Most of this posting will be about the good direction taken by the Presbytery of Sacramento and Fremont Presbyterian Church's negotiations. I will also add some other information about two other churches in the presbytery. I see people searching for information on my feed about Fremont and think that now that much of the work has been done, and it is good work, that others will both benefit from the work and will be able to let go of a bad beginning.
A good summary of the outcome of the negotiations can be found here: Fremont Presbyterian Church. While both the congregation (Oct 28, 2012) and the Presbytery of Sacramento, (Nov. 10, 2012) have yet to vote on a final approval both the session of Fremont and the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry have approved. Here are some of the highlights.
Fremont will join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and keep their property. They will pay the Presbytery $500, 000 over a period of ten years or a one time payment of $325, 000. The members who did not wish to join the EPC will be given office space and the chapel in which to have services for ten years. They will be allowed use of Fremont’s nursery and their children may attend the Sunday school.
The goals of the negotiating team were and are:
Result is God-honoring
Result reflects well on Christians to the community
Relief is provided to those who desire to change denominations (to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church – EPC)
Care is provided to those who want to stay in the PC (USA)
Agreement is accepted by both the Fremont congregation and by the Sacramento Presbytery
The agreement fulfills all of those goals. A more detailed agreement can be found here: Dismissal Agreement and License Agreement. Be in prayer for all of the parties concerned that Christ will be honored.
There are two other Churches which have recently left the Sacramento Presbytery. In Weed California a small town at the far northern end of our Presbytery, Grace Presbyterian Church and their pastor, Jim Howe, have transferred to the EPC.
In Vacaville, California, Covenant Community Church has moved to a different presbytery, one that better fits their vision and theological outlook, that is Stockton Presbytery. The Pastor is Derek Richman. This was voted on by the Church, the Presbytery, the Synod of the Pacific and finally by the 220 GA.
All of these Churches and people are dear friends of mine and I will miss them very much. But I am very grateful that God has placed them in just the right places for their ministries. One of the interesting parts of this I have not mentioned is that Pastor Don Baird of Fremont is going to the EPC while Pastor Dan Willson of Fremont will go to ECO (A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians).