GA Overture Work Letter
Dear Fellow Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly Leaders,
Greetings from Foothills Presbytery in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina! As I announced at the Fall 2014 Polity Conference, in the aftermath of the 221st General Assembly a diverse group of Ruling and Teaching Elders came together to form a General Assembly Reform group. Coming from a breadth of theological and ideological perspectives there was a great agreement among us that the Presbyterian Church USA needs to enter into a time of reformation and modernization. The group discussed at length both the dysfunction in the denomination, but also the serious need for the Presbyterian Church to update its practice to meet our 21st century context. In this regard the group considered as many as ten different overtures aimed at reformation and modernization and a plan to engage every presbytery, synod and the General Assembly in a sustained process to accomplish this.
Attached Here you'll find the fruits of our labors:
1. B-A-P (Background, Aim and Plan)- which details the process we hope the presbyteries and synods engage
2. The Church's Social Witness- a paper that describes the present state of the Church and our hopes
3. Six Overture drafts (the many ideas discussed reduced to 6 draft overtures)
4. Feedback form
As is noted in the B-A-P document, it is our desire for you to pass this packet on to the Bills and Overtures committee of your presbytery, to the Clerks of Session of your congregations, and to other groups that might foster conversation and discernment. If, as we hope, this work inspires many conversations, we have chosen a traditional mail-in form for response, so as to make the official engagement as manageable as possible. We trust that we will find some deep agreements. We earnestly desire ways to improve upon these offerings. And where there are serious disagreements, we are most interested in hearing those and hearing alternatives which will aid us in the cause of reforming and modernizing the Church. Likewise we hope that our offerings inspire many of you to create overtures and send them to us and all for reflection.
Hopeful in Jesus Christ, we would like to gather for General Assembly in Portland next year with a renewed commitment and a new clarity about what it means to be Reformed and always being Reformed by the WORD of God. In that Living Hope we commend our work to you and pray that the Presbyterian Church USA will find new strength and purpose for the days ahead.
Grace and Peace,
FOOTHILLS PRESBYTERY VOTES ON PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO PCUSA CONSTITUTION
Foothills Presbytery met on Sunday, January 25th at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenville. Among other highlights of the meeting, including an address by PCUSA Moderator, Heath Rada, teaching and ruling elder commissioners discussed and voted on the proposed amendments to the Presbyterian Church (USA) Constitution coming to us from last years 221st General Assembly.
There were a total of eight (8) proposed amendments to consider. Following opportunity for discussion on the amendments voting proceeded by secret ballot, counted as the presbytery continued with other business. When the results of voting were announced commissioners learned that all proposed amendments had been approved by this presbytery. Five of the eight passed by a wide majority. Voting on the other three amendments was by a closer margin, although all were still approved by a majority. Voting on those three amendments was as follows:
Belhar Confession 96 Approved; 51 Disapproved; 3 Abstained
Renunciation of Jurisdiction 82 Approved; 56 Disapproved; 12 Abstained
Marriage Amendment 84 Approved; 61 Disapproved; 5 Abstained
In our denomination there are a total of 170 presbyteries. For the Confession of Belhar to be added to our Book of Confessions 2/3 of those presbyteries (114) will need to approve it followed by approval of the next General Assembly in 2016. For all the other proposed amendments to The Book of Order a simple majority (86) of the presbyteries is needed, without further action required by the General Assembly.
Details of all of these amendments may be found on the denominations Resource Web site at: http://www.pcusa.org/resource/ga221-proposed-amendments-constitution/
Foothills Presbytery is located in the Northwest corner of South Carolina, along the
Interstate 85 corridor running from Georgia to North Carolina.
Location: 2242 Woodruff Road, Simpsonville, S.C. 29681
Telephone: 864-288-5774; FAX 864-288-5778
Office Hours: 9 am - 4:30 pm, Monday thru Thursday, Office Closed on Friday
Next Stated meeting of Foothills Presbytery:
First Presbyterian Church
302 West Whitner
Anderson, SC 29624
2015 Summer Staff Application
Click here to register for summer camp
Summer Schedule Click here
Places of Interest
Foothills Presbytery regularly sends email newsletters to keep our members informed. If you would like to receive these updates, click the link below.