Thursday, September 24, 2015

Burney & God's work in his church

I heard, through the grapevine, that at the last Sacramento Presbytery meeting, the AC for Burney church patted themselves on the back for preserving the property for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Too bad no one goes there now. Perhaps later.

Alex Munro, former lay pastor for Burney, wrote, “The one big thing we saw was that they finally saw the light less than a week before we were actually leaving the building and PCUSA,  and that there really were no PCUSA members who wanted to come back.  The worship building is empty.  Our leadership team is still meeting with the AC on their request to research if it is a possibility that we would return and two of our people are working with them to help the AC through the next month's transition.  

We had first worship service yesterday outside the PCUSA with about 30 of us and are looking forward to continued service to God.  One miracle is that we stayed together to move on with God.”

This continued failure of Sacramento Presbytery and the COM and AC is not unlike what is happening in other mainline churches which have pushed aside the authority of Scripture. They are left with empty churches, some of them large. Greed has overtaken too many. It is a reminder of a fellow elder at a Presbytery meeting several years ago who informed all that the several million being required of two churches was God’s gift to us thus implicating God in our greed, But that is hardly the more important problem.

The important problem is the care for the riches of this world rather than the salvation of souls and the good works that follow such transformation.

Eventually the works called good in the P.C (U.S.A.) will only be based on a society transformed by culture therefore it will only be cultural goodness. And that cultural goodness will undoubtedly involve far more evil then good.

We already bless the death of unborn babies as well as a sexual coupling rite that is truly sin. (That is same gender marriage.) We will undoubtedly bless euthanasia for humanity.

Recently a friend placed an article about the right to be identified as a vampire on Facebook, and at first it seemed funny until I found it was connected to some college professors connected to a prostitution ring that practiced BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism and masochism.) The vampirism had a connection. Even this may come to be blessed without the authority of God’s word,

God calls us to holiness. But when we no longer listen to the Lord of the church we will care little if different definitions of absolutes arise or the. sinful lifestyles of others. Nor will we care for the harvest of needy souls that God has put before us.

Finally then brethren we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (Just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that is. that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor not in the lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives his Holy Spirit to us. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)


Friday, September 18, 2015

Burney still faithful at a new address...

Much earlier a small Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) had an Administrative Commission placed over them in Burney California. The Burney church was counted in schism by the AC. I wrote about this at  Schism, heresy and control.  The main body of this small church with the exception of only a few, about four, decided that they would forgo the process of trying to leave in what used to be an orderly way. For them it was no longer possible. The main body of the church wrote this letter to the Sacramento Presbytery:’


Date: July 28, 2015

(Letter To AC on 9/9/15 informing them of our decision to leave the PCUSA and Building)

Thank you for your time and the information you shared with us over the phone, face to face and by email over the last few days. 

We as a leadership team of eight members plus around 28 other attenders have decided to move on and constitute ourselves as a new congregation affiliated with EPC. Last Sunday was our last worship service in the Burney Presbyterian sanctuary and we are now preparing to meet for our first worship service on Sunday at a rented location in Burney with the name “New Hope Evangelical Presbyterian Church”.  Our last congregational act, besides thanking God for the 67 years of faithful servants and service was to pray that God’s name and glory within the sanctuary would still be kept whoever is the owner or user.

We appreciate and understand your clear offer for us to remain while we work out the road to our future.  We all had no idea of your recent offer even though we had informed you weeks ago of our possible departure on September 8, 2015.    The offer came a few weeks too late for most of the congregation who had made tentative plans to leave as soon as they saw the COM recommendation to Presbytery to impose original jurisdiction over the Burney church.

 It was also a stunning to hear from you that the “loyal” group was not returning, especially after they had worked so hard to achieve the goal of having us move out of the church premises.  We who are leaving were never disloyal – we tried to follow the PCUSA protocol.  Nevertheless, we wish and pray that sometime in the future we may be able to lease or purchase the property. 

One request that we have to the AC is that you would give us permission to use the sanctuary for any memorial or funeral services related to people who have been active members and attenders of the PCUSA and whose families may wish to honor their loved ones in this way. 

Knowing that the loyal group is not coming back at present we do not want to leave you without some local contacts through this transition.  If needed, the present church secretary, Lorinda Wike (530 355 9902), and Claudia Graves (530 262 4496), the treasurer, are willing to stay on employed for an interval to be determined by you and by them in order to perform those duties needed for the day to day operation.

In cooperation with you – sincerely in Christ,

New Hope Evangelical Presbyterian Leadership Team

 The Presbytery's letter answer is anything but gracious. It is a tale of what many in the denomination want. Here is the letter:

TO:   “Session Elders”: Rick Dougherty, Wendy Dougherty, Ralph Boggs, Linda Isbell,       Moderator of the Deacons‐Jean Boggs, and Treasurer‐ Claudia Graves plus other     PC (U.S.A.) members and attendees who wish for dismissal to the EPC.
FROM:   Administrative Commission members Louis Nevins, Robert Johnson, and Julie Home
CC:   Revs. Tom Tripp and Nancy Clegg

SUBJECT:  Your letter of July 28, 2015
DATE;   August 3, 2015

With Julie's return to the United States we have now had an opportunity to meet and discuss your  letter.
We have reviewed Rev. Tripp's reply to you of the same date and agree with his sentiment.
We are constrained to act on behalf of the Presbytery as directed by the motion passed at the Special  Meeting of July 9,  that is "take original jurisdiction of the Burney church, and continue the relationship  with the PC(USA) in all means of its ministries."  As Lou and Bob explained in their "get acquainted"   session with you, our AC has become, until dissolved, the Session of your Church, and the Board of  Directors of the related corporation.
It is not our desire to interfere with your various ministries, however we are constrained by the Book of  Order, particularly G‐4.0203 (the trust clause) and G‐4.0207 (Schism).

