Monday, February 1, 2010

Roseville and Fair Oaks: praying for brothers and sisters

I have just now found the news that I have known for several days. I found it in the Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise. The headline reads C.A. Reverses Ruling Giving Local Churches Control of Property. That means that unless appealed they have lost their property. Or unless the Sacramento Presbytery takes the problem back under their wings and once again allows First Presbyterian Church of Roseville and Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church to leave with their property, they have lost.

The article has it slightly wrong, they write, “Both the Roseville and Fair Oaks churches reportedly agreed to pay the national church to leave with their property, but the deal was scuttled when another local church said the national church had an obligation to obtain fair market value for the property.” Instead , not a church but a man, a pastor, David Thompson, who is no longer Presbyterian, complained to the Pacific Synod that the Sacramento Presbytery had allowed the two churches to leave with their property.

Now Thompson has interfaith services which began with a sage smudging.

But Christians who truly love their Lord have better options then the Third District Court of Appeal. For the sake of the ministry that both Roseville and Fair Oaks provide to this area the Sacramento Presbytery can rescind their action and they can once again allow these two churches to leave with their property. This would be the gracious thing to do. It is the only thing to do since we are all members of the universal Church whose foundation and Head is Jesus Christ.

Sometimes the waters are muddied by just one set of feet that no longer walk in the stream. The faithful must push through the dirtied water and stand faithful before a holy God. And he is far more gracious then anyone. He is sovereign; we will be righteous and clean in him. I know that all the members of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church will be praying for these two churches, I pray that all orthodox and Evangelical members of the PCUSA will be praying for them as well. And include the Sacramento Presbytery in those prayers.

A very old song and recording for my friends:

The papers can be found here-scroll down


Anonymous said...

Letting pagans (and I don't mean the courts) set the agenda for our denomination is a GREAT strategy! It's working SO well for the health of the church...

Viola Larson said...

Well part of it is that the Synod has their hand in this also. I thought if I try to explain the whole thing I would lose all my readers and it would be unhelpful.(And I wasn't sure I could anyway.) I do, however, think that the Presbytery can take care of this.

Dave Moody said...

That was my prayer this AM, after I read your blog. May wise and gracious heads prevail.

Noel said...

Anything I ever said comparing PCUSA pols to the worst of Medieval, land-grabbing bishops I no longer regret. Prayers for our friends in Sacramento.

Pastor Bob said...

Part of the problem is that synods step in, say you must when the presbytery has what it considers to be a satisfactory solution, and then don't provide the money to do so. Same thing happened down in Louisiana didn't it?

Neil D. Cowling said...

Let us leave aside 1 Corinthians 6 which basically forbids Christians from bringing lawsuits in secular (pagan?) courts. Let us not complain about how nasty synods and presbyteries can be about property issues,i.e., "Anything I ever said comparing PCUSA pols to the worst of Medieval, land-grabbing bishops I no longer regret." Instead of all that let us be productive and suggest an alternative proposal.

If I understand you rightly, Viola, you are an elder in a church in Sacramento Presbytery. It would seem to me that the appropriate action would be for you or someone else to bring a motion to the next meeting of the Presbytery to allow the churches to leave with their property.

Complaining and name calling is one thing. Doing the grunt work of formulating motions and gaining support for an alternative proposal is quite another.

Neil D. Cowling, Pastor
Kirk of Our Savior
Westland, MI

Noel said...


While better brothers help you delineate a course of action (By the way, have you ever considered taking a problem like this to your Executive Presbyer?), I will, chastened, get back to trying to grow this 1,000-member church back to its full health.

And just for the record, some of my best friends are the worst of Medieval, land-grabbing bishops.

Viola Larson said...

Neil & and Noel,

Both of your ideas are on the minds of many of us here. And I was informed last night that the ruling simply means that the Churches will just have to restart all over with their cases.

Not sure why you are chastened Noel, and I am sure I might have a few of those friends too.