The Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery says that reconciliation efforts have failed to convince its second-largest congregation to remain in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The 2,600-member Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church of Tulsa was thus declared last month to be in schism with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by the regional body. The presbytery expressed “deep sadness” over the loss and over “the sense of division which plagues our denomination,” said presbytery executive Greg Coulter. In August, Kirk of the Hills pastor Thomas W. Gray explained on his blog why the congregation was leaving: “We at the Kirk are holding to what scripture clearly teaches,” he said. “The PCUSA has left this critical foundation.” Gray, the associate pastor and the church sought affiliation with Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The presbytery will seek to protect its property rights, citing the PCUSA constitution that states church properties are held in trust for the denomination.