Letter to the Congregation, May 27, 2015
Dear CKPC Members and Friends,
As most of you know by now, last year CKPC entered into a time of discernment as to its relationship with the PC(USA), asking the question if this is best denominational home for us right now. An eight member Discernment Team was formed (four Elders from CKPC and four from Seattle Presbytery) to lead this process and after nine months of meetings, conversations, investigation and prayer, this team came to a recommendation that it presented to CKPC’s Session this past week.
At this time in the life of CKPC, and considering all the factors relevant to a decision like this, Session voted to approve the Discernment Team’s recommendation that CKPC should remain in the PC(USA) at this time and align itself with The Fellowship of Presbyterians, a renewal group committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This has been a difficult decision since we know that this is a controversial question with sincere opinions on both sides. There are many factors that go into a decision of this magnitude and we recognized early on that there would be pros and cons to any path. Ultimately, our decision was based on weighing numerous factors that are relevant for a decision like this.
To put this question of CKPC’s denominational affiliation into perspective, I believe the great majority at CKPC uphold the traditional view of human sexuality and marriage and support our mission of bringing the message of Christ to Kitsap County. The differences we have really center on one aspect of how we might accomplish this great purpose, being affiliated with the PC(USA) or not. We can have an honest disagreement about this while still working together for the mission itself.
We realize that many of you will have questions and concerns about this decision and so we want to invite you to an information meeting on Sunday, June 14th, immediately following worship. No matter where you fall on this question, we want you to understand the larger picture of why this decision was made and how it fits with CKPC’s future.
And while Session’s decision technically ceases the discernment process, the Seattle Presbytery, Discernment Team and your Session recognize the importance of allowing everyone who calls CKPC their church home an opportunity to have their voice heard in the form of a vote.
It is our hope that you will attend the information meeting on June 14th, listen to the rationale for this decision, prayerfully consider the decision and, finally, respond by voting to confirm (or reject) the Session's direction on this question. While this is a non-binding, advisory vote, it’s still important to hear from you. In addition, there will be a place to write comments that will be read by all Session members. Session has humbly embarked on the task for which is was elected and yet still wants to hear from you.
There is much more to be said so please plan to attend the gathering on the 14th.
In Christ’s service with you,
Pastor Lee Riley & CKPC Session