For parishioners at Indiana’s Graystone Presybterian Church, Sunday’s vote to leave Presbyterian Church (USA) is not the end of a process, but the beginning. The next question is, “Where do we go from here?”
By a 69 percent vote (with 542 members voting), Graystone’s congregation voted for separation from the liberal-leaning Presbyterian Church (USA), which has approved in recent years an agenda favoring the ordination of homosexual church leaders and the performance of gay marriages in the church.
The direction in which Graystone will go is still to be determined. According to the procedure under the “Gracious Separation Policy”, the church must negotiate a settlement with the Presbytery of Kiskiminetas to “mitigate the loss” to presbytery with a payment to equal “no less than ten percent of the previous three years’ contribution.” It must also find a new presbytery to join, with most churches leaving Presbyterian Church (USA) opting for either the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) or the newly formed Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO). That affiliation will be determined by congregational vote.
As for members who voted to remain with Presbyterian Church (USA), they will have to decide whether to continue to worship at Graystone or to go to another church still affiliated with the denomination, such as Calvary Presbyterian Church, next door to Graystone.
In a posting to the church’s website, Graystone’s leadership emphasizes that the vote on Sunday was not just about sexuality, but that “The primary issues have to do with the Lordship of Christ, salvation in Christ alone, the authority of scripture, the role of our Confessions and a narrow activist agenda at the national level.”