Report Says 1 in 5 Presbyterians 'Disappointed,' May Leave Church

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Presbyterian Church (USA) may have as many as one-in-five of its members considering an exit from the mainline denomination, according to a recently released report.

In advance of the PC(USA)'s 222nd General Assembly in June, the largest Presbyterian Church in the nation released a report analyzing the diverse perspectives of its membership.

Titled "When We Gather at the Table: A PC(USA) Snapshot," the report sought to examine the identity of the denomination through the lenses of its members.

"Across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), congregations, mid councils, and other interested
groups are discerning together who we are as a church and who God is calling us to be," stated the report.

"The Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA) has also engaged in this discussion as it sought to understand the current nature of our ecclesiology, the theology of church."

The report created four categories for the respondents: "Purposeful Progressives," "Disappointed and Discerning," "Family Facilitators," and "Rooted and Resolute."

Nineteen percent of respondents were "Disappointed and Discerning," which was identified as 76 percent conservative, 23 percent moderate/mixed, and 1 percent liberal.

"Though the name given to this segment might appear to be strong, it truly reflects how they feel: forsaken, abandoned, and for some, held hostage by their denomination," continued the report.

"They are the most displeased. This group includes those who either (1) do not like their PC(USA) affiliation but are stuck in the denomination for various reasons, or (2) are conflicted and thinking about leaving the denomination."

Carmen Fowler LaBerge, president of the theologically conservative Presbyterian Lay Committee, was one of the 3,000+ respondents.

In an interview with The Christian Post, LaBerge said that she considered herself part of the "Disappoined and Discerning" category until a recent decision to join another church.

"The study confirms that the issues dividing the PCUSA are theological. There is not a shared understanding of what it means to be theologically Reformed nor what it looks like to live, individually or institutionally, submitted to the authority of God as revealed in the Bible," said LaBerge.

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