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One of Syracuse's oldest Presbyterian churches votes to close next year
Syracuse.com ^ | 28 October 2011 | Elizabeth Doran

Posted on 10/28/2011 3:21:31 AM PDT by Cronos

One of the oldest Presbyterian churches in Syracuse — First Presbyterian Church United – this month decided it will close in April 2012.

The Near West Side church, founded in 1826 and located at 620 W. Genesee St. since 1904, will have its last service on Easter, April 8, 2012.

The church has been steadily losing members over the years and is financially strapped, said Nancy Wind, associate for congregational life at the church. There are about 100 church members; of those about 40 attend worship services, she said.

“We’ve been running a deficit budget for at least a decade ,” Wind said. “So instead of waiting for the inevitable, we decided to be responsible by deciding to close before we run out of all our endowment funds.”

The church held a special congregational meeting Oct. 2 where members voted 32 to 2 to request that the church be dissolved by the Presbytery of Cayuga Syracuse. A final celebration of the life of First Presbyterian Church United (with East Genesee Presbyterian Church) will be held May 4, 5 and 6, 2012.

...

At its peak in the 1960s, the church had close to 1,000 members. Ten years ago, that had dropped to about 300. “We lose at least 10 to 12 members every year,” Sullivan said.

..Rhebergen estimated there are five Presbyterian churches in the city. South Presbyterian and Onondaga Valley merged several years ago, and First Presbyterian merged with East Genesee Presbyterian. The presbytery will have to decide what to do with the church buildings.

(Excerpt) Read more at syracuse.com ...


TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: abominationtogod; fauxchristians; gauychurch; homosexualagenda; icky; newyork; pcusa; presbyterian; syracuse
as the "gay marriage is ok" spreads among the Presbyterians, we can expect more of this
1 posted on 10/28/2011 3:21:35 AM PDT by Cronos
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To: Alex Murphy

Sad news Alex


2 posted on 10/28/2011 3:22:23 AM PDT by Cronos (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2787101/posts?page=58#58)
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To: Cronos

They just need to be more inclusive, they need women clergy, they need to approve of abortion and homosexuality.

Oh, I forgot!


3 posted on 10/28/2011 3:54:44 AM PDT by iowamark (Rick Perry says I'm heartless.)
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To: Cronos

The little Baptist church, I attend has about 60 active members, not that much different in size from the church mentioned and we are financially sound. What makes the difference?


4 posted on 10/28/2011 3:57:10 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Of course Obama loves his country but Herman Cain loves mine.)
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To: iowamark; Cronos
They just need to be more inclusive, they need women clergy, they need to approve of abortion and homosexuality.

Not at the Presbyterian PCA churches. PC-USA has gone the way of the World.

Anyone who wants a breath of fresh air from political correctness is welcome in the PCA.

5 posted on 10/28/2011 4:01:28 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: sr4402

true.


6 posted on 10/28/2011 4:03:30 AM PDT by Cronos (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2787101/posts?page=58#58)
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To: Graybeard58

Interesting point — question, does your pastor exclusively work as a pastor? And does that give him enough to live on? I ask that seriously. Imho 60 people can support one pastor


7 posted on 10/28/2011 4:04:54 AM PDT by Cronos (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2787101/posts?page=58#58)
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To: sr4402; iowamark

sorry, but that was funny — anyone who wants a breath of fresh air from PC is welcome in the PCA :)


8 posted on 10/28/2011 4:05:36 AM PDT by Cronos (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2787101/posts?page=58#58)
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To: Cronos

He’s been Pastor for 43 years. He held another full time job until he retired and paid his own way to earn a doctorate. We currently pay him $26,000 per year and there’s no parsonage. The only other service person we pay is a janitorial service.


9 posted on 10/28/2011 4:47:41 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Of course Obama loves his country but Herman Cain loves mine.)
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To: Cronos; iowamark
sorry, but that was funny — anyone who wants a breath of fresh air from PC is welcome in the PCA :)

It's so true. Political Correctness (PC) - being Anti-Christian - is strangling many of our churches. It takes on many forms.

The worst is denying the inerrancy and authority of the Holy Scriptures. Next it winks at anti-Christian behavior, like adultery, fornication (sex outside of marriage), homosexuality.

It turns up the nose at the idea of personal holiness and godly living.

But worst of all, it hates Holy matrimony (one man covenentally married to one woman under God for life).

When will America's churches WAKE UP and throw off the Politically Correct Noose and return to Christ Alone?

10 posted on 10/28/2011 5:01:18 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: sr4402
i think being politically correct in moderation is good -- let me explain. Using derogatory terms for members of say another race/ethnicity (the n word or the ho_key word) to intentionally hurt someone is wrong.

But taken to extremes...

11 posted on 10/28/2011 5:23:11 AM PDT by Cronos (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2787101/posts?page=58#58)
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To: sr4402
Anyone who wants a breath of fresh air from political correctness is welcome in the PCA.

Does the PCA ordain women as ministers/pastors?

