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What Is Happening?
After a long process of prayerful discernment, Mebane Presbyterian Church has decided to seek dismissal from the Presbyterian Church USA in order to join another Presbyterian Denomination.
Our session has requested to begin the process as specified in the Salem Presbytery Dismissal Policy with a letter sent February 23, 2012. Acknowledgement of receipt of the letter was received February 28, 2012. The next step in the dismissal procedure is that the Presbytery, through its Council, shall appoint a “Conciliation Team” and visitation will be offered.
February 18, 2013 Update
On February 12 Salem Presbytery voted to approve the terms of dismissal that had been agreed upon by the Resolution Team and our session. Our congregation voted to approve these terms on January 27, 2013. We have now officially been dismissed to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church! A special service will be planned when our congregation will be received into the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
January 27, 2013 Update
Our congregation voted today on the terms of dismissal from the PC(USA). The chairman of the Resolution Team was present and spoke to the congregation before the vote was taken. A quorum was present and the percentage to approve the terms of dismissal was 90%.
January 22, 2013 Update
There will be a congregational meeting following an abbreviated worship service on January 27, 2013 to vote on the terms of dismissal from the PC(USA). The terms have been agreed upon by the session and the Resolution Team from Presbytery.
December 4, 2012 Update
The session met with the Resolution Team and dismissal terms were agreed upon. These terms need to be approved by the Council before being voted on by the congregation.
November 27, 2012 Update
On November 27, 2012, session met with the Resolution Team from Presbytery. We discussed the next steps will involve finalizing the terms of dismissal. Once these terms are agreed upon, the congregation will need to vote on them at another congregational meeting. Because of a recent decision of the Permanent Judicial Commission of the General Assembly, the Resolution Team is required to take into account the property values of a church, the per capita giving, and giving to missions as part of the discussion for terms of dismissal. We discussed the years we have belonged to Presbytery, the estimated tax values of our property, our current budget, and our financial concerns going into 2013. Financial settlements were not discussed at this meeting. Session was asked to bring a proposal to a called session meeting on December 4 when we will meet with the Resolution Team again.
October 23, 2012 Update
The application for transitional membership in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church has been sent in.
October 22, 2012 Update
The congregation of Mebane Presbyterian Church voted to dismiss from the PC(USA) and to affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church at a congregational meeting on October 21, 2012, following an abbreviated worship service. 84.3% of the congregation voted in favor of the dismissal. We hope to hear from the Resolution Team soon to begin the process of negotiating the terms of dismissal.
September 10, 2012 Update
There will be additional informational meetings on Oct. 7 and Oct. 14 at 4 pm in the sanctuary in case you are unable to attend on Sept. 30. Letters have been mailed to church members on the active roll informing them of the upcoming meetings.
September 9, 2012 Update
The Conciliation Team from Presbytery has advised session that the congregation should have one resolution on which to vote on Oct. 21 – to dismiss from the PC(USA) and affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. This resolution is in keeping with Salem Presbytery’s dismissal policy which states that a congregation can be dismissed from the Presbytery but only to another Reformed body. Please contact session if you have questions.
August 31, 2012 Update
Representatives from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) will speak at an informational meeting on Sunday, September 30 at 4 pm in the sanctuary. Everyone is welcome to come. There will be a time for questions and answers.
August 28, 2012 Update
The session approved having a congregational meeting on Sunday, October 21, 2012 following the 11:00 worship service. The worship service that day will be abbreviated. The congregation will be voting on whether to dismiss from the PC(USA) and whether or not to affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC).
August 17, 2012 Update
Our session was invited to attend a meeting on August 16 to hear representatives from the EPC. Four elders were able to be present. The question and answer session was helpful.
August 1, 2012 Update
A Conciliation Team from Presbytery met with the session and our Denominational Issues Task Force on July 31. The majority of the meeting was spent discussing what had brought us to the point of wanting to be dismissed form the PC(USA). Session discussed its recommendation to affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Our church will need to vote at some point on whether or not to be dismissed from the PC(USA) and which reformed denomination with which to affiliate. The Conciliation Team was helpful in recommending the next steps to take in the dismissal process.
July 11, 2012 Update
Presbytery has contacted the session. A Conciliation Team will be coming to our July stated session meeting on July 31. Members of our denominational issues task force have been invited to meet with us at that time. Please be in prayer for this meeting.
June 27, 2012 Update
Session is still waiting to hear from the Conciliation Team regarding the next step in the dismissal process. Please contact session members if you have any questions or concerns.
May 22, 2012 Update
On 5-22-12 session voted to recommend to the congregation that we affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). At some point, the congregation will vote whether or not to be dismissed from the PC(USA) to another reformed denomination. The church will then need to decide on which denomination with which to affiliate. Session is waiting to hear from the Conciliation Team.
May 1, 2012 Update
As of May 1, 2012, the Session has not yet been contacted by the Conciliation Team. Information regarding dismissal is also available for checkout in the church library. Please contact session members if you have any questions or concerns.June 27, 2012 Update
The Issues At Hand
There are several key issues that are driving this decision. As was addressed in the recent presentation given to church members, while there are certain topics which are media hot-button issues, the simplest explanation is that the PC(USA) has moved away from its Biblical, Reformed foundations in a way that we believe creates a theological gap that is impossible for us, as a congregation, to bridge.
Dismissal is a difficult process, and there are lots of questions about how it affects us as members, how it affects our staff members, and how it affects their benefits. We have a few documents that we hope will address your concerns.
Do you have questions about the dismissal process?
Do you have questions about Salem Presbytery's dismissal policy?
Do you have questions about what will happen to our teaching elders?
Do you have questions about pensions held by the PCUSA?
Where Will We Go?
The Task Force has recommended that Mebane Presbyterian Church affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a denomination that is aligned with Mebane Presbyterian's theological beliefs, mission outreach, vision, and calling to fulfill the Great Commission. There are other denomination options that we may also consider.
There are other resources on the web available for you to research this issue, the denominations involved, and the affects it will have on our church.