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Joint Solution: Updates

Joint Solution Process update as of April 10, 2015

At the Joint Solutions Team’s most recent meeting on March 25, the JST continued the process of gathering and reviewing information required by the Presbytery’s Joint Solution process. 

The JST will be meeting with Pastor Scott on April 22 and is planning to hold a second meeting with the Session in the latter part of April. 

Plans to hold the congregational Town Hall meeting (as required under the Joint Solution policy) in May are being finalized and should be announced within the next ten days. 

Jack Loo, a former pastor of Presbyterian Church of the Master in Mission Viejo, has joined the JST, replacing one of the LRP reps who is moving to Colorado.

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March 27, 2015  email communication to congregation

Subject: Joint Solution Update

Dear IPC family,

Our commitment to prayer and seeking God’s direction for IPC has given us a new excitement and steady joy. It has been wonderful to see how the Holy Spirit has given us unity of vision as we have prayed individually and together. 

As we see God working through the minds and hearts and actions of our congregation, “disciples making disciples” is becoming more than just a mission statement or catchphrase. We see a deepening enthusiasm for studying God’s Word, vital ministries expanding, a continued emphasis on local and global mission engagement, and stories of people living on mission together as disciples of Jesus in their neighborhoods, work, and schools.

God is calling us onward: to understand Him better, walk more closely with Jesus, and share the good news of God’s grace in Christ with others. We are particularly excited about the prospect of joining ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. ECO exists to build flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ. ECO is not simply another denomination made up of individual churches, but a group of communities, which have banded together as a movement around a central focus in which Jesus is the message, disciple-making is the mission, and the Bible is the authority that shapes our priorities. This is a movement in which both the words and works of the gospel are lived out, resulting in a reproduction of communities of faith that continue Christ’s work of discipleship.

We know that the process may seem slow, but we are committed to doing this right. To us, that means seeking God’s leadership and provision at every step of the way; being truthful and acting responsibly; and following the policies and procedures laid out by the Presbytery.

After the January 2015 straw vote, IPC moved out of the period of discernment and into the joint solution process. IPC’s Joint Solution Team (JST) — Merlin Eelkema, John Boslet and Susan Scace — has been meeting with Presbytery representatives to work out a joint solution according to the Los Ranchos Presbytery’s property policy. As part of that process, this team held its first meeting with Session earlier this month. In the next couple of months, we anticipate that the JST will hold a Town Hall meeting with the congregation at which time you will have an opportunity ask questions and raise concerns. It is still too early to predict when a draft joint solution will be reached.

Complicating the joint solution process, last week certain Presbytery leaders sent an open letter to the joint solution teams and other Presbytery members advocating against the existing property policy by suggesting that the Presbytery refuse to let any more churches leave the PC(USA) with their property. Such opposition is not unexpected, unpleasant as it may be. While Presbytery leadership claims that the views expressed in the open letter do not change current property policy, it remains to be seen whether those views will result in changes to that policy. The hundreds of hours of prayer, thoughtful discussions, and meetings that have led our church to this point, have made our confidence and unity grow stronger, not weaker.

One of our goals is to keep communication between leadership and members open, timely, and straightforward. It’s important to us that the whole process is transparent from beginning to end. We encourage everyone to ask questions and give feedback.

Here are the next steps in front of us:

  • The Joint Solution Team continues to work out a property solution
  • A draft joint solution must be submitted to our Session and the Presbytery’s Board of Trustees and other governing bodies for review and approval
  • Once a joint solution is approved, it will be brought to a vote of the Presbytery
  • When approved by the Presbytery, the joint solution will need to be approved by a 2/3 majority of our members

In the meantime, please continue to pray for your Session, the Joint Solution Team, and the Presbytery, that all of us may live with Jesus at the center of our lives.

Your IPC Session

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