12 posted on 10/28/2011 5:23:55 AM PDT by fwdude ("When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve ...")
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To: Graybeard58

26 is ok for a single guy, but for a family it could be tight and coupled in with the maintenance of an old building, it can cost quite a bit I’m guessing.


13 posted on 10/28/2011 5:24:16 AM PDT by Cronos (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2787101/posts?page=58#58)
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To: fwdude

No. The PCA requires the offices of ordained elders and deacons be limited to men only.


14 posted on 10/28/2011 5:38:43 AM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: Cronos

He has a full pension from Komatsu Dresser Industries, his wife is a retired school teacher and he has social security plus the church pay, they do quite well, he has turned down raises in the past.

I also believe that 43 years in the same Baptist church is unusual.


15 posted on 10/28/2011 5:42:46 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Of course Obama loves his country but Herman Cain loves mine.)
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To: Cronos
I was an Elder in a Presbyterian Church in Nebraska in the 1990s, and I have to say that it grieves me deeply to see what's happened to this, and other Presbyterian Churches. I was chosen to speak for our Church when the subject of allowing homosexuals in the pulpit was being considered. And while most of our membership supported my point of view, it was clear that those few who did not were absolutely livid with me because of my comments on the issue.

I stood before the group and reminded them of the scriptural guidelines regarding homosexuality. Then I said that when a Christian Church deliberately and knowingly adopts guidelines which run directly against the inspired Word of God they cease to be a church, because they openly defy the teachings of their foundational documentation...or more to the point, openly defy God.

That is the point at which they become something which could be better defined as a cult.

Needless to say that this was also the point at which I and my family left the Presbyterian church.

16 posted on 10/28/2011 6:05:07 AM PDT by RavenATB ("Destroy the family and you destroy the country!" ~Vladimir Lenin)
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To: Graybeard58

If you look at the article, you’ll see that the church is pretty much a small cathedral. I’m sure the costs of maintenance are ten times what they are for an ordinary church, maybe more.


17 posted on 10/28/2011 6:17:31 AM PDT by mrreaganaut (Love is all we need. God is love.)
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To: Graybeard58

Probably the cost of living in the area, maintenance fees, and the amount of revenue brought in.


18 posted on 10/28/2011 6:34:04 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: Cronos

The Methodist church to which I belong, a downtown church that was started in the nineteenth century is also struggling. Most of its members are 50 or older, and Sunday worship services average only abut 100.


19 posted on 10/28/2011 6:41:50 AM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: Cronos
"i think being politically correct in moderation is good -- let me explain. "

IMHO, you're confusing decent behavior and manners in public with speech restriction. You cannot have anything like PC floating around and preached without it eventually getting to the point where political speech rather than slanders become the focus. Years ago you never heard people using racial slurs in polite company even though they might use them at work or when talking with a friend. In fact, one of the things that used to make a couple of my friends more ticked off than anything else was how friggin polite everyone could be while making sure you knew where the appropriate restroom and water fountain were.

Every so often the Southern Baptist Churches used to all preach a sermon against using hateful names for others not like you or less fortunate than you. Everyone understood that the Pastor was referring to the use of the nword and things like, "lint head", and redneck. Sure, some people did anyway, but then they found themselves less and less welcome in polite company. IOW, society policed itself.

Among black folks, for example, there were terms (not just the nword, either) black folks now commonly apply to one another that if you used them would absolutely mark you as someone "nice folks" didn't want in their home, around their kids, or in their employ. You friends would let you know about those things, too, because they didn't want to be embarrassed around their parents by some white kid their parents were bound to be suspicious of anyway. All you have to do is study history and to realize very quickly that restraint of speech only restrains speech that those in power want restricted and has very little if anything to do with making society less threatening, more friendly, more accepting, or anything else. Societies where the members want to have a civil society do quite nicely without the government dictating anything to do with speech, thank you. In addition, in every case where government intervenes in something so basic as speech, taking that inch just convinces government it's the ruler.

JMHO

20 posted on 10/28/2011 7:08:47 AM PDT by Rashputin (Obama stark, raving, mad, and even his security people know it.)
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To: fwdude
Does the PCA ordain women as ministers/pastors?

1 Timothy 3

"1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap."

Note: The Male pronoun is used 9 times here. Also: Also from 1 Timothy 2:12

"do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man" (in the church).

So no. Ministers and Elders (Overseers) are Male in the PCA.

21 posted on 10/28/2011 10:00:26 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: mrreaganaut
I’m sure the costs of maintenance are ten times what they are for an ordinary church, maybe more.

Our utilities are about $2500 per month. Water, phones, electric, gas, garbage pick up.

While we have about 60 active members, the church could probably seat upwards of 300. Yes, that's sad.

We keep about $40,000 in a savings account and $8,000 to $10,000 in checking and we spend quite a bit on food baskets. We own a van but it's paid for and not used a whole lot. A couple of months ago, we voted for and installed, the cooling system in another nearby church, (Actually we paid for 1/2 of it, another church paid the rest). A couple of men from both churches did the labor.

We are fortunate and blessed by God because a lot of churches are struggling financially.

