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New Presbyterian denomination launches in response to PCUSA dropping gay clergy ban

by Brad A. Greenberg

January 21, 2012 | 11:41 pm

New York Avenue Presbyterian Church steeple in Washington Jan. 6. Photo by REUTERS/Larry Downing

There has long been a divide within the Presbyterian Church USA regarding attitudes toward homosexuality, a divide that widened last summer after the PCUSA ended its ban on ordaining gay ministers.

This week, Presbyterians opposed to gay ordination launched a new denomination called the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians. Via Reuters:

“The problem is people are going to hell,” John Ortberg, a leader of the splinter group and minister at the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in California, said in a sermon to begin Thursday’s events.

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ECO will allow churches to commit exclusively to the new denomination, as well as affiliate with ECO without dropping its membership in the Presbyterian Church.

The new group has no members yet, pending a process for individuals and churches to join.

Read the rest here. The president of the new group, John Crosby, told Reuters that he doesn’t want the denomination to be a one-trick pony, but it doesn’t yet appear that there are other doctrinal distinctions with the PCUSA.

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