He said that the service was led by the Southminster pastor, with three other presbytery folk up front. He estimated that the remaining 16 people who attended were evenly split between Southminster members and Kirk people. What this means is that 8 or so people attended from the Kirk. We knew that we had 36 “nay” votes at our congregational meeting. I am also aware that four Kirk families have moved to First Presbyterian Church in Tulsa.
What is astounding to me is the presbytery’s insistence that there exists a great number of Kirk people who have been excluded from fellowship because of our recent disaffiliation from the PCUSA. I am sad about every person who no longer feels a part of the Kirk, but those numbers are incredibly small. Rarely does a church have such agreement on a controversial issue.
The presbytery (or at least some in the presbytery) evidently passed on to the Southminster congregation that more than half of our congregation was opposed to the disaffiliation. The rationale given was that, since we only had a little over 1,000 people at our congregational meeting, the almost 1,800 who weren’t there represented a sizeable contingent of those who opposed our action. Such an analysis comes under the category of lies, d***ed lies, and statistics.
Controversial issues bring lots of people out, especially those who are in opposition and this was no exception for the Kirk. While 1,000 people doesn’t sound so big in proportion to our entire congregation, it is actually a huge turnout. Most churches, ours included, have trouble attracting a quorum of members (10%) to attend typical meetings.
I looked up the statistics for Southminster Presbyterian Church on the PCUSA website. What I found was this:
Your congregation had 506 members compared to the average PC(USA) congregation's 212 members. Your church gained 6 members and lost 47 members.
Christian Education Enrollment
Your congregation's Christian Education Enrollment was 138. The average for all PC(USA) congregations was 124.
Overall contributions to your congregation, which were $356,574, were larger than the 2005 average of $225,440 for all PC(USA) congregations.
My guess is that they would be ecstatic to have 200 people come out for any congregational meeting and consider such a turnout to be a huge affirmation for whatever issue involved. I’d also assume that they’ve not seen those kinds of numbers in worship lately, much less congregational meetings.
The Kirk’s numbers for the same year are as follows:
MembershipWe are sad to see any of the 36 people leave. But we are still growing. We currently have a new member class with more than 40 people attending. We've got inquiries for another class to start. Our attendance at worship and Sunday school is growing. Giving is steady, at an increase over last year. Our annual retreat had twice the attendees we had last year. Mission trips are ongoing, with one group in Mongolia even as I write. We are healthy, we are growing, and we are united.
Your congregation had 2,665 members compared to the average PC(USA) congregation's 212 members. Your church gained 108 members and lost 54 members.
Christian Education Enrollment
Your congregation's Christian Education Enrollment was 1,605. The average for all PC(USA) congregations was 124.
Overall contributions to your congregation, which were $3,152,380, were larger than the 2005 average of $225,440 for all PC(USA) congregations.
We are not united in opposition to the PCUSA--that issue is limited to pastors and elders except when the membership gets letters from representatives of the old denomination. A common attitude here is "that is past, let's get on with our future."
While we have legal issues with the EOP and PCUSA, the "past" still has bearing on us officers at the Kirk. This blog will continue to inform the Kirk membership of what is going on in that venue. It will also speak out on PCUSA issues on behalf of those who feel that they cannot speak out, for fear of retribution.
Keep praying--keep the faith,