Thursday, June 16, 2016

When In Need Of Attending A Presbyterian Church NJ Should Be Prioritized

By Jeffrey Kelly

The Presbyterian Church (USA) refers to a mainline Protestant Christian denomination located in the US. The abbreviation PCUSA is often used to refer to this church. The reformed tradition is known for having a very progressive stance on doctrine. The present day PCUSA was formed as a result of a merger of two churches in the United States in 1983. The churches that merged were the PCUS and the UPCUSA. To find a good Presbyterian Church NJ is one of the places one can visit.

The long history of the PCUSA church goes as far back as the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. John Calvin, a Swiss/French theologian started the Presbyterian theology including the heritage. Calvin lived between 1509 and 1564 and was a lawyer by profession too. Calvin solidified the Reformed thinking in the denomination which he inherited from prior theologians. Geneva, Switzerland was the headquarters where Calvin worked.

The modern PCUSA denomination has seen major mergers that define its existence today. The merger between Cumberland PC and PCUSA which occurred in 1906 marks the first merger in the denomination. The vast part of the congregation of Cumberland PC was located in border and southern states. Later in 1920, Welsh Calvinist Methodist Church got absorbed by PCUSA. In 1958, another merger between the United PC of North America and the United PC in the USA (UPCUSA) occurred.

Mergers are not the only occasions that characterize the history of PCUSA, major breakaways have also occurred in PCUSA at different times. The first breakaway led to the Orthodox PC being formed in 1936. In 1973, disagreements concerning service of ordained female clergies led to PCA splitting from the main PC. The present and historic breakaways continue to pose a threat to the existence of PCUSA.

The Book of Confessions and the Book of Order are the two sections that make up the PCUSA constitution. These two parts are also called part I and II respectively. Part I consists beliefs and leadership guidelines. On the contrary, part II is a complementary for part I. It holds functions of the church at different levels of government.

Governing in PCUSA is called Presbyterian polity and it assumes the form of a representative government. Part II of the PCUSA constitution outlines the four levels of administration and government in the polity. The government consists of four key governing bodies, that is, general assembly, synod, presbytery, and session.

The highest governing body in the denomination is the General Assembly. Before the assembly of 2004, the general assembly convened on an annual basis. However, with the 2004 assembly, the general assembly now convenes biennially. Presbyteries are responsible for electing commissioners that make the assembly. These commissioners have several diverse responsibilities in the denomination globally.

Back 1983, when PCUSA was being formed, the number of its members totaled to 3, 131, 228. The steady decline in this figure has led to a lot of worry since that time. Membership statistics is maintained extensively in PCUSA. Thus, any changes in membership is usually noticed within the same year.

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