July 2, 2012
On Monday, the 220th GA Mission Coordination Committee voted 47-3 to recommend to the Assembly that the name of the General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) be changed to the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
GAMC Executive Director Linda Valentine explained to the committee that the implementation of the new Form of Government prompted the name change.
“The word council in the Form of Government now refers to what used to be called governing bodies—sessions, presbyteries, synods and the General Assembly,” Valentine said. “The board that oversees the work of the mission arm of the PC(USA) is not a council under this new term.”
Valentine explained further that the new name was chosen after a period of research that included focus groups.
Commissioner Dan Fults explained that his colleagues at Mission Presbytery were concerned about the potential confusion the new name would create because of its close resemblance to their presbytery.
Attempting to offer a solution, Joshua Narcisse, young adult advisory delegate from New York City, suggested swapping the word “agency” for “partnership,” citing the connectional nature of the PC(USA).
“Mission is a partnership,” he offered. However, the word was tried out on focus groups and did not test well.
The committee also narrowly recommended by a vote of 27-23-1 the design for a study of the status of women in the PC(USA). A minority report on this item is expected.