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Presbytery Postpones "One Night Only" Offer From Stow 
Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 07:00 PM - Other
By a close vote, Presbytery declined to immediately to vote on a "one night only" offer, previously presented to the Stow Consulting Commission, to dissolve one of the Presbytery's churches. Presbytery decided not to hear persons claiming to be from the Stow church who wanted to bypass the Stow Consulting Commission and speak to the entire Presbytery about an unscheduled motion recorded in the commission's minutes. (No one signed in as a commissioner to Presbytery from the Stow Presbyterian Church)

Move that the Stow Presbyterian Church be dissolved as a congregation within the PC(USA) and that the property be considered disposed to the present Stow congregation. Dissolving will include a 2006 per capita payment of $4,368 from the present Stow congregation and its direct PC(USA) mission support in 2007 on four levels: locally, within Eastminster Presbytery, nationally and internationally.”


The presenter of the motion stated that the "offer" expired that day when the Presbytery considered postponing the motion until its next meeting. Presbytery refused to be rushed into such an important decision and will be in prayerful consideration and conversation with Stow Presbyterian Church through the Consulting Commission until its May meeting.

Previous Presbytery action on 11/14/06:

Eastminster Presbytery directs the Consulting Commission to perform a special administrative review of the Stow Presbyterian Church with authorization to explore the possibility of a negotiated settlement with the understanding that a negotiated settlement requires the approval of Eastminster Presbytery.

Members: Lynn Thompson Bryant, Rusty Cowden, Bonnie Dutton, Carmen Ferris, Paul Gaug, Alan Hutchison, Trella Johnson, Peggy Richmond. Ex-Officio: Nick Mager, Harriet Chapman, Dan Schomer

The Presbytery vote can be interpreted as supporting the ministry of these Presbyterians in their work with Stow Presbyterian Church and a rejection of some purporting to be from Stow to hijack the process with a surprise "one-night only" offer.

In other action related to Stow Presbyterian Church the Presbytery approved this motion:

Whereas the Stow Presbyterian Church filed new articles of incorporation on January 19, 2006, in which they describe their purpose of incorporation as follows: “The general object and purpose for which this religious corporation is formed is to worship Almighty God, to give instruction in Christianity, to voluntarily gather for corporate prayers and worship, and to voluntarily associate with a higher denominational organization, such as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), so long as doing so is in accordance with the dictates of conscience”, and whereas on October 9, 2006, the Session of the Stow Presbyterian Church informed the Stated Clerk and General Presbyter that at a congregational meeting of the Stow Presbyterian Church held on October 8, 2006, the congregation voted “to disassociate from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), effective immediately”, Eastminster Presbytery goes on record that it finds these actions to be irregularities because they are in violation of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).


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