Archive for the ‘General Assembly’ Category

BREAKING NEWS
June 27, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: The General Assembly voted 380-325-3 to send an amendment to presbyteries that would delete G-6.0106b and add wording that ties call decisions to ordination vows.
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Stated Clerk Election
June 27, 2008

The Rev. Grayde Parsons has just been elected Stated Clerk of the General Assembly on the first ballot. In a field of four candidates, Parsons, currently an Associate Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, received 57% of the vote or 405 votes.

General Assembly News: Providence Presbytery’s Overture
June 26, 2008

Our overture to the General Assembly is being recommended, as ammended, for approval by the General Assembly from the Committee on Peacemaking and International Issues. The vote to resommend he overture was 68 in favor, 3 opposed, and 3 abstentions. The ammended overture, which will come to the floor of the Assembly on Friday evening, is below:

11-11

On Addressing the Violence and Suffering Inflicted on Iraqi Women During the Current Prolonged War.

Source:

Presbytery

Sponsor:

 

 

Providence Presbytery

 

 

 

Committee:

 

 

[11-11] Peacemaking and International Issues

 

 

 

Type:

General Assembly Full Consideration

Topic:

Unassigned

 

 

http://pc-biz.org/Explorer.aspx?id=1523

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

On this Item, the Peacemaking and International Issues Committee, acted as follows:

Approve as Amended

 

Counted Vote – Committee

Affirmative:

68

[**This action has not been verified for accuracy by committee leadership.]

Negative:

3

Abstaining:

3

 

Final Text:

That the recommendation be approved as amended:

 

            1.         Amend Recommendations 1.—2. as follows: [Text to be deleted is shown with a strike-through and with brackets; text to be added or inserted is shown with an underline and with brackets.]

 

“1.       Communicating to the Iraqi government[, through their ambassadors in Washington and the United Nations,] our concern for equal rights and justice for women in Iraq; deploring the dramatic increase in abuses since [the changes to the Iraqi Constitution in] 2004; and urging [immediate and speedy correction of these inequities of oppressive radical abuses of basic human rights be taken to improve women’s status in all areas of Iraqi society] [steps be taken to improve women’s status in all areas of Iraqi society];

 

“2.       Communicating to the United States government, through letters to the president, the members of Congress, and to the secretary of state, our concern for equal rights and justice for women in Iraq and urging that the U.S. government [devote significant attention to working] [work]with the Iraq government toward correcting inequities and lost civil rights by Iraqi women1;”

 

2.         Amend Recommendation 4. as follows: [Text to be deleted is shown with a strike-through and with brackets; text to be added or inserted is shown with an underline and with brackets.]

 

“4.       Expressing our [concern][solidarity] [through communications with our partner churches in Iraq as well as within the World Council of Churches, the Middle East Council of Churches, and the World Association of Reformed Churches, seeking their active participation in support for Iraqi women] [with our partner churches in Iraq as well as with the World Council of Churces, the Middle East Council of Churches, the fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and leaders of the Muslim world assisting them in attempts to adddress the issue and the difficult conditions under which they are living.

 

3.         Strike Recommendation 7. and its corresponding footnote as follows:

 

“[7.   Appealing to leaders of the Muslim community in the U.S.A. and in the world that they intervene in Iraq by standing against those who are oppressing women and who deny them basic human rights.3

 

“[3Gen. 21:14-19. God provided safety for Hagar and Ishmael.]”

The original oveture is below:

 

 The Presbytery of Providence overtures the 218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to address the pain, violence, and suffering being inflicted upon many Iraqi women during the current prolonged war by

1.   Communicating to the Iraqi government, through their ambassadors in Washington and the United Nations, our concern for equal rights and justice for women in Iraq; deploring the dramatic increase in abuses since the changes to the Iraqi Constitution in 2004; and urging immediate and speedy correction of these inequities of oppressive radical abuses of basic human rights be taken to improve women’s status in all areas of Iraqi society;

2.   Communicating to the United States government, through letters to the president, the members of Congress, and to the secretary of state, our concern for equal rights and justice for women in Iraq and urging that the U.S. government devote significant attention to working with the Iraq government toward correcting inequities and lost civil rights by Iraqi women1;

3.   Encouraging all sessions and presbyteries, as well as women’s and men’s organizations within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), to engage in study, prayer, and dialogue about the issues of violence against and suppression of women in Iraq;

4.   Expressing our concern through communications with our partner churches in Iraq as well as within the World Council of Churches, the Middle East Council of Churches, and the World Association of Reformed Churches, seeking their active participation in support for Iraqi women;

5.   Affirming our belief in the value, dignity, and rights of every human being;

6.   Asserting our conviction that demands for justice by Iraqi women require efforts to bring their situations before fair tribunals, especially when extreme actions silence those who are oppressed2;

7.   Appealing to leaders of the Muslim community in the U.S.A. and in the world that they intervene in Iraq by standing against those who are oppressing women and who deny them basic human rights.3

 

  

 

 

Grace and peace,

Mark

Bruce Reyes-Chow on Cultural Shifts Needed in PC(USA)
June 23, 2008

Reprint of article by Bruce Reyes-Chow, newly elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), discusses four cultural shifts  he believes the PC(USA) needs to make.

