Saturday, June 13, 2015
Results of the Overtures Committee
The overtures that had been submitted to the GA were given to the Overtures Committee. This committee reviews the overture and submits their recommendation to the Assembly as a whole. The Assembly can adopt the recommendation of the committee, they can overturn the recommendation of the committee, they can recommit the overture to the committee for further discussion, or they can commit the overture to the next year’s committee for perfection. I list here the recommendations from the committee regarding each overture and the action taken by the Assembly.
Overture 1, requested a change in the rules regarding a judicial commission. The Committee recommended a rejection of that overture. That recommendation was upheld by the Assembly.
Overtures 2 and 9 requested a study committee regarding recreations on the Sabbath. The Committee recommended a rejection of that overture. That recommendation was upheld by the Assembly.
Overture 3 requested a change in the wording of baptismal vows. The Committee recommended a rejection of that overture. That recommendation was upheld by the Assembly.
Overtures 4-6 asked for changes in various presbytery boundaries. Those overtures are given to the Mission to North America Committee for execution.
Overture 7 asked for a change that would require church officers to testify in judicial cases (sort of an anti-5th Amendment change). The Committee recommended that this overture be approved, modified by some changes in the language. This recommendation was, after considerable debate, rejected by the Assembly, nullifying the overture.
Overture 8 requested some changes in the BCO regarding the treatment of church officers without call. The Committee recommended a rejection of that overture. That recommendation was upheld by the Assembly.
The overture regarding the establishment of a provisional presbytery in Paraguay was given to the Mission to the World Committee for execution.
There was one overture and several personal resolutions that desired memorializing particular men who had died since the last GA. These were all approved, both by the Committee and by the Assembly.
Finally, there was a personal resolution from TEs Sean Michael Lucas of Grace Presbytery and J. Ligon Duncan of Mississippi Valley Presbytery (the text of that resolution can be read here: http://byfaithonline.com/personal-resolution-on-civil-rights-remembrance/). This resolution was given to the Overtures Committee to deal with. After some nine hours of occasionally heated debate, the Committee brought a recommendation that the resolution be referred to the next GA, with added grounds for that referral. Those grounds can be read here: http://byfaithonline.com/oc-recommends-refer-civil-rights-resolution-to-44th-assembly-2/. This was taken up by the Assembly after the worship service on Thursday evening. After about an hour and a half of debate, the Assembly voted to sustain the Committee’s recommendation. This was followed by a time of prayer. A fuller description can be read here: http://highlandspastor.blogspot.com/2015/06/pca-hotly-debates-delaying-formal.html
And such were the actions of the Overtures Committee of the Forty-third General Assembly of the PCA.