Western Carolina Presbytery Overtures the PCA 45th GA to Amend RAO 11.5

Overture 10 asks RAO11-5 be amended to direct the Stated Clerk to refer overtures regarding committees and agencies and ad interim committees “to the Overtures Committee also.”

The Western Carolina Presbytery approved an overture at its February 25, 2017 Stated Meeting, asking the 45th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America to “Revise Rules of Assembly Operation (RAO) 11-5 to direct [the stated] clerk to refer overtures regarding committees and agencies and ad interim committees to overtures committee also.” The Presbytery is requesting that the phrase, “and also to the Overtures Committee” be added to this provision of the RAO.

The overture will be considered by the 45th General Assembly of the PCA 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 present wording of RAO 11-5 “does not take into account possible conflicts of interest that may occur such as, for example, an overture to discontinuing and/or dismissing a permanent Committee or Agency. Thus, the overture continues: “the Overtures Committee serves as that impartial review because it has been specifically designed to consider matters as a deliberative body of commissioners representing all the Presbyteries of the PCA; and that “it is good and wise for both the Overtures Committee and the appropriate permanent Committees, Agencies, or ad interim committees to review such matters.” The Presbytery’s overture reasons that by adding the phrase, “and also to the Overtures Committee,” would help to remedy any potential conflict of interest.

 

Proposed Overture 10 from Western Carolina Presbytery
to the 45th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (2017)
“Revise RAO 11-5 to Direct Clerk to Refer Overtures Regarding Committees
and Agencies and Ad Interim Committees to Overtures Committee Also”

Whereas, RAO 11-5 specifies that “Any overture, other than an overture proposing amendment to the Constitution, having to do with the nature or responsibilities of a permanent Committee or Agency shall be referred by the Clerk to the appropriate permanent Committee or Agency or ad interim committee”; and

Whereas, RAO 11-5 rightly requires the Stated Clerk to refer such overtures dealing with permanent Committees or Agencies or ad interim committees to those respective Committees and Agencies; and

Whereas, RAO 11-5 does not take into account possible conflicts of interest that may occur such as, for example, an overture to discontinuing and/or dismissing a permanent Committee or Agency; and

Whereas, these permanent Committees, Agencies, or ad interim committees should have an opportunity to formally consider and approve the recommendations having to do with their nature and responsibilities; and

Whereas, when these permanent Committees, Agencies, or ad interim committees are asked to review a matter through overtures it is good also that an impartial review of the matter be decided and recommended; and

Whereas, the Overtures Committee serves as that impartial review because it has been specifically designed to consider matters as a deliberative body of commissioners representing all the Presbyteries of the PCA; and

Whereas, it is good and wise for both the Overtures Committee and the appropriate permanent Committees, Agencies, or ad interim committees to review such matters;

Therefore be it resolved, that Western Carolina Presbytery hereby overtures the 45th General Assembly, at the earliest possible place on the docket, to amend RAO 11-5 as follows (bold for additions):

11-5. Upon receipt the Stated Clerk shall refer all overtures requesting amendment of the Book of Church Order or the Rules of Assembly Operations to the Committee on Constitutional Business for its advice to the Overtures Committee. Upon receipt, the Stated Clerk shall forward all overtures concerning presbytery boundaries or a new presbytery to the permanent Committee on Mission to North America. Any overture, other than an overture proposing amendment to the Constitution, having to do with the nature or responsibilities of a permanent Committee or Agency shall be referred by the Clerk to the appropriate permanent Committee or Agency or ad interim committee and also to the Overtures Committee. All other overtures shall be referred to the Overtures Committee. All overtures shall be published in the Commissioner Handbook with reference for consideration indicated.

So that RAO 11-5 would read:

11-5. Upon receipt the Stated Clerk shall refer all overtures requesting amendment of the Book of Church Order or the Rules of Assembly Operations to the Committee on Constitutional Business for its advice to the Overtures Committee. Upon receipt, the Stated Clerk shall forward all overtures concerning presbytery boundaries or a new presbytery to the permanent Committee on Mission to North America. Any overture, other than an overture proposing amendment to the Constitution, having to do with the nature or responsibilities of a permanent Committee or Agency shall be referred by the Clerk to the appropriate permanent Committee or Agency or ad interim committee and also to the Overtures Committee. All other overtures shall be referred to the Overtures Committee. All overtures shall be published in the Commissioner Handbook with reference for consideration indicated.

Adopted by Western Carolina Presbytery at its Stated Meeting, February 25, 2017.

Attested by Skip Gillikin, Stated Clerk