Four cultural shifts the PC(USA) needs to make As I have been talking with folks and posing the idea that there are larger cultural shifts that the church needs to respond to, inevitably the question of “What exactly do these shifts look like?” comes up. While I will blog about these in more detail as time goes on, let me just toss out a few musings for you to chew on over the weekend.
A few of the cultural changes that are taking place are shifts . . .
Towards organic movements of collaboration and away from mechanistic structures of regulation. We can no longer structure or legislate our way into community. During the Civil Rights movement, legislating from above was needed and responded to in concert with grassroots movements, but now the way people perceive authority changes the way people receive and react to mandates from on high.
Towards committed relationships built on values and away from mandated loyalties to camps or pre-determined agendas. We can no longer rely on loyalty to an ideology. Whereas in past generations there was a Liberal or Conservative agenda that people would sign up for, these days folks have a much less polarized political, social, theological worldview. At one point maybe people did buy into every item of the Democratic or Republican platform, but no longer is that the case. Folks may now be willing to overlook some disagreements IF there is a high sense of integrity and strong values, even if it means crossing party lines.
Towards appreciation and interaction with the other and away from tolerance for and debate with the enemy. For so long we have been “in dialog” which was really about proving why we are right and you are wrong. For so many years, we have also been taught tolerance. Tolerance is simply believing that you are right, they are wrong and we must try to be nice. What we must now be able to do is really appreciate the other, so much so that we have room to actually shift in our opinion or at the least, to acknowledge that the other person may have come to their position with just as much faithfulness as we. I need to be able to listen to you without thinking about how to change your mind and/or thinking the only reason you believe that is that you are less intelligent than me. It goes to the idea of Truth and who holds it. Too often we believe that it is we, and only we, who hold the truth now and forever.
Towards engagement driven by hope and optimism and away from reactions based on suspicion and scarcity. We can no longer operate as if new life and hope are not realities. I believe that too many of us only know how to feel useful if we are in a climate of fear and desperation. Too many of us only know how to play the role of malcontent and/or gatekeeper and do not know how to operate within a climate of hope. In fact, when we are really unhealthy, we may even create negativity and chaos when it is not there, simply so we can come in and operate in a more comfortable setting. How many times have folks tried to move things forward only to run into walls of negativity and fear? Now this is not simply a stage-of-life issue, but a reality that we, especially the church, must deal with. Jesus did not come to bring despair, but hope. If we the church, of all institutions, cannot live into that idea, we might as well pack it in and go home. Movements of hope do not demand ease and smooth sailing, but a common understanding that through the struggle and communal hard work, there is new life ahead.
There are of course even more shifts that are taking place, but right now I think these are some of the more important ones for us to address as a church.

218th GA News
June 22, 2008

The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, a 39 year old pastor of Mission Bay Community Church, a new church development of San Francisco Presbytery, was elected Moderator of the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church(USA) Saturday evening. An ordained minister since 1995, he is a Northern California native. He is the grandson of Filipino and Chinese immigrants. He grew up in Trinity Presbyterian Church, Stockton, California. Bruce says, “Through my family and my church, I was taught the importance of tradition and heritage, service and social justice and shown the imperative to live one’s life with a deep sense of gratitude for the reconciling nature of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Bruce is a 1995 graduate of San Francisco Seminary. Over the past 20 years he has served at all levels of the PC(USA). He has lived in San Francisco for the past 20 years with his wife, Elder Robin Pugh, and three daughters, Evelyn (11), Abigail (7), and Analise (4). Bruce enjoys cheering for the Oakland Athletics, and riding his motorcycle whenever he gets a chance. Feel free to email Bruce at breyeschow@gmail.com or comment on his blog – www.reyes-chow.com.

At this year’s Assembly there are 752 commissioners from 173 presbyteries, 173 youth advisory delegates, 25 theological seminary advisory delegates, 8 missionary advisory delegates, and 15 ecumenical advisory delegates.

After two days of 100+ degree weather (felt just like home!), the heat wave has finally broken!

Opening worship is this morning at 10 am (PDT) with retiring Moderator Joan Gray preaching.

Grace and peace,

Mark Verdery

Pre-Assembly Message from Mark Verdery
June 18, 2008

Dear Providence Presbyterians,

As your commissioners prepare to head to San Jose over the next two days for the 218th General Assembly which will convene on Saturday morning, I wanted to remind you who they are and let you know to which standing committees they have been assigned :

Minister Commissioners: Dan Holloway who will chair the Church Orders and Ministry Committee

Matt Horne who will serve on the Social Justice Committee

Elder Commissioners: Linda Kennedy (Hermon) who will serve on the Review of General Assembly Permanent Committees

Kenn Cruse who will serve on the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee

Your Youth Advisory Delegate(YAD) is Jamie McSpadden who just graduated from Yale University and is a member at Van Wyck. Jamie will be serving on the Mission Coordination and Budget Committee

Please keep all of these folks — and the Assembly — in your prayers in the coming days.

I will be posting updates from the General Assembly beginning this weekend.

Grace and peace,

Mark Verdery

General Presbyter/Stated Clerk