This is a Colorado journalist's attempt to answer that question...
A look at Presbyterian alphabet soup and what it means.
To follow Presbyterian news updates, outsiders need to learn a few key facts.
The Presbyterian Church in America is not the same thing as the American Presbyterian Church. Also, Orthodox Presbyterians are not to be confused with Bible Presbyterians, Cumberland Presbyterians, Reformed Presbyterians, Associate Reformed Presbyterians or Evangelical Presbyterians.
This Presbyterian alphabet soup became less complicated in 1983, when the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. joined with the Presbyterian Church in the U.S., the so-called Southern branch. This created the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which today has about 2.3 million members.
Is that clear? If so, take a deep breath because Presbyterian affairs are about to get more complicated as new divisions and unions reshape the churches that trace their roots to John Calvin and his Reformed branch of Protestantism.
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