The overture states that “the Assembly’s committees are to serve and not to direct any Church judicatories. They are not to establish policy, but rather execute policy established by the General Assembly.” And further, the Cooperative Ministries Committee’s (CMC) mandated responsibility of “long-range planning” (RAO 7-3.c.) gives it a platform to influence denominational policy, and a leadership role that is more reflective of hierarchical church government than presbyterianism.

Presbytery of Northern New England Overtures the PCA 45th GA to Remove Long Range Planning from CMC

Overture 7 asks the 45th General Assembly to remove the task of long range planning from the Cooperative Ministries Committee.

The overture states that “the Assembly’s committees are to serve and not to direct any Church judicatories. They are not to establish policy, but rather execute policy established by the General Assembly.” And further, the Cooperative Ministries Committee’s (CMC) mandated responsibility of “long-range planning” (RAO 7-3.c.) gives it a platform to influence denominational policy, and a leadership role that is more reflective of hierarchical church government than presbyterianism.

 

The Presbytery of Northern New England approved an overture at its February 4, 2017 Stated Meeting, asking the 45th PCA General Assembly to Remove Long Range Planning from CMC by deleting RAO 7-3 c.The overture will be considered by the 45thGeneral Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America when it meets in Greensboro, N.C., June 12-16, 2017. An overture is a means by which a Presbytery can bring a matter to the GA for consideration.

Specifically, the overture states that “the Assembly’s committees are to serve and not to direct any Church judicatories. They are not to establish policy, but rather execute policy established by the General Assembly.” And further, the Cooperative Ministries Committee’s (CMC) mandated responsibility of “long-range planning” (RAO 7-3.c.) gives it a platform to influence denominational policy, and a leadership role that is more reflective of hierarchical church government than presbyterianism. Thus the Presbytery asks the PCA General Assembly to amend its Rules of Assembly Operation (RAO) by deleting paragraph “c” from item 7-3.

Proposed Overture 7 from the Presbytery of Northern New England
to the 45th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (2017)

Whereas BCO 14-1.7 states that “The Assembly’s committees are to serve and not to direct any Church judicatories. They are not to establish policy, but rather execute policy established by the General Assembly”; and

Whereas the Cooperative Ministries Committee’s (CMC) mandated responsibility of “long-range planning” (RAO 7-3.c.) gives it a platform to influence denominational policy, and a leadership role that is more reflective of hierarchical church government than presbyterianism; and

Whereas the CMC’s reports to General Assembly since its inception in 2006 indicate that the majority of the committee’s time has been dedicated to the task of “long-range planning,” with comparatively little time spent on matters of inter-agency cooperation;

Therefore be it resolved, that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America amend RAO 7-3 by deleting item 7-3.c and re-lettering the following 7-3 sections as follows. [Deletion indicated by strike-through.]

7-3. Responsibilities:

a. Consider only such matters as enumerated below or such matters as referred to it by the Committees and Agencies of the General Assembly.

b. Meet together to foster cooperative ministry among Committees and Agencies in accordance with the PCA purpose statement adopted by the 10th Assembly in 1982, upon recommendation of the Committee on Mission to the United States:

It is the purpose of the PCA to bring glory to God as a worshipping and serving community until the nations in which we live are filled with churches that make Jesus Christ and His Word their chief joy, and the nations of the world, hearing the Word are discipled in obedience to the Great Commission.

c. Facilitate integrated long-range planning that supports progress toward the overall mission and ministry of the PCA. Such planning shall be with respect to matters that fall within the ordinary scope of the respective responsibilities of the PCA’s Committees and Agencies, particularly with a view toward the mission of the PCA as a whole. Any matters requiring General Assembly action shall be referred to the appropriate Committee or Agency for its consideration and recommendation.

d. Keep minutes of the meetings and distribute them to all chief administrative officers and chairmen.

e. Establish appropriate subcommittees to deal with specific issues as they are identified.

f. Send recommendations to chief administrative officers and their respective Committees or Boards. Encourage them to deal with the issues presented to them, and if necessary, for them to meet together to resolve issues.

g. Monitor and evaluate the standards of effectiveness and efficiency of permanent Committees and Agencies in light of the unique ministry of each Committee or Agency, with particular attention to inter-Committee-and-Agency communication, collaboration, and cooperation.

h. Serve as a forum for resolving issues of inter-agency cooperation, collaboration or conflict.

The newly amended section would then read as follows:

7-3. Responsibilities:

a.Consider only such matters as enumerated below or such matters as referred to it by the Committees and Agencies of the General Assembly.

b. Meet together to foster cooperative ministry among Committees and Agencies in accordance with the PCA purpose statement adopted by the 10th Assembly in 1982, upon recommendation of the Committee on Mission to the United States:

It is the purpose of the PCA to bring glory to God as a worshipping and serving community until the nations in which we live are filled with churches that make Jesus Christ and His Word their chief joy, and the nations of the world, hearing the Word are discipled in obedience to the Great Commission.

cKeep minutes of the meetings and distribute them to all chief administrative officers and chairmen.

d. Establish appropriate subcommittees to deal with specific issues as they are identified.

e. Send recommendations to chief administrative officers and their respective Committees or Boards. Encourage them to deal with the issues presented to them, and if necessary, for them to meet together to resolve issues.

f. Monitor and evaluate the standards of effectiveness and efficiency of permanent Committees and Agencies in light of the unique ministry of each Committee or Agency, with particular attention to inter-Committee-and-Agency communication, collaboration, and cooperation.

g. Serve as a forum for resolving issues of inter-agency cooperation, collaboration or conflict.

Adopted by the Northern New England Presbytery at its stated meeting, February 4, 2017

Attested by /s/ TE Per Almquist, stated clerk

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