This information was sent out by the Sacramento Presbytery’s Transitional Presbyter, Jay Wilkins. I am placing it here because it, hopefully, finalizes all of the postings I have made on Fremont Presbyterian Church and Sacramento Presbytery:
What Happened at the Special Presbytery Meeting on November 10?
The Presbytery of Sacramento and Fremont Presbyterian Church reached a creative, faithful agreement to a year-long process of dismissal which shows the church a different way of resolving a conflicted situation.
The Presbytery gathered on November 10, 2012, at the Carmichael Church. This special meeting was called to address two items of business – an agreement on the dismissal of the Fremont Presbyterian Church to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which includes a license agreement between the Presbytery and Fremont; and, a motion to begin the process of forming a new worshiping community with those members of Fremont who wish to remain in the PC(USA).*
The dismissal agreement had been developed through a process of mediation with 15 people (six chosen by the Committee on Ministry, six chosen by the Fremont Session, and three chosen by the Fremont members wishing to remain in the PC(USA)). The mediation process was led by Tim Pownall, an attorney experienced in faith-based mediation.
Moderator Bob Yule opened the meeting with prayer, and welcomed Anna Niemann Perrine and Rich McCormac to present the motion for dismissal. Patti Dusel spoke as a member of the mediation team representing Fremont, and shared the experience of being formed as a community by the mediation process. Carter Mosher spoke on behalf of the members wishing to remain in the PC(USA), and affirmed their support of the process and the agreement. Mediation calls for all to make compromises and find common ground for the good of everyone being represented.
Highlights include Fremont being dismissed with the property; the transfer of Rev. Don Baird to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church; a process for the Rev. Dan Willson to transfer to a denomination other than the EPC in the next year; a license agreement in which a new PC(USA) worshiping community has use of the Fremont facilities for 10 years (valued at $500,000); and, a gift from Fremont to the Presbytery of $50,000 over 10 years, or discounted to $325,000 if paid within six months. The dismissal agreement was approved by a vote of 66 in favor, 15 against. All members of the Fremont Church were invited forward for prayer and blessing.
The second item of business was a motion to begin the process of forming a new worshiping community with those members of Fremont who wish to remain in the PC(USA). A group will commit to the 6-9 months required by a process of “Starting New Churches”, which will develop a statement of identity, a vision statement, a mission plan, and identify the leaders of the mission plan – both pastoral and church member leadership. The new PC(USA) church will be located at 5770 Carlson Drive, Sacramento, under license agreement with Fremont Church (E.P.C.). The Presbytery will act as co-signers on the license agreement until the church is organized. This motion passed unanimously.
This has been a difficult year for Fremont and the Presbytery, but a way forward has been found that demonstrates love and creativity, and brings glory to God.
[* These documents are available on the Stated Clerk’s page at www.sacpresby.org.]