Publications and periodicals

  • Presbyterians and Human Sexuality 1991

    From Office of the General Assembly

    This report comes to the 203rd General Assembly (1991) after three years of study, research, and writing by the Special Committee on Human Sexuality. The origin, membership, and process of the special committee are described in the Preface. The final draft of the report was approved by the special committee at its meeting in Tampa, Florida, on January 31-February 3, 1991.

    As the special committee entered its final months of deliberations, it became clear that several  members felt that our emerging drafts did not adequately express their views on various problems or on theological method. Efforts to integrate all views ...

  • Resolution on Christian Responsibility And A National Medical Plan

    From Office of the General Assembly

    The 203rd General Assembly (1991) decries our nation's failure to establish an equitable, efficient, and universally accessible medical plan.  It asks the nation's legislative leadership, with help from religious, health care, insurance, and other organizations or industries, to break the impasse for the purpose of establishing  a National Medical Plan.  It returns to the roots of healing found in our faith and speaks forthrightly for healthcare services guided by theological vision.  It calls upon the Presbyterian family to step into the fray, advocating access to health care for all.

    A description of our current health care crisis could ...

  • God Alone is Lord of the Conscience

    From Office of the General Assembly

    For two hundred years, General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church have been concerned with religious liberty and the relationship of church and state. The first General Assembly might well have heard the echo of Hanover Presbytery’s mighty Memorial to the Virginia legislature: "We ask no ecclesias-tical establishments for ourselves; neither can we approve of them when granted to others." Since 1788, our basic Principles of Church Order have placed in the first position the powerful commitment of our Reformed faith to religious liber-ty: "God alone is Lord of the conscience.…

  • Life Abundant

    From Office of the General Assembly

    Health issues come closer to each of our lives than perhaps any other issue. Almost every Presbyterian has had some direct contact with issues of health, hospitalization, life and death. The 200th General Assembly (1988) has challenged the congregations, governing bodies, and agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) "to become vigorous and conscious promoters of health in all aspects in the life of the church, active advocates and agents of health in social order, and responsible stewards of both health and health resources."

  • Pornography: Far From The Song of Songs

    From Office of the General Assembly

    Responding to overtures from the presbyteries of Elizabeth and Cincinnati, the 196th General Assembly (1984) adopted a resolution on pornography that mandated the Council on Women and the Church (COWAC) and the General Assembly Mission Board (Office of Women) to "persevere in their work in the areas of pornography and obscenity and the education of the church and society to combat the abusive treatment of women."

    Taking action to provide the budget necessary for this study in both 1985 and 1986, the 198th General Assembly (1986) directed the Council on Women and the Church and the Committee on Women’s ...

  • Christian Obedience in a Nuclear Age

    From Office of the General Assembly

    Since the adoption of Peacemaking the Believers' Calling in 1980-1981 , peacemaking has become increasingly important in the life of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Research Unit estimates that by 1987, 47 percent of the church’s 11,600 congregations had made a commitment of some kind to the cause of peacemaking through their sessions. Peacemaking committees and committed individuals have been exploring and implementing ways to put those commitments into action. Out of all this interest and activity, questions have inevitably emerged as to the most appropriate peacemaking strategies for individual Christians and for corporate bodies: congregations, presbyteries ...

  • Is Christ Divided?

    From Office of the General Assembly

    The Task Force on Theological Pluralism was established in 1985 by the Advisory Council on Discipleship and Worship and the Council on Theology and Culture with members appointed by those two councils and the Advisory Council on Church and Society.


    The task force grew out of concerns raised within the Committee on Pluralism and Conflict of the Advisory Council on Discipleship and Worship, where regular consultations with special organizations (Chapter IX) consistently raised issues relating to theological diversity within the church. Among these issues were conflicting perspectives on the value of diverse theological positions, the limits of theological diversity within ...

  • A Theological Understanding of the Relationship Between Christians and Jews

    From Office of the General Assembly

    Christians and Jews live side by side in our pluralistic American society.  We engage one another not only in personal and social ways but also at deeper levels where ultimate values are expressed and where a theological understanding of our relationship is required.  The confessional documents of the Reformed tradition are largely silent on this matter.  Hence this paper has been prepared by the church as a pastoral and teaching document to provide a basis for continuing discussion within the Presbyterian community in the Unted States and to offer guidance for the occasions in which Presbyterians and Jews converse, cooperate ...

  • The Covenant of Life and the Caring Community

    From Office of the General Assembly

    We are deeply aware of the concern and pain in the church as expressed in the many overtures from presbyteries which deal with the question of abortion.  We are disturbed by abortion which seems to be elected only as a convenience or to ease embarrassment.  We affirm that abortion should not be used as a method of birth control.

  • Historic Principles, Conscience and Church Government

    From Office of the General Assembly

    The rights of the individual conscience with regard to matters of faith and worship and to decisions made within the church are related to the right of voluntary association. The membership of an individual in the church is purely voluntary.

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