Accordingly, until we have more information, we must take particular care with respect to the real and personal property of the Church1 ,  all of which is held in trust for the benefit of the PC (U.S.A.).  For this reason, we cannot, under the  circumstances as outlined in your July 28 letter, release the Certificates of Deposit held by the Synod,  although we may be willing to consider rolling these funds into another depository with an interest rate  better than that available at the Synod in an account to which some combination of Lou, Bob and Julie  are signatories until final decisions have been made on other pending questions.

As Lou and Bob indicated in response to a question at their get acquainted session with you it was their expectation that you would be asked to continue your ministries pending further notice.   The third  member of the AC, Julie Horne agrees, so that is our decision.
In the meantime, we are sure you can appreciate that we need some additional information to do our  job, which we hope we can obtain with your cooperation.
First, as we are sure you can appreciate, those who provide services to your congregation should not  suffer.  Accordingly, we need to obtain as much information as possible on the status of your present  bank accounts, what bills are due or likely to be due on a monthly basis, and other ongoing or pending  obligations.
                                                              1 Here, and hereafter, both the Church and its companion corporation.
Page 2 of 2 
Second, we need to obtain a complete roster of the names, addresses, telephone numbers and other  contact information of all members of your congregation  and any members of the congregation who  have left or transferred their membership since January 1, 2013.
As stated in the motion establishing our AC, our mandate to "continue the relationship [of the Burney  Church] with the PC(USA)" requires us to keep the door open to discussions about remaining in our  Denomination.  In our view, nothing you said on at our meeting on  July 18 about what we perceive to  be your beliefs disqualifies you from continued affiliation with the PC (U.S.A.).  To be sure, there are  those in our denomination and our own congregations with whom we disagree strongly, but that is the  price we all pay for belonging to an "open" as opposed to a "closed" church.  We pray that, on  reflection, you come to see that reconciliation with the PC (U.S.A.) does not require surrender of your  personal beliefs.  We are called to be "a community of love, where sin is forgiven, reconciliation is  accomplished, and the dividing walls of hostility are torn down."  F‐1.0301

It is our goal to move expeditiously, now that we have a full complement of members on board.     However, until we have obtained and evaluated the membership and financial information mentioned  above, it is premature to speculate as to what the future holds.  Accordingly, the quicker we can get the  information we requested, the easier it will be to make the meaningful progress we all desire.
Yours in Christ,
Lou, Bob & Julie

There is more material and action to be had although there is no consideration that these people who have already left really do not feel they should stay. Evidently there are only four people who want to stay and they are usually not there for worship. It should also be stated that Zion a Korean Church has walked away from their property. The Holy Spirit is doing his own work in this Presbyterian area.

Is the AC really listening to the Holy Spirit?

I will write more in days to come. Please keep praying for my computer.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jesus in the midst of broken days

 This posting is laid out a little strange because of a new computer. Just Scroll down.

I've   had a few broken days which have included a broken sit down, which included surgery, two weeks of flu and a broken computer (okay, I accidently poured milk on it, the computer that is. My pain pills put me totally out of commission. I couldn’t drive and while usually seeing the sentence ahead of the one I am reading I kept seeing the one behind that I had already read. I couldn’t understand why the authors kept repeating themselves. So this is my apology and excuse for not writing more.

So many horrible events are occurring now I feel I should be writing all of the time. I should say that in the midst of this I have been turning a guest room into my study. While going through my books I found an old journal with a few pages written on, the words are garbled and they were I believe written just as Voices of Orthodox women were disbanding because they felt God was finished with their efforts .I will try to copy what I believe is relevant and hopefully helpful.


Where am I heading…I am not even sure if this is where I want to head. I really have no idea where to begin. No organization in my head and organization to which I belong… I am feeling so much aloneness—and yet God has given me so much and so many. The future seems empty but I believe I have too much to do to do nothing, but I have too much to do and too much uncertainty and aloneness to go with it. Just when I want to gather my family and friends around me I don’t have the time and just when I do have the time, I am afraid to reach out because I might not have the time.

Fear of loss is becoming a big part of my make up and yet we are called to not be afraid of loss of self so that we might gain life.

What do I want—joy—giggling among little great granddaughters. [soon there will be 10- maybe one boy!] Hot summer days with ice tea on the porch, and family here and there.

It is hard to acknowledge that I am hated by others and yet many other Christians have and are experiencing this from time to time and in a much, much worse manner,

On one of our trips to England I found myself very homesick and realized that I must learn to love Jesus far, far more because someday this will all be over and He is that great and precious gift. He is after all how I am able to make time for family and friends. He is the one who through my devotion causes the end to hate and to the sense of loneliness. He gives hope. He is redemption.