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Topics of interest to Clerks of Session, Session Moderators and others who are interested in Presbyterian local-church governance.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Join the Churchwide Conversation

What does it mean to be Presbyterian? Who is the church called to be in this current day and time? How should the denomination serve into the future?

There's been much turmoil and hand-wringing in the PC(USA) of late. While some have rejoiced in the last General Assembly's decision to remove impediments to the celebration of same-sex marriages - but only for those ministers and congregations who feel called to do so - others have not been happy with that decision. There's talk of congregations leaving (with the permission of their presbyteries, of course, because that's how it has to happen in our system of government).  There's also talk of staying within the denomination, but in a dissenting way.

In preparation for the next General Assembly (June 18–25, 2016, in Portland, Oregon), the Office of the General Assembly has issued a call for churchwide conversation on where the Lord is leading the PC(USA).

These discussions, which will focus around denominational identity, will take place both online and in-person, in groups that will be forming around the church.

The process begins on October 23, with an invitation to go online to share thoughts and comments. Those who are interested in being a part of these online conversations are invited to sign up here.

“We’re inviting Presbyterians to dream big dreams, hope big hopes, and share them with their brothers and sisters,” says Margaret Elliott, moderator of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly. “The fruit of that dialogue will then be used by the General Assembly — an expression of the church’s core — when it gathers. Together the body will discern a way forward for the church."

Undoubtedly, we'll be organizing some dialogue groups here in Monmouth Presbytery, For now, however, signing up for the online process is a great place to start.