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Takeaways from the PCA's 50th General Assembly


Each year, Pastors and Elders of the Presbyterian Church in America(PCA) gather from all across the country to deal with denominational business. It's a wonderful time of worship, fellowship, and important church business. This gathering each year is called the General Assembly, and this year, the PCA held it's 50th General Assembly. It was a year of celebration, as we marked 50 years of God's faithfulness to our denomination, and reflected on what has been accomplished over the last half century. It was also a very important year, as many important business items were debated and voted on. Each year I offer my reflections from what was accomplished by the General Assembly, and I'd like to offer my takeways from the 50th General Assembly here in brief: 

- The Election of TE Fred Greco for Moderator

This year, the GA elected Fred Greco to serve as the Moderator of the Assembly. Fred is a godly man, a great pastor, and knows our BCO better than anyone. He is an expert at parlimentary procedure, and served the GA incredibly well. This reminded me that, above all honor we may ascribe to the position, the role of Moderator is best served by electing a qualified man who knows how to handle the role effectively. Fred was an outstanding Moderator, and made the week run smoothly. 

- Review of Presbytery Records (RPR) 

Our committee which reviews the minutes of presbyteries proved to the GA that our system works. Upon realizing that a Presbytery had erred in not properly dealing with a church that permitted a woman to preach during a worship service, RPR cited the presbytery to appear before our Standing Judicial Commission(SJC), which will be able to properly deal with the infraction. RPR here provided helpful oversight to give the General Assembly an ability to act, where there was a great need. 

- The Nominating Committee's Strong Work 

Our Nominating Committee has continually provided a strong slate of nominees each year, and this year continues that trend. We saw many godly men elected to permanent committees, which will ensure the health of the PCA's committees and agencies for years to come. 

- The Approval of Overture 23

O 23

In the debates surrounding how we engage the current sexual issues of our day and time, a sticking point has been that of the qualifications for a man seeking ordained office within the PCA. Overture 23 was passed this year, which would include the following language regarding the qualifications for a man seeking ordained office in the PCA:

He should conform to the biblical requirement of chastity and sexual purity in his 
descriptions of himself, and in his convictions, character, and conduct.

This is an important addition to our Book of Church Order that, if ratified by the Prebsyteries this year, should put an end to the need for further sexuality overtures for the foreseeable future. 

- The Approval of Overture 26

O 26

An issue which has been increasingly a concern in the PCA is the use of officer titles given to undordained individuals. While we want to affirm the ministry of members within the church, the offices of Elder/Pastor, and Deacon are reserved for ordained men. Overure 26 was passed this year, which would include the following statement in our BCO:

Furthermore, unordained people shall should not be referred to as, or given the titles connected to, the ecclesial offices of pastor, elder, or deacon.

This provides helpful clarity on a matter which is already established in our BCO, and would serve the PCA well. 

- The Approval of Overture 12

O 12

Overture 12 essentially sought to have the PCA send a petition to members of the US Government, condemning the practice of "surgical and medical gender reassignment, especially of minors.". I spoke on the floor in support of this Overture, and believe it is a good and necessary response in these unprecedented times we live in. The church has a responsibility to the covenant children entrusted to us. Through this petition, drafted by a commission, we will speak graciously, yet clearly, to the dangerous practice that is resulting in the mutilation of children. The Overture's official language is below:

Empowering the Moderator to appoint a commission to draft a humble petition (WCF 31-4), which the PCA Stated Clerk shall send to the President of the United States, the majority and minority party leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and the Chief Justice of the United States; and recommend the Presbytery Clerks to send
the petition to the Governors, the majority and minority party leaders in the State
Legislatures, and the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Courts in their regions,
condemning the practice of surgical and medical gender reassignment, especially of minors.



In short, I am very optimistic for the PCA. God has blessed us richly for 50 wonderful years, and I am eager to be apart of the next 50. There is much work to be done, but overall, I am encouraged, and thankful to belong to this denomination. God Bless the PCA.