New Presbyterian Body Aims for Orthodoxy with Less Bureaucracy

(UPDATED) Stats show five times as many churches left the PC(USA) in 2012 as in 2011.

Update (June 3, 2013): Last year, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) dismissed 110 congregations to other denominations, a five-fold increase after dismissing 21 congregations the previous year, according to new statistics revealing the denomination's largest total membership loss (5 percent, or nearly 103,000 members) in nearly a half century.

In a related ruling last year, a PC(USA) synod court decided that one presbytery's decision to let its churches be members of both PC(USA) and ECO–an attempt to keep churches from leaving–was void, finding that ECO was not a Reformed denomination but a special-interest group because it requires members to believe in more than just "personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord."

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Update (February 6, 2012): The Evangelical Covenant Order (ECO) held its first national synod last week, numbering 28 member churches thus far. The Institute on Religion and Democracy reports "another 48 churches are in the process of transitioning to ECO, and over 75 ...

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