I’ve been too busy to follow the GA closely, but I’ll post a few items that I noticed over the weekend.
(By the way: the only way to get timely information about GA seems to be by following Twitter or the RSS feeds for the Christian Post. Our denomination’s official sources are either unnavigable or updated at a tempo that is rather, umm, leisurely.)
The big news, of course, is that GA did not approve the committee’s redefinition of marriage. The defeat was by a narrow margin, however, and is probably only a matter of time, however, with the continuing exodus of more-conservative congregations.
In other news, GA:
- rejected an attempt to go back to the status quo ante ordination standards.
- amended the list of qualifications for ordination to include repentance of sin and diligent use of the means of grace. (Same story as previous item, but further in.)
- kicked the report of the Mid-Councils Commission to the curb. I haven’t read the report myself, but I know somewhat and have great respect for Tod Bolsinger, the Commission’s moderator, so I’m inclined to read this as a missed opportunity.
- voted to approve a number of recommendations to “support immigrants. (I’m personally unconvinced about the merits of several of these — advocating for the DREAM act, for example — as either Christian witness or public policy.)
- voted to approve recommendations of the Church Growth/PILP committee. I haven’t read the details, but nothing in the summary jumped out at me as being applicable to the church I serve. (It’s nice to talk about “igniting” a “movement,” but what it looks like is a bunch of dying white congregations giving advice to people of color about how to become growing churches. Hello?)
- renamed the General Assembly Mission Council to be the Presbyterian Mission Agency. (AT LAST!)
- failed to change the four special offerings.
- is resolved against spanking children. (But aborting them is a personal decision.)
- removed 50 authoritative interpretations of the Book of Order issued since Unification back in ’83 that had been made moot by the New Form of Government.