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Denominational Updates from First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen | Denomination Updates from First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen

Resource List

Here are links to resources that we made available to our congregation and presbytery during the dismissal process. Although most of these resources are specific to our dismissal process, many were modified from other sources. Special thanks go to Saddlerock Evangelical Presbyterian Church (formerly the Wentachee Presbyterian Church) for providing foundational materials for our congregational forums.

Process for Disaffiliation

Denominational Concerns Open Forum 1 handout FPCD - Scripture

Denominational Concerns Open Forum 1 slides FPCD - Scripture

Trinity Sermon by Jeffrey Wildrick

Trinity Sermon handout

Trinity Forum FPCD

Trinity Forum Slides

Trinity Forum handout background information

Church Discipline Forum handout

Discipline Forum FPCD Slides

Teaching Notes – Church Discipline forum

Open Forum (Current issues) Slides

Forum #4 Handout – Current Issues

Brief history on PCUSA abortion stance (1)

Videos and Audio of all four Denominational Forums

PRAYER GUIDE for Day of Prayer & Fasting, 2012-06-09

PRAYER GUIDE For Sundays Re Dismissal

Request Dismissal PCUSA

Core Values – First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen

Introducing a New Denominational Home – PowerPoint




Common Letter of PRT and Dunellen (for May 6, 2012 congregational town-hall) (FINAL) espanol

Common_Letter_of_PRT_and_Dunellen_(for_May_6,_2012_congregationaltown-hall)_(FINAL) (1)

Dismissal process check list for congregation

Covenant of Gracious Separation June 26 2012

Terms of Dismissal – cong meeting


Welcome to ECO

Last night, June 26, 2012, at about 9:10 pm, the Presbytery of Elizabeth dismissed First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen to the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO). Without debate, the presbytery approved the Covenant of Gracious Dismissal that had been negotiated between our session and the Presbytery Resolution Team. (Covenant of Gracious Separation June 26 2012 )

At the same time, the presbytery dismissed Pastor Silvio DelCampo and myself to ECO.

This momentous decision was the product of months of hard work and prayer by the session, our Denominational Relations Team, and the Presbytery Resolution Team. We are grateful to God for such a gracious and Christ-honoring process.

The prevailing feelings at last night’s presbytery meeting were love, grief, and hope. In addressing the presbytery, I shared that this experience is very similar to when a pastor decides to leave a beloved congregation to pursue God’s call in another field of ministry. The joy and anticipation of a new call are tempered with regret at leaving behind a group of people that we love.

“Over the years we’ve worked together, laughed together, served Christ together, worshiped together, and sometimes fought together. But it has always been in the context of love, because we are brothers and sisters in Christ. I don’t see any enemies in this room tonight. I see a great many friends. I hope that none of you see an enemy standing here. And although after tonight we won’t be sharing ministry hand-in-hand, we look forward to continuing side by side.”

After the vote, I was privileged to lead the presbytery in singing “God Be With You ‘Till We Meet Again.”

This Sunday during worship we will be celebrating this new beginning for First Presbyterian Church. We are now members of the Presbytery of the East in ECO, and our new faith-family is rejoicing with us as we move forward together in Christ. A new day has begun!

-Jeff Wildrick, Pastor

Voting Results

This afternoon our congregation met to vote on the session’s recommendation that we request dismissal with property from the Presbyterian Church (USA) to the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians. With 204 voting members present we far exceeded the required quorum of 143. The final vote was:

196 Yes, 8 No, which represents 96% of the members present voting yes to request dismissal.

The Presbytery of Elizabeth will vote on our request on the evening of Tuesday, June 26. Please pray that the same spirit of graciousness will prevail at the presbytery that has characterized the process with the Presbytery Resolution Team.

Thank you, God!

Quick updates

As of Friday, both the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry and Trustees have approved the dismissal plan negotiated with the Presbytery Resolution Team with minor editorial changes.

Day of Prayer and Fasting – Saturday, June 9


For the plan to ask for Dismissal from the PC (USA) to the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians

Congregational Vote on Sunday June 10th at 12:15 PM

 Motion For The Vote – “Shall First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen request dismissal with property from the Presbyterian Church (USA) to the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians?”

Suggested Prayers:

Praise God for providing His Word so we might know The Truth and for pastors who continue to preach the Gospel message each Sunday.

Thanksgiving For:

-A right attitude by our church’s Denominational Relations Team (Co-Chairs Steve Geiger and Harry Schoepp, Laurie Fitchett, Suzanne Geiger, Diana Linares, Pastor Wildrick and Pastor Del Campo) and the Presbytery of Elizabeth Resolution Team (the Presbytery Moderator Rev. Neal Presa, Presbytery Stated Clerk Paul Rack, Chair, Presbytery Committee on Ministry Rev. James Thomas, Elders Ruth Arriaza, Helen Moseley, Claudia Heffner and Karen Castro-Plaza with Presbytery Interim Executive Presbyter Re. Greg Albert.)

-The creation of a new Presbyterian Denomination in “Just right” timing.

-The adoption of a Gracious Separation Policy by the Presbytery of Elizabeth at the “right time”.

-Faithful leadership by our pastors and Church Session.

-The appearance of a unified stance on the part of our congregation.

-A “successful” review of the minutes of our session and our membership records by the presbytery team.

-Acceptance into ECO, pending dismissal from the PC(USA)



-Unify our congregation in the decision

-Have as many members as are able to participate in the two days of fasting and prayer on June 9th (the day before our vote on June 10th) and June 26th (the day that Presbytery votes on our request for dismissal.)

-Make sure that all active members have an opportunity to vote and that they will know why we are asking for dismissal even though they did not attend the forums prepared by our pastors. Encourage everyone who is able to attend.

-Have the required quorum of 143 when we meet to vote on the question. (It would be even better if we have many more in attendance to show our unanimity in this decision.)

-Give us a gracious heart

-Give the Presbytery a gracious heart

-Lead the Presbytery Committee on Ministry to recommend approval of our dismissal to ECO

-Lead the Board of Trustees of Elizabeth Presbytery to find everything in order for our dismissal

-Complete the application process so that there will be no “open period” for benefits for our employees.


Florida pastor to lead ECO

The Rev. Dana Allin from Fort Pierce, FL, will be the new president of the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO) beginning June 15. You can read more about him here:


Special Congregational Meeting, June 10 at 12:15 pm

A special meeting of the Congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen, New Jersey will be held on Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 12:15 pm.

 The purpose of the meeting is to act on the Session’s recommendation that First Presbyterian Church request dismissal from the PC(U.S.A.) to the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO).

NOTE:  A quorum of one-half of the membership (143 persons) is needed to conduct business. No other business can be conducted. Only members on the Active Roll of the church present at the meeting are eligible to vote.



Here are links to some of the most important documents that can introduce you to the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO).

Introducing a New Denominational Home – PowerPoint




Introduction to ECO polity

ECO Polity

ECO Theological Foundations








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