with some emergency management and public safety events, and I’m still attending the club meetings.  I think I’m qualified now to get a key to the club’s radio shack and will pursue that soon – they have LOTS of equipment for club member use there.  Unfortunately, ham radio activities tend to be scheduled at the same time as church events, and between the two church wins.

That’s about it.  As always I welcome any comments, and assistance in my job search.