FROM THE CLERK'S DESK
In case you missed the April 18th broadcast email, we focused on one of the eighteen proposed changes in the PCUSA Book of Order that were approved by the 220th PCUSA General Assembly (2012) and sent to the presbyteries for action.
Each of these proposed changes requires 87 affirmative votes from PCUSA presbyteries. As of April 13th, sixteen of the changes have been approved by overwhelming majority votes by PCUSA presbyteries. These proposed changes in the Form of Government (6), Directory for Worship (1) and Rules of Discipline (9) are primarily minor tweaks to existing language in the Book of Order and can be found in Proposed Amendments to the Constitution-Part 2 of 2. Since the other two proposed amendments to the Form of Government have engendered considerable controversy and their final status has not yet been determined, they are detailed here. All eighteen of the proposed amendments to the PCUSA Book of Order will be presented for a vote at the MVP Eastertide Gathering on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at Trinity Church in Zanesville.
Item 12-B On Amending G-2.0104a Gifts and Qualifications
The vote of the Assembly Committee on Church Orders and Ministry on the proposed amendment was 28/20/5. The 220th GA (2012) approved the committee's recommendation 329/275/9. As of April 13, 2013, 105 presbyteries have voted as follows: 44 affirmative, 61 negative; 43 yes votes of the remaining 68 presbyteries are needed to approve the proposed change (shown in italics as follows):
"G-2.0104a. To those called to exercise special functions in the church-deacons, ruling elders, and teaching elders-God gives suitable gifts for their various duties. In addition to possessing the necessary gifts and abilities, those who undertake particular ministries should be persons of strong faith, dedicated discipleship, and love of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Their manner of life should be a demonstration of the Christian gospel in the church and in the world. This includes repentance of sin and diligent use of the means of grace. They must have the approval of God's people and the concurring judgment of a council of the church."
The written response of the Advisory Committee on the Constitution provides a detailed examination of this proposed change in light of the current language regarding suitable gifts and qualifications given by God for the various duties of ordered ministry. See page 5, Proposed Amendments to the Constitution-Part 2 of 2) for more information on this proposed amendment. The full report can be found on pcusa.org/amendments2012.
Item 12-F On Amending G-3.0302d Concurrence for Overtures
The vote of the Assembly Committee on Review of Biennial Assemblies on the proposed amendment was 24/2/0. The 220th GA (2012) approved the committee's recommendation by voice vote. As of April 13, 2013, 106 presbyteries have voted as follows: 62 affirmative, 44 negative; 25 yes votes from the remaining 68 presbyteries are needed to approve the proposed change (text to be deleted shown in with astrike-through and text to be added with italics as follows):
"G-3.0302d ...proposing to synod
or General Assembly such measures as may be of common concern to the mission of the church, and/or proposing to General Assembly overtures that have received a concurrence from at least one other presbytery, and..."
See pages 13-16, Proposed Amendments to the Constitution-Part 2 of 2) for more information on this proposed amendment. The full report can be found on pcusa.org/amendments2012.
Copies of the PCUSA booklets on the Proposed Amendments to the Constitution-Part 1 (Book of Confessions) and Part 2 (Book of Order) can be picked up here at the MVP Mission Center and will also be available at the MVP Eastertide Gathering on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at Trinity Church in Zanesville. Please contact me here at the Mission Center (330-339-5515 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions or comments.
Contact Paula Lane, Paula@MVPJourney.org