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PC(USA) & ECO: Denomination


After a congregational poll in December 2012, when 86% voted favorably to join ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, in January the CPC Session formally notified the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area (PTCA) of its decision to begin the process of moving from the PC(USA) denomination to ECO. Since then, CPC has made good progress in dialogue with the PTCA:

  • In January 2013, an Initial Response Team designated by the PTCA assessed the reasons for the Session’s decision. The team met with the elders on Session as a group and with the pastors on Session individually. In February, they recommended we proceed with the separation process.
  • Four other churches in the PTCA are journeying through the same process: Hope Church (Richfield), Faith Presbyterian (Minnetonka), Prairie Community (Eden Prairie), and Stadium Village on the U of M campus.
  • During the winter, the PTCA reviewed the basis on which churches may leave the PTCA and whether ECO is an acceptable denomination to receive them. In May, the PTCA voted unanimously that churches may be permitted to move to ECO, and that PC(USA) pastors may be permitted to move their denominational affiliation to ECO at their own initiative.
  • In May, the PTCA appointed a six-person Administrative Committee to meet with CPC representatives to work through the next two phases of the process: discernment and negotiation. These will hopefully be finished by September and December, respectively. The timing is in the hands of the PTCA.
  • Session recently appointed the following CPC representatives for this process: John Mitchell (Executive Pastor, College of Elders), Becky Danielson (Elder, Chair of the Governance Committee), Kari Norman (Elder, Chair of the Finance Committee), and Gary Tygesson (College of Elders, Head of CPC’s task force on denominational matters).

The Session will continue to provide timely updates. To learn more about ECO, visit


In a Straw Poll, a total of 1,201 CPC members voted 86% in favor of leaving the PC(USA) and joining ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. Voting was initially scheduled for December 8/9, but extended to December 15/16 due to inclement weather. The tally was 86% approval at each weekend. The Straw Poll did not represent an official vote to leave, but based on these results, the Session pursued formal conversations with the Presbytery about separation.






  • For more information about denominational issues or the proposed move to ECO, email Gary Tygesson, Gayle DeHaan, or David Schwandt at