Will the PCUSA Move Away from Geographic Organization for “Missional Purposes”?

Christianity Today is reporting:

PCUSA-logo“A Presbyterian Church (USA) commission has voted 15-5 to allow non-geographic presbyteries. The move, which would allow churches to choose their own groupings for ‘missional purposes,’ follows defections over the denomination’s vote to ordain noncelibate gays and lesbians. The recommendation needs approval at the General Assembly this June.”

CT has compiled reactions from mostly conservative voices (people like Al Mohler of the Southern Baptist Convention). I’m wondering what more moderate to progressive missional mainliners think of this move (especially my friends in the PCUSA).

Please share your thoughts in the comments!

  • http://sociofaithful.wordpress.com Nathaniel Porter

    A major theme running through the quotes in the CT article is: “Shouldn’t we just split denominations if the disagreements are that big?” I think that misses two points for today’s church. The first is that, while disagreements over things like who gets to be a pastor are the most likely early candidates for non-geographical synods, missional orientation (urban churches, emerging churches, etc) could prove a really positive organizing point. The second, and I think more central, is that there is theological and practical warrant for remaining together. The last thing we need is more tiny splinter denominations that disagree over a bit of adiaphora. Instead, this may allow people to acknowledge differences but stay under the same tent, something that is both good for Christians and a positive thing for outsiders to see.

  • Charlotte Hoppe

    When we wrote new bylaws this year for the Tres Rios Area of the Christian Church in the Southwest, we excluded the traditional geographic boundary designations – got a little push back from a few older members. We left it out without a clear idea of what a non-geographic judicatory area might do, look like, etc. But strongly wanted to not limit ourselves to geography!