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More Calvinist In-fighting

[ Can we all say, OY VEY now? ]

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Facing the threatened closure of their small church near Twin Peaks, a small group of Calvinists vowed Sunday to continue fighting for survival despite a recent court ruling that barred them from breaking away from their denomination.

“I disagree with the ruling,” said Dorothy Calvin, deacon and treasurer of the Miraloma Community Church, while sharing doughnuts, coffee and laments with the congregation in the church basement. “I feel the judges did not even read our briefs.”

“We’re like a family,” said board member Jenny Ryan. “We’re inclusive, intergenerational, racially diverse, very welcoming. They just don’t value a small congregation.”

At issue is not theology or politics, but the church’s size. With between 25 and 50 members, leaders of the Reformed Church of America felt their resources could have been better used elsewhere, an attorney for the denomination said.

“It wasn’t serving the community and accomplishing its mission,” said the lawyer, Alan Friedman. “It wasn’t founded to be a private church for 20 people.”

Miraloma members, though, said they suspected real estate was a factor in the decision. The lot where the San Francisco church has stood since 1945 is worth between $3 million and $4 million, Calvin said.

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