Our Path Forward

Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church’s Session is leading and recommending WCPres to join Menlo Church to achieve the greatest Kingdom impact in the most efficient and effective way to reach the unchurched.

On this web page, you can read about the journey Session has been taking, the decision to join with Menlo, and more about Menlo Church. There are many documents, questions and answers, video clips, and more for you to explore.

In the upcoming weeks before the June 3 vote, we invite you to participate in opportunities to learn about what it would mean to join Menlo Church. There are dessert presentations in member’s homes, Coffee with an Elder on Sundays after worship, and “Ask Menlo Church Panel Discussion” on May 20.

Whatever path we take going forward, what is imperative is that we all seek God’s will together, and move in one accord for the sake of the Gospel in our community.

Below you will find more information:

Session Recommendation - Joining Menlo

Informational Meeting for the Congregation - April 15, 2018

An Informational Meeting for the Congregation to hear the details about this Session recommendation was held on April 15. The presentation included facts about what it would mean to join Menlo, Session’s evaluation process, and their conclusions that resulted in their recommendation to join Menlo.

The video and PowerPoint slides from the April 15th informational meeting -is available for your review. After you listen to the presentation, we hope you will be as enthusiastic and hopeful as Session is.

In the last month many questions have been raised via several different avenues on behalf of "concerned members": one set of questions came through a document circulated by Richard Osicka (April 15) together with questions brought to Session by Lynne Leach and Richard Osicka (April 17); the second set of questions were distributed to the congregation in a brochure developed by several WCPres members (May 6). Both of these documents can be accessed below.

Response to Concerned Members

Response to Top Questions from Concerned Members

Questions from the Congregational Meeting:
Upcoming Events - Now to June 3

In the upcoming weeks before the June 3 vote, we invite you to participate in opportunities to learn more about what it would mean to join Menlo Church. This is a big decision facing our congregation and we encourage everyone to participate in one or more of these events.

Dessert Small Group Discussion
Sign up to participate

In our desire to keep WCPres members updated about Session’s recommendation, we are offering Small Group Desserts. Between now and May 23, several of our members are hosting desserts in their homes. A discussion host from the session/due diligence team will be present to help facilitate a constructive dialog to learn more about the Menlo recommendation.

Select a date and location that will fit your calendar from the dates listed in the link below. Besides enjoying a wonderful treat and the fellowship of friends, you can share your excitement, thoughts and concerns in a small-group setting where everyone’s voice is welcome. The goal is to provide as much information as possible to make a well-informed choice at our Congregational Vote on June 3.

To participate in a Dessert Small Group Discussion, please sign up here.

Ask Menlo Church Panel Discussion: Eugene Lee, executive pastor, David Kim, Menlo elder and others will be part of a panel discussion answering your specific questions about Menlo Church. Join us on Sunday, May 20, 11 am in the MPR.

Congregational Sharing Opportunity: Hosted by Pastor Benjamin on Sunday, May 27, 10:45 to 12:15 in the Sanctuary, members are invited to share excitement, perspectives, viewpoints and thoughts about joining Menlo. An open microphone will provide an opportunity for people to talk for a limit of two minutes. Please join us to hear from all viewpoints as we seek to make this important decision.

Questions & Answers about Joining Menlo

Understanding the vote to be conducted on Sunday, June 3.

The decision on whether to join Menlo Church will happen at the Congregational Meeting to be held on Sunday, June 3 immediately after the worship service.  Members of Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church in good standing and who are present can vote by ballot. Sign-ins for the ballot will begin at 8:45 am in front of the Sanctuary.

Our Due Diligence Team, with the assistance of our attorneys, has finished their work and completed a final Session-approved Agreement.  You can read a summary of that Agreement here, and the various portions of the Agreement in their entirety here.  Paper copies of the Summary agreement will be available in the back of the Sanctuary starting Sunday, May 20th. 

There will be other questions/answers coming later.

The Path Forward From Mission Study to Recommending Joining Menlo

Mission Study - Completed October  2017 - Our Path Forward

Our goal and passion as identified in Our Path Forward report and presentation is the Great Commission: to be a strong community that is reaching the unchurched with the gospel and seeing God transform our lives, our neighbors, and our world.

This is the same objective we have had as a church since our founding over 140 years ago.

Appointing Due Diligence Team - December 2017

Both WCPres and Menlo Sessions entered into a “due diligence” process at the beginning of this year. The two churches engaged in asking and answering a variety of questions that explored the following areas: ministries, finances, programs, staff, legal aspects (property) and more. During this time of talking, all facets of what a relationship might look like were explored. Both parties agreed that if any insurmountable stumbling blocks were identified in this phase, then further discussions would cease and we would move on in our separate ways.

Through all of this discussion, our primary question has been "Will we be better together at bringing the Gospel to Walnut Creek and the Diablo Valley, than we would be on our own?"

Exploring Menlo Church - January - March 2018

While the Due Diligence Team met with Menlo, opportunities for WCPres members to get to know Menlo were provided. Menlo pastors came to preach: John Ortberg, Eugene Lee and Scott Palmbush. After their message, Fireside Chats were held offering an opportunity to hear and ask questions about ministry at Menlo. Three bus trips were organized to attend Menlo-Saratoga with over 100 people going.

To prepare themselves for the various discussion with Menlo Church, our Session read the book Better Together . This book is used by Menlo and other churches in exploring what it means to join together. You are encouraged to read this book. Copies of the book are available in the church library, or you can read a summary here .

Session Decides - March 2018

After prayerful consideration of God’s direction for our path forward, and broad discussion of the Due Diligence Team’s findings, Session recommended that the mission of reaching the unchurched for Jesus Christ in Walnut Creek, Diablo Valley and the East Bay is most effectively and efficiently accomplished by WCPres joining with Menlo Church.

College of Elders/Ministry Leaders Informational Meeting - April 8, 2018

On April 8th, the College of Elders (all former and current elders), Ministry Leaders and staff came together to hear about Session’s recommendation to join Menlo.  61 out of 85 COE and ML attended the meeting (72% of our church leadership), along with 5 Staff members and 2 spouses, bringing the attendance to a total of 68 attendees. At the end of the presentation, attendees were asked to complete a straw poll. Of those in attendance, 49 responses were turned in (72% response rate).

The results of that straw poll indicated that approximately 80% favored joining Menlo Church, with 67% strongly in favor of it. A handful of attendees were neutral or undecided while 16% preferred maintaining our independence, with 12.5% strongly against it.

Informational Meeting for the Congregation - April 15, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions with answers. This section will be updated as more information is gathered.

About a Partnership
About a Joint Venture
About Menlo Church
Vision and Mission
Due Diligence
From the Transition Mailbox
Session Update Archive
Next Steps
We ask you to engage in the process by:
  1. Praying for our church.
  2. Participating in opportunities to learn more through Coffee with an Elder, Dessert Gatherings, and Ask Menlo Church Panel Discussion.
  3. Submitting your comments and questions are welcomed through email to transition@wcpres.org.