Gracious Dismissal and Reconciliation
On August 26, 2012, First Presbyterian Church, Freeport, agreed to enter the Gracious Reconciliation and Dismissal Procedure as outlined by New Covenant Presbytery.
As part of the process, our church agreed that 30% of the active membership shall constitute a quorum for all decisions taken regarding the Gracious Reconciliation and Dismissal Procedure.
The members of the First Presbyterian team for the Gracious Reconciliation and Dismissal Procedure are
John Seward, Session representative
Lee Attema, Staff representative
Pat Allan, Congregational representative
Chuck Porter, Congregational representative
Meeting 1 -- Sunday, September 23, 4 p.m.
This meeting was led by an independent facilitator. The meeting concentrated on introductions of the teams and extended prayer.
Meeting 2 -- Saturday, October 20, 3 p.m.
The team discussed the doctrine of Christ as the Head of the Church and First Presbyterian Church's concern with the current position of the PCUSA.
Meeting 3 -- Saturday, November 17, 1 p.m.
The team will discuss foundational theological issues, with prayer.
Meeting 4 -- Sunday, Dec. 2, 1 p.m.
This meeting was devoted to listening to the concerns of the congregation.
Meeting 5 -- Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013
During this meeting it was decided that First Presbyterian Church, Freeport, will seek to leave the PC(USA) and to join the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination.
A town-hall meeting was held after worship on Feb. 3, 2013 for the purpose of answering questions concerning the path forward. A congregational meeting is scheduled for March 10 after a luncheon in Fellowship Hall for the purpose of voting to leave the PC(USA) and seek to join the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination. All members in good standing have been notified by mail as well as by announcements on Sundays.
From the minutes of the March 10, 2013 congregational meeting
Lynn Hargrove briefly summarized the task of the Reconciliation and Gracious Dismissal Team, and thanked the First Presbyterian, Freeport team for their service.
Motion: that FPC request Dismissal from New Covenant Presbytery and the PC(USA) following the February 2nd action of the R&D Team. The motion passed on a vote of 21 yes, 0 no.
Motion: that FPC initiates action and becomes a member of Trinity Presbytery of The Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The motion passed on a vote of 20 yes, 1 abstention.
First Presbyterian Church, Freeport has applied to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for membership and is awaiting the evaluation of their application.
April 27 -- Service of Dismissal from the PC(USA) is scheduled during morning worship at 11 a.m.
August 25 -- Welcome Service into the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination is scheduled during morning worship at 11 a.m.
September 25 -- Lee Attema is ordained a minister in Cumberland Presbyterian Church at the regular meeting of Trinity Presbytery.