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To Find A Presbyterian Church NJ Is The Way To Go

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.

The history of PCUSA has seen some major mergers, but it has seen some major breakaways too. The year 1936 marked the first breakaway which led to the creation of the Orthodox PC. Disputes about ordained female clergies resulted in the breakaway of PCA to form a separate denomination. Historic and current breakaways are a threat to the very existence of the organization even to this day.

Two separate portions make up the PCUSA constitution, that is, Book of Confessions and Book of Order. The two are named part I and part II in that order. Part I holds the beliefs and guidelines that leaders are instructed by while part II is more of a complementary book to part I. Part II defines and outlines the functions of the church at all levels.

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 General assembly represents the highest governing body in the denomination. The general assembly used to convene every year until the 216th assembly that occurred in 2004. The assembly changed the order of meeting and general assembly has since convened biennially. Commissioners that make up the assembly are elected by presbyteries and they have many responsibilities in the affairs of the entire church worldwide.

At the time when PCUSA was formed in 1983, it had a total of 3, 131, 228 members. There has been a lot of worry following a steady decline in this figure since that time. Statistics on members are extensively maintained in PCUSA. That causes changes in membership to be realized immediately.

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