Our Session (elected elders) decided at our May 20, 2012 meeting to affiliate with The Fellowship of Presbyterians (FOP). After four months of discussion and prayer, we believe it is important that we associate with the FOP.
What does this mean? It does not mean we have left the Presbyterian Church USA. The FOP is not a new denomination. The FOP is an organized effort of mostly evangelical Presbyterians (USA) who are concerned about the health and direction of the church. We are choosing to live in an affiliate relationship with the FOP, other Presbyterians who share our concerns. In doing so, we are committed to living in a special relationship with brothers and sisters in Christ who share a belief in the centrality of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord, the authority of Scripture as God’s Word, a reformed perspective, a disciplined, accountable community of faith, the celebration of gifts of men and women, and the priority of making disciples of Jesus Christ and reaching the world for Jesus Christ. We would also be associating with other churches who have and value articulating the essential beliefs of the Christian faith, something the larger PCUSA has refrained from doing. You can google Fellowship of Presbyterians and learn more about the organization which is made up mostly of evangelical PCUSA churches (www.fellowship-pres.org).
Why are we affiliating with FOP and will we benefit from this association? Those who have attended at least one of the two conferences (Bob Barnes, Earl and Kay Eastin, Hal Oakley, Don Searcy and Art Woodling) came away from the events encouraged by the experience. In February, they unanimously recommended to our Session that we affiliate with FOP. As a group they were not in favor of leaving the PCUSA, but thought our affiliation with FOP would be stimulating and encouraging for us at Covenant. What I and others find exciting is that many new and creative ideas for being the church are emerging from this large group and we will benefit from our representation and leadership within the group. I believe it is a good step as we seek to move faithfully into the future.
We will be holding two informational meetings for anyone who has questions and/or would like more information. They are scheduled for :
Sunday, June 3 at 2:00PM in Fellowship Hall
Thursday, June 7 at 12:00PM in the Chapel
Of course, you are welcome to contact me personally as I would be happy to listen and talk with you. Please pray for us, your Session, as we seek to lead us faithfully in the work of God’s kingdom.