Appointments have been made for two General Assembly created bodies charged with helping the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) chart a way forward as a denomination.
Twelve people have been named to the Way Forward Commission and fifteen individuals have been named to the 2020 Vision Team, both of which were actions of the 222nd General Assembly (2016). The appointments for the 2020 Vision Team were made by the Co-Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly (2016). The Co-Moderators serve ex-officio on the 2020 Vision Team. Appointments to the Way Forward Commission were made by the Co-Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) and the Moderator and Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014).
Selections for both the commission and the vision team were made in consultation with the General Assembly Nominating Committee and the General Assembly Committee on Representation.
“We are pleased that these individuals have accepted the invitation to help the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) discern what God is calling it to be in the future,” said Co-Moderators Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston. “We are confident that each person will work to innovatively and creatively help guide the church where it needs to be.”
In response to an overture on merging the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) and the Office of the General Assembly (OGA) into a single entity, the 222nd General Assembly (2016) approved creating the Way Forward Commission. The commission will:
... study and identify a vision for the structure and function of the General Assembly agencies of the PC(USA). That vision shall take into account the ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) and the Office of the General Assembly (OGA), but shall not be bound by the current configuration of those ministries, except where mandated by the church’s Constitution. The mandate of the commission is to engage/contract a qualified, examination team that may include some or all of the All Agency Review team, with the requisite skills and abilities to assess institutional performance, both internally among the agencies and externally as they interface with the congregations. This examination team is charged with conducting a comprehensive, detailed analysis that will provide clearly detailed, measurable recommendations for improvements to the commission for implementation by the agencies. The commission shall further describe and implement a General-Assembly level staffing pattern that will accomplish its vision. ... (Minutes, 2016, Part I, pp. 38–39, 226 of the electronic copy)
The 2020 Vision Team, which came to the 222nd General Assembly (2016) as new business from the Assembly Committee on the Way Forward, is charged with developing:
... a guiding statement for the denomination and make a plan for its implementation with all deliberate speed. The process of developing such a guiding statement will help us to name and claim our denominational identity as we seek to follow the Spirit into the future. (Minutes, 2016, Part I, pp. 40, 257 of the electronic copy)
The moderator of the Way Forward Commission is Mark Hostetter, a teaching elder from the Presbytery of New York City. The 2020 Vision Team is being led by Co-Moderators Bernadette Coffee, a ruling elder from the Presbytery of Tres Rios, and Lisa Juica Perkins, a teaching elder from the Presbytery of Grace.