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Local Process | Denominational Updates from First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen
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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








Una Carta en conjunto con el Equipo de Relaciones de la Denominación de la Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana de Dunellen (de parte de la Sesión) y el Equipo de Resolución del Presbiterio de Elizabeth

Mayo 6, 2012


Una Carta en conjunto con el Equipo de Relaciones de la Denominación

de la Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana de Dunellen (de parte de la Sesión) y

el Equipo de Resolución del Presbiterio de Elizabeth


Queridas Hermanas y Hermanos en Jesucristo de la Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana, Dunellen,

 Nos reunimos dos veces en los últimos dos meses. El 26 de marzo del 2012, examinamos la política y el proceso de despido del presbiterio; comprometidos el uno con el otro para proceder en amor cristiano marcado por la honestidad, gentileza pastoral, transparencia, respeto y responsabilidad; se dio oportunidad a los miembros de la Sesión de expresar sus preocupaciones individuales y colectivas acerca de las políticas de la denominación y sus prácticas. La Sesión proporcionó al Equipo de Resolución del Presbiterio materiales escritos y DVD de los foros congregacionales de Dunellen que describen las áreas en las cuales la Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana de Dunellen discrepa con acciones dentro de la Iglesia Presbiteriana (U.S.A). Continue Reading…

Joint Letter from Presbytery Resolution Team and Denominational Relations Team to Dunellen Church members

May 6, 2012


A Joint Letter from the Denomination Relations Team

of First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen (on behalf of the Session) and

the Presbytery Resolution Team of the Elizabeth Presbytery


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Jesus Christ of the First Presbyterian Church, Dunellen,

We met twice in the past two months. On March 26, 2012, we reviewed the presbytery’s dismissal policy and process; committed to one another to proceed in Christian love marked by honesty, pastoral graciousness, transparency, respect and accountability; and gave Session members an extended opportunity to express their individual and collective concerns about denominational policies and practices.  The Session provided to the Presbytery Resolution Team written and DVD materials from Dunellen’s congregational forums that describe the areas that the First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen disagrees with actions within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Continue Reading…

Letter from Elizabeth Presbytery

April 19, 2012

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ of the First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen,

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! On February 20, 2012, the Session of First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen voted to recommend to your congregation and to the presbytery to be dismissed to another Reformed church body. As a result of that decision, the Presbytery of Elizabeth, in accordance with its recently approved Disaffiliation/Dismissal Policy, formed a Presbytery Resolution Team. As you may know, in the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition, we believe that we can best discern the will and mind of Christ in community, as we engage in prayer, study of Scripture and our confessions, and mutual discussion and debate. Thus, any final action for your congregation to be dismissed will require an affirmative action by your congregation and the presbytery. Continue Reading…

Congregational Town-Hall Meeting May 6

Today, all of our church’s members received a letter from the Presbytery of Elizabeth inviting them to a “Congregational Town-Hall Meeting” on Sunday, May 6. There will actually be two meetings: The first at 11:40 am in English, and the second at 3:30 pm in Spanish.

The session strongly encourages all members to attend one of these two meetings, at which the Presbytery Resolution Team will present their perspective on the session’s recommendation that First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen be dismissed from the PC(USA) and join the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. We want our congregation to be fully informed, and we want your voice to be heard.


First meeting with Presbytery Team is gracious and productive

On Monday, March 26, our session met for the first time with the “Resolution Team” (RT) from Elizabeth Presbyter to discuss our request for dismissal to the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO).

The meeting began with introductions, and a Bible study on Ephesians 4 led by presbytery moderator, Rev. Neal Presa. He explained that the purpose of the RT is to work together with the session and congregation to discern and do God’s will, whatever that may be.

After this, the RT asked each member of session, as well as the members of our Denominational Relations Team who were present, to share why they believe that God is calling First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen out of the PC(USA) and into ECO. This took up the bulk of the meeting, as the RT listened carefully to each of the congregational leaders.

In the near future, the RT will be communicating with members of the congregation, inviting anyone who wishes to share their own thoughts, beliefs, and feelings about the session’s request to be dismissed from the PC(USA). They will provide opportunities to meet with team members face-to-face, and will also invite written comments through a special email address. The session encourages all of our members to take advantage of this opportunity.

On April 30 the RT and session will meet together again to review and plan next steps in the dismissal process. Please continue to keep all of the people involved in prayer.


Session votes unanimously on new denominational home

This afternoon, Sunday, March 25, the session voted unanimously to ask the Presbytery of Elizabeth to dismiss our church to the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO).

ECO is a new reformed denomination, born in January of this year. Pastor Wildrick and Elder Suzanne Geiger were fortunate to be in Orlando for its birth.

In prayerfully considering what we were looking for in a new denominational home, the session agreed that our new denominational home must:

  1. be radically committed to the Lord Jesus Christ
  2. be Reformed (Presbyterian) in its theology and polity
  3. be Evangelical, with a clear set of theological standards or core beliefs shared by all ordained leaders
  4. celebrate the ministry of women in ordained ministry
  5. be outwardly focused, and passionately committed to evangelism as well as serving those living in the margins of society
  6. have a limited, flexible structure that encourages and enables congregations to be innovative in ministry, accountable and encouraging to one another in fulfilling the great commission, and minimizes bureaucratic overhead
  7. will provide a comprehensive and affordable health care and retirement plans for our pastors

We believe that we have found just that denomination in ECO!

Is ECO a perfect denomination? Of course not, and if it were it would cease to be perfect once our church joins it. But it is a body of like-minded believers, moving forward in the same directions that we believe God is calling our church. The leadership is humble, passionate, and committed. Not only do we believe that ECO can provide a healthy environment in which we can grow, we believe that we can contribute in a meaningful as we help build ECO into a strong and vibrant denomination.

Please continue praying for our pastors, session and the denominational relations team. Pray also for the members of the presbytery’s Resolution Team. The session’s first meeting with the team is tomorrow, March 26, at 7:30 pm.

First Meeting with Resolution Team Monday, March 26

One of the key components of the Presbytery of Elizabeth’s process for churches seeking dismissal is appointing a “Resolution Team” from the presbytery. This team will meet with the session and members of the congregation to determine if there is a way to reconcile differences and keep First Presbyterian Church within the PC(USA). Failing that, the Resolution Team will meet with us to negotiate the terms and process for dismissal.

Please pray for our session, Denominational Relations Team, and pastors, as well as for the Resolution Team and our presbytery as we enter this stage of the dismissal process. Pray for wisdom, discernment, patience, understanding, grace, and that we may demonstrate the gospel of Jesus Christ in our meetings together.

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