The 175 years of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) world mission has been characterized by the planting of churches in other countries that eventually moved from dependence on Presbyterian missionaries to independence as full partners of the denomination.
On July 4, the 220th General Assembly celebrated milestones with three of those partners―the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Guatemala (IENPG) is celebrating its 50th anniversary; the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba (PRCC) is celebrating its 45th anniversary; and the Presbyterian Church in Korea is celebrating 100 years of Presbyterian mission in that country.
Everlasting God of righteousness and grace, as our nation celebrates this Independence Day, remind us of our complete dependence upon you. We look to you for your wisdom and mercy as important issues are discussed. On this day, we ask you to keep this nation, and all nations, under your care, that we may be peoples who are at peace, and who are a blessing to others in this earth. Grant our nation's leaders wisdom, that there would be times of peace and justice in our land and in our world.
The General Assembly Procedures Committee of the 220th General Assembly has voted to recommend disapproval of an overture that would have allowed presbyteries to forward to synods and the General Assembly only the per capita funds they receive from congregations.
The overture from Detroit Presbytery would have changed a GA policy that requires presbyteries to pay per capita apportionments on every congregation regardless of whether a congregation sends its apportionment to the presbytery.
The Assembly Committee on Mid Council Issues has recommended that the 220th General Assembly disapprove a proposal that would allow “the formation of provisional nongeographic presbyteries for particular missional purposes.” The vote was 34-15.
The committee added a comment thanking the General Assembly Mid Councils Commission (GAMCC)―which brought the proposal ― for its exhaustive work over the last two years and encouraging mid councils to continue to seek creative ways to collaborate across presbytery and synod boundaries.
Surrounded by controversy since it was learned she had recently signed a same-gender wedding license in Washington, D.C., 220th General Assembly vice moderator Tara Spuhler McCabe stood down from that office today (July 4). The news was greeted with a chorus of “no!” and a standing ovation from most of the commissioners as she concluded her statement.
McCabe told the Assembly that “the amount of conversation in person and comments online indicate that my confirmation (Sunday) touched a nerve”. During the question-and-answer session during the moderatorial election Saturday night, the Rev. Neal D. Presa, 220th GA moderator, acknowledged that he and McCabe disagreed on the issue of same-gender marriage but their friendship outweighed their disagreement.
After hours of discussion, discernment and parliamentary gymnastics, the 220th General Assembly Civil Union and Marriage Issues Committee is sending two proposals to plenary—one that would change the definition of marriage from between a woman and a man to between two people.
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.
The 220th GA Church Confessions Committee voted on Tuesday (June 3) to recommend the confession for inclusion in The Book of Confessions. This is the second round for Belhar to be considered, having narrowly failed to receive the 2/3-majority vote needed by presbyteries following the 219th GA.
The 220th GA Review of Biennial Assemblies Committee concluded its business Monday evening by voting 24-2 to recommend disapproval with comment that presbyteries elect to General Assembly, on a rotating basis within their synod, one young adult ruling elder and one young adult teaching elder.
The 220th GA Committee on Middle East and Peacemaking Issues has voted to recommend that the Assembly approve both divestment and creative investment in companies doing business within Israel and Palestine. The vote was 36 yes, 11 no, and 1 abstention.
The committee added the comment, “As we divest from those companies profiting from non-peaceful pursuits the occupation, we lift up our continuing investment in companies operating in Israel and Palestine that support peaceful pursuits.”