The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Congregations Begin To Leave the Presbyterian Church USA - Following the Lead of ELCA and the Episcopalians -
For the Same Reasons
The largest Presbyterian church in the Lehigh Valley has begun a process that could lead to a split from the most visible national denomination — a move initiated after a survey showed most of its congregants disagree with church positions, including those allowing same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay ministers.
The leadership of the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem voted on June 15 to enter the discernment process to leave Presbyterian Church (USA), or PC (USA), and seek affiliation with ECO: a Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians after spending years considering the move.
The 140-year-old church on Center Street in Bethlehem has 2,609 members and would be the largest congregation to leave the Lehigh Presbytery, the group of congregations covering seven counties in eastern Pennsylvania.
But it's certainly not the first to do so.