Flying stools on 61st?

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This morning at our church, I heard that the Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery of the PCUSA was sending in a supply preacher to oversee worship this morning at Kirk of the Hills, the congregation that left the PCUSA earlier this month.

As I understand it, this is the theory behind the move: The pastors of the Kirk resigned from Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery, but the congregation did not leave the presbytery, because they did not go through proper channels. Therefore, the presbytery will supply interim leadership, whether the congregation wants it or not.

When I heard this I said, "Where's Jenny Geddes when you need her?"

In 1637, King Charles I of England and Scotland was attempting to create uniformity of religion in all his realms, and commissioned an Anglican-style Book of Common Prayer to be used in Scotland, replacing the simpler form of worship that had been in place for the previous seven decades. The new prayer book was first used on July 23, 1637, at St. Giles High Kirk in Edinburgh. According to legend, Jenny Geddes, a market woman, was highly offended by the intrusion of alien forms of worship, and flung her stool right at the head of the dean who was leading the service. She is said to have yelled, "Devil give you the colic, false thief! Dare you say Mass in my ear!"

I'm sure the good people of Kirk of the Hills are too genteel to fling so much as a hymnbook at an uninvited supply preacher, but I had to smile at the idea of history repeating itself.

Reading Kirk pastor Tom Gray's blog this evening, I learned that the presbytery had planned to send a supply pastor to preach at the Kirk this morning, but that they had backed off after communication with the Kirk's attorneys, and that the Kirk was filled this morning with enthusiastic worshippers showing support for the Kirk's departure from the PCUSA. In another entry, Gray explains the rationale for the method of the Kirk's departure from the PCUSA. He also links to a report of a 2005 attempt by PCUSA leadership and a minority faction to take over the worship service of a Korean Presbyterian congregation in Torrance, California.

In making their escape from the PCUSA, the Kirk's congregants and pastors have taken the risk of forfeiting their property and pensions, and the potential for confrontation and disruption of their services, but they are taking these risks for the sake of the truth. Keep the Kirk in your prayers.


Paul Tay said:

Trouble in paradise, eh?

astronaut of innerspace said:

It is happening one more time. Does anyone notice this? It is all backward isn't it?? >>>
What I am talking about is what some call "The Tiranny of the Minority". In the case of churches it goes like this:
There is a church that has its structure. A group whether from the middle or the top, sets in motion a series of change whether a few years or it stretches for decades. The congregation stays the same, keeping the policy and program of long-time tradition. The sub-group does one last unacceptable and inappropriate thing. The majority clearly and resoundingly rejects this. There is division. And instead of the upstarts being kicked out, the majority group is the one that has to leave.
Kind of like when an inner-city schools go down the tubes, instead of overhauling the schools, all the responsible parents have to move to the suburbs.
The way I see it the upstart minority should leave to start a new church.
A question I have is does the group that ends up being the breakaway own their property??? Are there funds with the "leadership" group that they give up? Does the upstart minority that is in the wrong get a national church organization "for free"???

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 27, 2006 9:52 PM.

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