This past week was quite an eventful one in the life of the church. Here at Covenant we had a successful VBS program with over 60 kids and tons of adult and teenaged volunteers. In San Jose, California, the 218th General Assembly met to discern God’s will for the church. The secular press has picked up on one of the issues discussed – the proposed removal of G-6.0106b (the “fidelity and chastity” amendment) and replace it with a new Amendment B, one which ties ordination decisions more closely to assent to the ordination vows currently in the church’s Book of Order without singling out a sexual conduct standard.
While that proposal will certainly be discussed, debated, and hopefully God’s will discerned in the coming weeks and months, the one hot topic issue the press picked up is certainly not the only thing that happened at G.A. Here are a few highlights. The Assembly:
• Along with the new moderator, Bruce Reyes-Chow, elected a new Stated Clerk, Gradye Parsons (the previous associate stated clerk)
• Initiated a process to revise the Heidelberg Catechism (one of the confessions which is a part of our constitution) based on concerns about translation mistakes
• Received a report that the ‘Mission Initiative: Joining Hearts and Hands’ (an initiative to renew the church for mission) had raised over $33 million of the $40 million goal
• Rejected an overture (which originated from Shenandoah Presbytery) to create a fifth special offering to fund mission personnel
If you’re interested in learning more, check out the denomination’s website, www.pcusa.org/ga218.
Just as we have been grateful for the hard work of those who made our own week at church a success, let us be thankful for the efforts, time, and faith offered by the commissioners and advisory delegates.