Multiple sources confirmed for The Layman that the presbytery gave its OK to recommendations regarding the dismissals of 260-member Journey Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Westminster, Calif., and 50-member St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Anaheim, Calif., to ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
Sessions of the churches have to approve the terms agreed upon by the Joint Discernment Team (JDT) before the congregations can vote to accept or reject the agreements.
Terms of dismissal for the two congregations were not available, nor were the dates of meetings for congregational votes. Details of the joint solutions for Journey and St. Paul’s will be updated as more information is made available.
Ten congregations from Los Ranchos have been granted their departure to ECO since May 31, however, complaints regarding the dismissals of seven churches have been filed against the presbytery. Those churches include St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (Newport Beach), First Presbyterian Church of Westminster, Trinity United Presbyterian Church (Santa Ana), Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church (Los Alamitos), Christ Presbyterian Church (Huntington Beach), Christ Presbyterian Church (Lakewood) and Community Presbyterian Church (Long Beach).
So far, no confirmed complaints have been filed regarding the joint solutions for Journey and St. Paul’s, and there has not been a complaint made against the dismissal of the Japanese-American Wintersburg Presbyterian Church congregation.
Officials with Los Ranchos Presbytery did not respond to a query by The Layman regarding the latest joint solutions or any additional complaints.
The other seven churches are under a stay of enforcement following those remedial complaints filed by presbytery members despite meeting the requirements of the presbytery’s Property Policy and Procedures, meaning they will remain part of Los Ranchos Presbytery until the case is resolved.
The complaints, consolidated into one case by the Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) from the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii, allege that the presbytery failed “to protect the interests of the presbytery” in granting the dismissals.
The complaints have been brought by a group known as the Kindred Spirits, a small but vocal faction of the presbytery in opposition to the joint solutions.
Joint solutions were approved on May 31 for St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, FPC-Westminster and Trinity United Presbyterian Church.
Los Ranchos gave its OK to the joint solutions for Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church and Christ Presbyterian Church (Huntington Beach) on June 7.
During a June 28 presbytery meeting, the joint solution agreements were approved by the presbytery for Christ Presbyterian Church (Lakewood), Community Presbyterian Church and Wintersburg Presbyterian Church.