Sunday, October 08, 2006

Clinical Depression in the Presbyterian Church USA

I come from yet another Supply Pastoring at a small Presbyterian USA church in the hinterlands. What do I find again? Another Church clinically depressed over its relationship with its Presbytery. This is starting to be a trend I do not like in the least. Redstone, West Virginia, and Upper Ohio Valley Presbyteries seem to not care about their less than profitable churches. The Clerk of Session at the Church I was fortunate enough to preach at today told me that she believes her Presbytery is purposefully trying to shutter her Church so they would no longer be burdenned by them. It really saddens me and infuriates my soul that Presbyteries would hope that Churches would "go away". What can we do fellow Presbyterians? All talk of theological unity is lost-and pointless-if we cannot infuse the Presbyteries and local churches with competent leadership.


Reformed Catholic said...

Its too bad that they can't affliate with another Presbytery like Pittsburgh, where a slight majority of their churches are under 100 members.

I would advise this church to band with other small churchs, and make sure that they have a representative from each show up at Presbytery meetings. They may just find that they're actually in the majority !!

Anonymous said...

It's a pandemic of malaise, yes.

And it's killing us a little more every day.

Thanks for sharing this with us so that all may see!

will spotts said...

It seems to be a function of a two-tiered system -- that some people matter and some don't. In my presbytery this was a topic of contention when several presbyters and staff expressed the opinion that "the cream rises to the top" as a rationale for why they ignored the pastors of smaller churches.

Reformed Catholic's suggestion seems good. If the smallish churches could support one another their voice would be heard in presbytery and there would be no thought of "wishing they'd just go away".