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Local Process | Denominational Updates from First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen
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First Presbyterian Begins Process for Dismissal from PC(USA)

The following letter was mailed to all church members this week. A Spanish translation will follow.

March 5, 2012

Dear Members of First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen,

On February 20, our session voted unanimously to notify the Presbytery of Elizabeth that we wish to begin the process for dismissal from the Presbyterian Church (USA), our current denominational home, and into another Presbyterian denomination.

While this was discussed at length at the February 12th Congregational meeting, we want to communicate thoroughly on this issue, and the session has asked me to answer some of the questions we have heard or anticipate hearing about this important decision.

 Why are we aligning with another denomination and not remaining with the PC(USA)?

We have watched over the course of decades as the PC(USA) has made decisions that distance it from traditional, orthodox Christian beliefs about the Bible, God, salvation, and biblical teaching on sexual purity. Many renewal efforts have been undertaken in hopes of restoring the direction of our denomination, but the momentum of the denomination continues in a direction that is no longer supportive of our core beliefs and values as a congregation. The result is we believe the PC(USA) is no longer a good-fit as a home for us to undertake the ministry we believe God has called us to.

Continue Reading…

Forum on Church Discipline

On March 4, the session held our third Congregational Forum on Denominational Issues. The subject was “The Meaning and Importance of Church Discipline.” Pastor Jeff explained that “discipline” is different than punishment. Discipline is our attempt to steer people toward godly living, and protect the body from false teaching or immoral behavior. He then gave examples of how discipline is supposed to work, works, and doesn’t work in the PC(USA) and our church.

You can listen to or download an audio or video recording of this or any of the forums at http://dunellenpres.org/media.php?pageID=49

Discipline Forum FPCD Slides

Church Discipline Forum handout

First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen Enters Dismissal Process

On February 20, the session of First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen voted unanimously to ask the Presbytery of Elizabeth to begin a process that will lead to our dismissal from the Presbyterian Church (USA), and into another Presbyterian denomination.

You can read the letter here:

Request Dismissal PCUSA

Please pray for our session, our pastors, and the presbytery as we enter this process together. Specifically, pray that all of our conversations and actions will be characterized by an attitude of grace, hope, and love.

You can also read a copy of the Presbytery of Elizabeth’s dismissal policy here:

Request Dismissal PCUSA

The Denominational Relations Team is working on a letter to the congregation that will go into much greater detail. It will also be posted here as soon as it is available.

Forum on the Trinity

On February 5, the session held our second Congregational Forum on Denominational Issues. The subject was “The Trinity.” Pastor Jeff began with a quick review on the inspiration and authority of the Bible, then compared and contrasted our congregation’s beliefs and those of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

You can listen to or download an audio or video recording of the forum at http://dunellenpres.org/media.php?pageID=49

HANDOUTS (all in Pdf format):

Trinity Forum handout background information

Trinity Forum FPCD Slides

Trinity in the Bible Handout


Theological Forums Scheduled

The Session has scheduled four forums to help members understand the theological issues that are causing division in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the significance of these issues for the life and future of our congregation.

Each of the first three forums will be between 30 and 45 minutes long, immediately following the morning worship service. Continue Reading…

New Presbytery Policy

At its November 2011 meeting, our presbytery adopted a policy for working with churches seeking dismissal from the presbytery to another denomination. We know that many of our members have been wondering what the policy is, so we are attaching it here.

Process for Disaffiliation



Highlights from the May 22, 2011 Congregational Meeting

This post contains a summary of the information presented at the May 22 congregational meeting. The focus of the meeting was our church’s responses to the passage of Amendment 10-A.

Continue Reading…

Response from Executive Presbyter of Elizabeth Presbytery

May 20, 2011

The following article by the Executive Presbyter was published in the “The Presbyterian” (the newsletter of the Presbytery of Elizabeth). It contains a response to First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen’s letter to the PC(USA) regarding per capita.

Continue Reading…

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