Update about Westminster and The Presbyterian Church in Canada
In the summer of 2021 our elders (Session) prepared a video update to the congregation about our relationship with the denomination of which we are a part—The Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC). This was also circulated in print form to those who don’t have the internet.
The concern expressed was that the PCC is drifting from this historic, biblical emphasis. There are several causes for concern, not just the definition of marriage. It seems that the place of the resurrected Jesus has been lessened, as has the authority and place of the Scriptures. There has been a decreased emphasis on evangelism and mission. This sort of drift is very concerning—not only because it is at odds with historic, biblical teaching, but because it is unhelpful to God’s people. It also threatens our global unity with the rest of the historic church all over the world.
In that video we stated that we continue to discern the nature of our relationship with the PCC, and also that we would provide updates. This is one of those updates.
The PCC will hold its annual General Assembly in June of 2022. That is the highest decision-making body of the denomination. It is made up of representative elders and pastors from across the country who attend (on a rotational basis) and vote on matters before the denomination.
At that time, there will be national responses to various petitions, including two matters which have been the subject of numerous overtures. (An overture is an official proposal or request send by a body or group of people within the denomination.) These overtures are about:
(1) whether a provision will be made for congregations who may wish to leave the PCC with their assets because of theological differences; this is sometimes referred to as ‘Gracious Dismissal’; and
(2) the possibility of establishing alternate governance structures within the PCC for those wishing to maintain that ongoing relationship with the denomination but still retain the historic definition of marriage and be linked with other like-minded congregations as they go about their ministries.
In light of the forthcoming responses to these overtures, we have decided to wait until after the June 2022 General Assembly to make any further decisions. We want to know what the various options may or may not be for ministry as we continue to prayerfully discern the way ahead.
If and when something requires action within our congregation we will let you know and will explain the process clearly; you will be a part of that decision-making process.
As stated previously, rest assured that no matter what happens, we as a church, as elders and pastor, will continue—Sunday by Sunday, and week by week—as a strong, local congregation. We are moving forward with worship and ministry that is focused on the resurrected Jesus Christ and which honours his word. We will stay the course, charging forward with small groups, youth ministry, prayer, our new home church initiative, meaningful community outreach and servanthood, and much much more.
-The Westminster Session
January 20, 2024
December 13, 2023