Earlier this month our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in the USA, concluded a difficult biennial meeting, the 220th General Assembly. Attached is a summary report of the General Assembly from our denominational leaders. It is intended for distribution to all members of PCUSA congregations. The content is a reasonable recap of the significant events and decisions made during the General Assembly.
However, if you go on the internet and read more complete reports from the General Assembly you will learn that it took four ballots to elect a Moderator by 52%. The newly elected Vice-Moderator resigned after 36 hours complaining about the “undercurrents of pernicious poison.” of the gathering. Hence, the earlier note about a “difficult biennial meeting.”
During this General Assembly the PCUSA’s movement toward favoring “progressive” points of view on a variety of issues accelerated. For example, one committee forwarded a recommendation to redefine marriage as between “two people” rather than a man and woman. A minority report from dissenting conservative commissioners was quashed in committee and not allowed to be read.
When members of your Session read the letter they recognized that the direction of the PCUSA is in conflict with what the majority of our members believe the Bible teaches on these issues and God’s vision for Westminster. One Elder commented that the Session had been warned by the pastor for years about this trend and its impact on Westminster. It is the clear sense of the Session that the time for re-evaluating Westminster’s relationship with the PCUSA has arrived. There is some urgency because Westminster is in the process of searching for a new pastor and we now have to consider which denomination our church’s future leader will come from.
The leaders of the Presbytery of Utah have been contacted and are eager to start a conversation with Westminster about our relationship with the PCUSA and, if it seems to be God’s will, even dismissing Westminster to another Presbyterian denomination with as much grace as possible. Moreover, both the Session and Presbytery will prioritize how to keep our church intact during any transition plan.
This is not an unexpected turn of events. Please pray for both your Session and pastor as we enter into this new season for Westminster.