Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Let’s just pause for a moment and reflect that this church is willing to pay . . . an $8.89 million dollar ransom in order to be set free from the PCUSA.
. . .
Let’s also pause to reflect that, had Katherine Jefferts Schori been a little less vengeful and bitter, almost every diocese in TEC would be rolling in funds, rather than scrabbling about for scraps, selling their camp and conference centers, closing parishes, and trying to conduct special capital campaigns from the donor lists given [or not] by unwilling parish rectors.

Now I understand why our Presiding Bishop did what she did. Other than the emotional issues, she rightly recognizes that, well . . . TEC’s got nothing but its brand, and its brand is made up of only a few interesting characteristics that are distinctive: a sense of heritage and history characterized by the property, and a franchise recognition by the Anglican Communion.  That’s pretty much it, because everything else can be duplicated [if entities wish to, which they are demonstrating that they do not—but that’s another matter].
There is a lot in the article, including a timeline on the three-year effort this church went through to leave the PCUSA, various other factors in their decision, and other details.

From GospelHerald, where there is more:
In newsletter titled “A Rationale,” MPPC said that its understanding of the Scripture’s authority are “increasingly out of alignment” with the PCUSA. While agreeing with the denomination’s constitutional statements about the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Scripture and in the questions asked at ordination they are concerned about how they are interpreted and lived out.
PCUSA’s 2011 nationwide survey reveals a wide range of interpretation. It asked PCUSA pastors how they feel about the statement, “Only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved.” 40% of pastors said they “agreed” or “strongly agreed,” while 45% said they “disagreed” or “strongly disagreed.
Moreover, MPPC states that PCUSA’s judiciary body has supported and reinforced this lack of clarity by declaring statements summarizing “essentials of Reformed faith and polity” are “confusing and unnecessary; and are themselves an obstruction to constitutional governance.” PCUSA has also ruled that a church cannot examine pastoral candidates in light of a church’s statement of ‘essential tenets.’
The second factor is mission. Since starting multisite campuses, the church has faced resistance from Presbytery members about opening campuses in proximity to existing PCUSA churches. In addition, the church finds it hard to recruit visionary young leaders. In 2011, only 16 percent of PCUSA pastors were under the age of 40, and the media age was 54.
Ortberg said that the church have to be able to attract “effective leaders who want to be part of a bold, creative, non-bureaucratic, risk-taking, lean, Jesus-centered, gospel-focused church ministry.”
Although PCUSA have announced an initiative of planting 1,001 new churches, MPPC finds a lack of shared mission focus. In an example, in the last two years, the Presbytery has called for the boycott of Silicon Valley employers Hewlett Packard and Motorola because of their business with Israeli government, but MPPC considers this a distraction from their focus on the core mission - proclamation and spread of the Gospel.

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