There were about 350 folks gathered at Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach. I was surprised at the number of people who showed up to the regional gathering. I guess I was expecting fewer people since there was a gathering in Orlando that was so well attended just a few months ago.
It was your typical Presbyterian Church gathering - more older folk than younger, about half and half men and women, about a third being under 40, a sprinkling of Racial Ethnics.
What differed and what was so refreshing was the content.
There was and is a genuine sense of change in the air.
What is crystal clear is that churches that are gathering for these meetings are done doing church the way we've been doing church in the PC(USA).
Even a few months ago, there were quite a few churches who were saying they were content and happy to do church right where they were and didn't see the need to change something as dramatic as a denomination affiliation.
With the recent decision of the Board of Pensions to extend benefits to domestic partners coupled with the expectation of the debate and possible change over the definition of marriage at this year's general assembly, the rules of the game have dramatically changed.
When the PC(USA) opened the door for gay ordination, we became one of a few Western Denominations that allow gay ordination.
Should the PC(USA) redefine marriage, we become one of the most liberal denominations in the world.
That decision would be a radical departure from the church of Jesus Christ of the past 2,000. That decision would represent a clear schism of the PC(USA) from the global church.
What we need to take account is that the 2.1 million members of the PC(USA) represent a tiny percentage of more than 80 million presbyterians world wide 2.3 billion Christians world wide.
That move would solidify PC(USA)'s insistence to depart and break away from the global church and the Christian church of the last two millennia.
In essence, this move would be a total game changer for churches like the Little Church on the Prairie and other evangelical congregations.
That was clearly evident in conversations with people who gathered at the West Coast Fellowship Gathering.
Something is in the air.
Many recognize that the PC(USA) is nearing a line which, if crossed, is a place evangelical presbyterians cannot and will not go.