Grace Presbyterian Church 113 Hargrove Road, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 205-758-1193

Grace Presbyterian Church Blog

Moment for Merger, Oct. 2

You have heard a lot in the last few weeks about the process of merging Covenant Presbyterian and University Presbyterian – both the formal process of our Merger Steering Committee  and sub-committee meetings but also the informal process – the anxieties, the concerns, the fears, the hurt feelings – all of which is to be expected in any significant change – whether that be in our personal lives, our professional lives, or our spiritual, church lives.

But today I want us to return to a more product-oriented discussion – as I often jokingly note when our Merger committee meets, it’s a good thing we have both product and process oriented people on the committee because you need both. But I am definitely the product-oriented one. And the product that I’m most concerned about right now is the Plan of Union document. If you were in church several weeks ago you heard me talk about all the components of the Plan of Union. To briefly recap that – the Plan of Union will have three main parts:
A.      A description of our process – that is what have we been doing the last two years to prepare ourselves for this merger,
B.       The Plan of Union itself – which includes details about the formation of the new session, transfer of property, the planning of the final worship service for each of our churches and the initial service of Grace Presbyterian, the name of our church, and how we will go about establishing a new corporation with new by-laws.
C.      A summary from each of the 10 sub-committees about their vision for our new church and congregation.

So, where are we with producing this Plan of Union?

1.      Our goal is still to have our POU approved at the November presbytery meeting.  We are on track to meet that goal.
2.      We have written a first draft of the Plan of Union. We are currently in the revise and edit stage.  Summary reports from the sub-committees are due to me tomorrow, October 3.
3.      Our plan is to have a copy in your hands by October 23 which will give you a week to look over it.
4.      On October 30, after our first “unofficial meeting” as Grace Presbyterian, each of our congregations will hold a separate called congregational meeting. One of us will meet in the sanctuary; the other will meet in the Fellowship Hall. At that meeting, we will vote to approve the Plan of Union.
5.      We are still working out some of the finer details mandated by the Presbytery – one being dates for the dissolution of each of our churches and another, the official start date of our new church.

Lee Keyes, an Elder at Covenant Presbyterian, in keeping with the dating, engagement and marriage analogy we have been using throughout the merger process, remarked that we are in the pregnancy stage of our relationship about to birth our baby.  How we conduct ourselves during this pregnancy stage will have long-term effects on the future of our newborn – that is, Grace Presbyterian.  So as we enter the final stages of our pregnancy and eagerly await the arrival of our new baby/church,  let’s continue to listen for God’s voice for wisdom and discernment, let’s treat each other kindly and graciously – understanding that pregnancy is an exciting, but also difficult and challenging time.  And let’s continue to pray for ourselves, our partners in Christ, and our new church.