The Middle Governing Body Commission: questions and answers

July 16, 2010


A summary of the 219th General Assembly’s action to create a middle governing body commission:

What did the Assembly do? What has changed?

The 219th General Assembly (2010) has created a Middle Governing Body Commission with the power to act as the General Assembly, upon request of presbyteries and synods. The commission has the power "to organize new synods and to divide, unite, or otherwise combine synods or portions of synods previously existing" (G-13.0103m) and "to approve the organization, division, uniting or combining of presbyteries or portions of presbyteries by synods" (G-13.0103n) upon the request, by a majority vote, of the affected presbyteries and/or synod.

What does it mean?

Presbyteries and synods wishing to realign their structures or boundaries may request such actions from the commission and make those changes without having to wait until the 220th General Assembly (2012) for approval. The commission will also supervise the work of the Special Committee on Administrative Review of the Synod of Boriquen in Puerto Rico and its constituent presbyteries. That special committee has been seeking reconciliation among the governing bodies in Puerto Rico, which have experienced struggles that threaten the effectiveness of the PC(USA)'s mission and ministry in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The 219th General Assembly voted to continue the special committee for two more years.

What’s next?

The moderators of the 218th General Assembly (the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow) and the 219th General Assembly (Elder Cynthia Bolbach) will appoint the 21-member commission. The commission will serve until at least the 220th General Assembly (2012). It must include at least one representative from each of the 16 synods.

Where can I learn more?

The Office of the General Assembly will provide information about the membership, meetings and activities of the commission through their website.

  1. @fred - While I can appreciate your perspective, I will have to disagree with your assessment. The commission was named by two people wo are not from Louisville nor work for the national office, myself and Cindy Bolbach, the former and current moderators . . . while we trust and value our Louisville staff, she and I chose the members, not "Louisville"

    by Bruce Reyes-Chow

    October 3, 2010

  2. I was a commish at GA and did vote for this. However, as I have thought more about it, I am convinced that the authority of the commission will end once the 220th GA is seated. The commission will acts "as" the 219th GA. When the 219th has no power, neither will they. A commission has the power of the body that commissions them. Once that power is gone, the commission will have no authority. I believe if it continues beyond the next two years, it will need to be re-constituted by the next GA.

    by Al Sandalow

    July 23, 2010

  3. This strikes me as one more "power grab" by the folks in Louisville. Not only have they established the Commission, they will also appoint its members. What could be sweeter?

    by Fred Nielsen

    July 19, 2010

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