We even have to pay workers compensation taxes for the pastor and janitor workers and of course no one escapes the S.S. tax, we are not exempt on the Pastor's and janitor's salaries.

None of the above is our primary mission however. That would be to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can probably tell that I'm proud of our little church.

22 posted on 10/28/2011 10:54:17 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Of course Obama loves his country but Herman Cain loves mine.)
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To: Graybeard58

then that is impressive. I wish you and your pastor God’s graces for a long, long time to come


23 posted on 10/28/2011 8:59:35 PM PDT by Cronos (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2787101/posts?page=58#58)
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To: RavenATB
the more I see this collapse of our nations Church's due to acceptance of abortion and gay marriage, the more I think that this is the final stage of earlier decisions made

For gay marriage it starts with when we as people accepted easy divorces as a fact of life. Then we accepted "shacking up" to the extent that it is now considered abnormal if you DON'T.

With these two aspects and the almost acceptance of infidelity the value of marriage as not just an agreement but a Sacrament was gone.

People stopped realizing that marriage is a Sacrament with 3 involved -- woman, man and GOD.

So, marriage became a piece of paper, not even a contract (as it can be so easily broken).

And then the welfare state jumped in and marriage didn't even become "necessary" -- women with multiple partners and boys who never became men but became fathers who walked away proliferated

With this degeneration of heterosexual "marriage", why not accept a perversion like "gay marriage"?

24 posted on 10/28/2011 9:04:16 PM PDT by Cronos (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2787101/posts?page=58#58)
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To: Fiji Hill

Is it purely demographics?


25 posted on 10/28/2011 9:05:11 PM PDT by Cronos (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2787101/posts?page=58#58)
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To: Rashputin
you're confusing decent behavior and manners in public with speech restriction

you are correct.

26 posted on 10/28/2011 9:06:59 PM PDT by Cronos (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2787101/posts?page=58#58)
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To: sr4402
you know if you think of things purely from a secular point of view, it seems reasonable to have pastoresses, BUT, from a scientific point of view one can see the empirical evidence that pastoresses lead to gay married pastors -- ECUSA, PCUSA, ELCA etc as examples. It's a slippery slope down

And that's even before we need to describe the FINAL argument, scripture

27 posted on 10/28/2011 9:08:48 PM PDT by Cronos (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2787101/posts?page=58#58)
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To: Cronos; Alex Murphy
as the "gay marriage is ok" spreads among the Presbyterians, we can expect more of this

I agree as the saved leave an apostate church ...

PCUSA is like Rome in that it owns all the churches and the retirement funds of the pastors.. most of these congregations can not just withdraw and become OP or PCA

A local PCUSA actually raised the funds to buy their way out.. but most congregations just can not do that ...

So the elect will filter out to other congregations.. ..This is good news for the church of Jesus Christ not so much for PCUSA

28 posted on 10/29/2011 11:40:19 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: fwdude
Does the PCA ordain women as ministers/pastors?

No and it does not ordain women as elders nor allow women to teach men..

29 posted on 10/29/2011 11:42:15 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RavenATB

Agreed..the one near me is basically universalist ...


30 posted on 10/29/2011 11:45:02 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7; sr4402; ReformationFan
No and it does not ordain women as elders nor allow women to teach men.

Great to hear. But my next question is why don't these conflicted, supposedly conservative congregants and pastors in the PC-USA simply affiliate with the PCA? Is the difference really that vast? Or are these pastors really not that conservative?

31 posted on 10/29/2011 12:58:25 PM PDT by fwdude ("When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve ...")
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To: sr4402
Not at the Presbyterian PCA churches. PC-USA has gone the way of the World.

Getting back to the subject of the article, I can't find anywhere in the piece the affiliation of the First Presbyterian Church United in Syracuse. It sounds like it just might be a more conservative church, from the ages of the congregants. Just wondering.

32 posted on 10/29/2011 1:01:56 PM PDT by fwdude ("When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve ...")
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To: Graybeard58

This must be very sad for you. I hope you find another like-minded church. (I’m in central NY also, and know it’s a very dark area, in many ways)
Is your pastor going to retire?
May God bless you and your fellowship.

(keeper53)


33 posted on 10/29/2011 1:11:48 PM PDT by keeper53
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To: fwdude
I can't find anywhere in the piece the affiliation of the First Presbyterian Church United in Syracuse.

Note their website (and .pcusa.)

http://www.firstpressyracuse.pcusa.cc/

34 posted on 10/29/2011 6:14:06 PM PDT by sr4402
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To: sr4402

Thanks. Missed that.


35 posted on 10/29/2011 7:35:46 PM PDT by fwdude ("When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve ...")
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To: fwdude

I think the differences are probably too vast for a PCUSA congregation to go directly to a PCA member congregation nowadays. The PCUSA has required female elders and deacons for so long that many of these congregations that chose to leave have gone to the EPC instead. Also, theological liberalism on many issues, not just sexuality and marriage, would probably prevent many of these PCUSA congregations from fitting into the PCA.


36 posted on 10/29/2011 10:08:02 PM PDT by ReformationFan
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