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Church Orders to recommend adding “repentance” and “grace” to ordination standards

July 4, 2012

Pittsburgh

After dealing with the main matter before them on Monday (July 2), the Church Orders and Ministry Committee of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) finished the remainder of its business by Tuesday afternoon.

Of the 18 items of business considered on Tuesday, the committee voted to recommend to the full Assembly approval of seven and disapproval of 11.

The committee rejected all but one of the overtures that would have changed current standards for ordination. They approved an overture from San Jose Presbytery to add to the Book of Order’s G-2.0104a the sentence: “This includes repentance of sin and diligent use of the means of grace.”

The new G-2.0104a would then read: “To those called to exercise special functions in the church—deacons, ruling elders, and teaching elders—God gives suitable gifts for their various duties. In addition to possessing the necessary gifts and abilities, those who undertake particular ministries should be persons of strong faith, dedicated discipleship, and love of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Their manner of life should be a demonstration of the Christian gospel in the church and in the world. This includes repentance of sin and diligent use of the means of grace. They must have the approval of God’s people and the concurring judgment of a council of the church.”

If the full Assembly approves this recommendation, it would go to the 173 presbyteries for ratification. The vote on approval was 28 for, 20 against and 5 abstentions.

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