Presentation on theme: "Welcome!. FPC Douglasville…. Upholds the authority of Scripture. Upholds the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Seeks to own our."— Presentation transcript:
FPC Douglasville…. Upholds the authority of Scripture. Upholds the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Seeks to own our own property. Why do our leaders feel we should seek dismissal from the PCUSA?
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. –Romans 12:2
The inerrancy of the Bible The virgin birth of Christ Christ’s substitutionary atonement Jesus’s bodily resurrection The authenticity of miracles 1910 General Assembly: Five Points:
1993: Reimagining God Conference… praying to the “goddess Sophia”
Support of Palestine/Opposition to Israel Various boycotts against corporations Pro-choice position on abortion Support for a single-payer universal healthcare program Advocacy for gun control Prohibition on holding meetings in Arizona Social Action:
For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. - Psalm 129:13-14a
“the singular, saving lordship of Jesus Christ.” …It was defeated.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” -John 14:6
Exclusivity of Jesus Christ Less than half (45%) of Elders believe that only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved. Only 41% of Pastors believe that only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved.
Authority of Scripture Only 15% of Elders believe the Bible to be the literal Word of God. Only 6% of Pastors believe the Bible to be the literal Word of God.
Relief of Conscience…. Non-geographic presbyteries
Session Discernment Process “…let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance…” Proverbs 1:5
For years members of FPC have prayed for our denomination and have considered how best to be faithful. It was not until the General Assembly developed a “gracious separation” process that our Session began a discernment process. 1.Remain with PC (USA) as a faithful witness. 2.Leave the PC (USA) through the gracious separation process and join ECO. In the past two decades…
Listening forums were offered to the congregation. Though only a small percentage attended, information was gathered and feedback was reported to Session. The church website gave members a place to find out more information and to have questions answered. Additionally, the Denominational Affairs team gave updates during worship and via newsletters. Fall 2012
James Harper began a 12 week sermon series based on the essential tenets that the session voted on. These tenets officially clarified our theological identity. January 2013
Session engaged in a discipline of prayer, devotional Bible study, and fasting in an effort to hear what God had to say to them. *Bear in mind, at NO time did James, Andrew or any other staff share their personal opinion as to what option we should choose. Mid-February-late April, 2013
Session Retreat 1.Two options were presented in an unbiased way. 2.Round table discussions about pros/cons of each option allowed time to brainstorm thoughts. 3.Meditation and discernment exercises. 4.Large group discussion regarding concerns for each option. April 26-27, 2013
Session meeting: A motion was made to vote on which option FPC would follow. Every session member was allowed an opportunity to freely share their opinion/concerns regarding the two options. A vote took place and 100% supported the decision for gracious separation. May 20, 2013
Listening Sessions Surveys Town Hall Negotiating the gift Vote Separation Process:
Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO) 100 % of Session + 50 years of FPC leadership= A step in the right direction!
Eco was formed in Jan. 2012 after congregations and pastors across the country felt an overwhelming desire to leave PC (USA). Denominational disputes over theology and bureaucracy took the focus from the pastoral calling of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and equipping a new generation to lead. ECO’s background
The mission of ECO is to build flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ. MISSION:
Covenant = connect leaders in accountable relationships and encourage collaboration Order = commit to a shared way of life as we unite around a shared theological core Evangelical = advance the gospel of Christ and plant new mission-focused communities Presbyterian = stand within our reformed and confessional heritage The Name:
1.Lift up the centrality of the gospel. 2.Grow with an emerging generation of leaders. 3.Prioritize a wave of church innovation. 4.Create an atmosphere of relational accountability. Vision: “Baptize more than we bury.”
The great purpose toward which each human life is drawn is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. God’s word IS the authority for our confession. We believe in the Trinity and incarnation. We believe in God’s grace through Christ’s sacrifice. Essential Tenets:
Jesus Christ is the ONLY way by which sinners become children of God. We are elected for salvation and service. We will hold one another accountable to live in obedience to the word of God. Essential Tenets (cont’d)
More than 50 congregations across the country (totaling more than 20,000 members) have joined ECO since its formation. Approximately 50 other congregations have applied for membership in ECO. They are either awaiting acceptance or working toward dismissal from the Presbyterian Church (USA). Another 100 congregations have requested applications. Who is going with us?
1.ECO is unapologetic about its theological identity and attention to Biblical authority. With defined essential tenets similar to those our Session adopted for FPC, we will be able to stand by those convictions. 2.ECO is a fast-growing, exciting, evangelical, mission-centered, Reformed body. The Holy Spirit is active here! 3.Becoming a part of ECO means we can faithfully stay intact as a church family and own our church property outright. Top 3 reasons to join ECO:
As Keith Hill states, “ECO is high covenant and low regulation.” This is opposite of where we have been. At our town hall meeting, Sandy Fox eloquently said, “ECO is a vibrant, exciting Presbyterian denomination. It is made up of congregations like us, evangelical congregations. To be evangelical means you can say, without being embarrassed, that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior.” In conclusion…