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As part of discerning whether or not to leave the PC(USA,) congregations must consider the following:

   1. The agreed upon process means remaining open to all possibilities and options. Discerning God’s
      Leading Together presupposes openness and is not to be used as a check off list on the way out
      of the denomination.
   2. There will be considerable impact on relationships in the congregation and throughout the
      Presbytery. Leaving the denomination is a setting aside of covenant relationship.
   3. It is likely there will be divisions in the congregation as people come to different conclusions as
      to what course should be taken.
   4. There will likely be people who feel they must leave the congregation
   5. Those who wish to remain members of the PC(USA) will be in a position of losing their church
      home or losing their denomination.
   6. If the congregation withdraws from the denomination and its current elders and deacons
      remain members of the congregation, they will lose their ordination.
   7. Withdrawal sets up a conflict with ordination vows taken. (See W4.4003, e. and g.)

       e. Will you be governed by our church’s polity, and will you abide by its discipline?

       g. Do you promise to further the peace, unity, and purity of the church?

   8. There could be significant fiscal impact if congregation declines in membership because of
   9. The Presbytery of Olympia is committed to graciousness in the midst of discernment processes.
       This, however, does not preclude possible negotiated consequences or costs to congregations
       choosing to leave.
   10. The impact on the Presbytery and its constituent congregations will be significant.
       Congregations considering withdrawal should ask themselves, “Given our covenant
       relationship, what are our obligations relationally, theologically, and financially?”
   11. Congregations wishing to withdraw can only be dismissed to another reformed body (as defined
       by ultimate vote of Presbytery). No congregation may be dismissed to independent status.
   12. Dismissal to denominations such as the Evangelical Presbyterian Church may mean the
       leadership and ordination of women will be understood as “non-essential” and therefore
   13. The PC(USA) holds all property in Trust for the denomination. Release of church property to a
       specific congregation is negotiated by an Administrative Commission and must be agreed to by a
       vote of Presbytery.
   14. Anytime there is division it impacts our witness to the broader community.

       July 7, 2011

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