The Guide for Judicial Process has been created by the Association of Stated Clerks to assist clerks in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in providing guidance to their councils (formerly governing bodies) and individuals within them regarding the judicial process.
The Association of Stated Clerks wishes to express its thanks to the General Assembly Stated Clerk and his staff in the Office of the General Assembly, Department of Constitutional Services, for their invaluable, insightful contributions and support to the development and updating of this Guide.
In July of 2011, the Revised Form of Government, voted by the 219th General Assembly and approved by the requisite number of presbyteries, went into effect. A number of the changes to this Guide were necessitated by the changes in nomenclature included in the new Form of Government. Governing bodies have become councils, ministers of the Word and Sacrament have become teaching elders, and elders have become ruling elders, to name some of the more obvious nomenclature changes. Some of the changes are the result of changes to the Rules of Discipline since the last edition of this Guide, which was then called a Handbook.
The fact that the Form of Government now lists responsibilities which were formerly assigned to the committee on ministry (COM) as responsibilities of the presbytery, means that presbyteries may develop different procedures for handling those responsibilities. Where this Guide formerly indicated the involvement of COM or the COM moderator, it now says, “the presbytery,” or “the appropriate person.”