26 March 2008


Wow! Easter is past and we are headed for Spring. A sure sign was the congregation of neighbors at the head of our driveway as I drove in. When the weather gets just a little warmer, it will be 9 pm or later before we even get into the house.

Yesterday, our former PC(USA) presbytery finally voted on the settlement of our suit to quiet title. Although a couple of pastors spoke for retribution, when it finally came to a vote, the presbytery approved the settlement unanimously.

We had disaffiliated last June on the Sunday after the EPC approved the creation of the New Wineskins Transitional Non-Geographic Presbytery. In light of the Louisville Papers and because our former presbytery had a reputation for suing churches, having done so unsuccessfully in the mid-80's, we elected to file a declaratory judgment action to quiet title to our real and personal property.

We offered to negotiate almost immediately, but it took until October for the Administrative Commission to get together and meet with us. Their initial demand was $500,000, but we quickly agreed on a little less than $25,000. We had a full agreement in principle by early January, but the presbytery did not vote until yesterday.

The settlement is a good one for all concerned. The law was strongly against the presbytery and we had no real gripes with them; our concern was the extreme leftward and worldly drift of the PC(USA). They get 5 years of presbytery per capita based on our membership on the day we disaffiliated, directed to one of four of their missions. (We chose the summer camp. They will get a little over $18,000.) We also gave a much smaller unrestricted gift to the presbytery.

For us, it was a nuisance settlement--lawyer talk for it would have cost us more to continue the DJ action, and we get finality. We keep our name and our records, and can now focus on being the church God wants us to be in our community.

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