PCUSA considers ditching main Basic Meeting gatherings over monetary woes, membership decline

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) holds its biennial assembly in Detroit, Michigan, June 14-21, 2014. | (Picture: Fb/PCUSA)

Presbyterian Church USA introduced Monday that it may need to restrict and even finish its custom of holding a biennial Basic Meeting as a mass gathering as a result of monetary woes and declining membership.

The Rev. J. Herbert Nelson II, said clerk of the PCUSA Basic Meeting, stated future basic assemblies is not going to possible resemble previous ones when it comes to scale.

In a video posted on the PCUSA’s web site Monday, Nelson stated the denomination “can not proceed” to carry what he known as “the large tent Basic Meeting” wherein “we’ve got individuals from throughout coming in and spending six, seven, eight days at a basic meeting and using that in an enormous area.”

Nelson attributed the discount in future Basic Meeting occasions to monetary woes tied to the mainline Protestant denomination’s appreciable membership decline over the previous a number of years.

“That’s occurring, principally, as a result of we’re at a spot financially with the drying up of per capita as it’s and the entire system is strained almost about the fallout within the denomination with membership loss which really got here from individuals leaving,” stated Nelson.

“Coping with the difficulty that we aren’t a denomination proper now … that may afford the sorts of issues that we’ve got been doing.”

The Rev. J. Herbert Nelson II, said clerk of the Basic Meeting of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), provides remarks in a video posted on social media on June 8, 2020. | Vimeo/PCUSA OGA

Nelson clarified that “this doesn’t essentially imply we cease doing something,” however added that “we’ve got to seek out new methods of adjusting to” the present scenario for PCUSA.

“And I believe that’s a superb factor for the denomination as a result of it helps us to be extra artistic,” he continued. “It helps us to take a look at what it actually means to be a Church. And so far as the Basic Meeting is anxious, it helps to remind us that, fairly frankly, we’re method forward of the sport when it comes to the problems of coverage and the power to exit and make a distinction within the lifetime of the world.” 

PCUSA has seen a dramatic loss in each members and member congregations, partly over many leaving the denomination over its theological positions.

In 2000, the denomination had roughly 2.5 million members; by 2019 that quantity had dropped to just a little over 1.3 million members or about half of what it was earlier than.

One issue within the decline has been the denomination’s stance on LGBT points, comparable to permitting regional our bodies to ordain brazenly homosexual people and acknowledge same-sex marriages.

These and different legislative actions have prompted tons of of congregations to go away PCUSA in protest, with them becoming a member of extra theologically conservative Presbyterian denominations.   

Final month, PCUSA determined to cancel its 2021 Massive Tent gathering as a result of a mix of funds points and issues over the potential affect of the coronavirus pandemic.

Held each different 12 months since 2009 and separate from the Basic Meeting, the Massive Tent gathering concerned a combination of audio system, workshops, and different non-legislative issues.

“Whereas I’ll miss Massive Tent, there may be one alternative that is still,” stated the Rev. Diane Moffett, head of the Presbyterian Mission Company, in a press release launched in July. “The chance is that we could be the church on this second, actively participating the world in order that it wakes as much as the brand new potentialities in Christ.”

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