Next Stated Meeting
Date: October 21, 2014
Time: 9 am Registration/10 am Meeting Begins
Place: Historic Midway Congregational Church, Midway, Georgia
Your Action Step: Please elect your Commissioners ASAP and email to Presbytery
Handbook will be uploaded to Events -> Stated & Called Meetings in early October
The nominations committee is in need of suggestions for our teams and committees. We need 35-45 names of folks who would be willing to serve. Please consider the members of your congregation who might have skills and interest which match the needs of our committees. The form includes a list and description of committees as well as any special skills that might be needed to serve.
Talk with your members and encourage them to consider serving their connectional church!
Posted in News
The following links are to an article that appeared in the Brunswick News on July 12, 2014. There will certainly be many opportunities for education and conversation within our Presbytery in the coming months.
Perhaps the thoughtful statements of two Savannah Presbytery Pastors and our two Commissioners to the GA221 in Detroit may be helpful in understanding what happened and how we can work through these issues together as Presbyterians and as Christians.
Grace and Peace,
Brunswick News Article
Brunswick News Article cont.
June 21, 2014
I write this third and last musing from the Detroit Airport, after a very active and exhausting final one and a half days. This assembly was a very active one as on Thursday it passed both an Authoritative Interpretation to the PCUSA Constitution giving Pastoral discretion to officiate same gender marriages in states where this is legal. They also passed a proposed amendment to the Book of Order, which if passed by a majority of the 171 presbyteries, would expand the definition of marriage to include couples (two people) in addition to the traditional one man and one woman.
On Friday the commissioners voted, by a 3 vote margin, in favor of instructing the Presbyterian Foundation and the Board of Pensions to divest stocks of Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, and Motorola Solutions from their portfolios. The discussion on this, as in that concerning marriage, was long and passionate, but was also done with civility and care.
Moderator Heath Rada, continually encouraged the assembly to show Christ’s love to those who differed from us in these issues that have divided us for years. There was joy for those who prevailed and sorrow for those who were in the minority on these votes. Whether I agreed with the votes, or I did not agree, I was proud of our Presbyterian polity and the way we modeled being Christians in the mist of dealing with difficult issues that face the Church.
Over the next year we, as Savannah Presbytery, will have the opportunity to learn about and discern God’s will, as we prepare to vote on the amendments to the Book of Order and as we determine whether we will add the Belhar Confession to our Book of Confessions. Our Commissioners have agreed to be available, as have I, to participate in the education and conversations in our Churches about these amendments. I hope to also have some district meetings where we may come together for learning with each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
As you know, I have said that I strongly believe that we have the unity of Christ’s body, The Church, that I pray will hold us together in our diversity of opinions on the issues of our world. May we be one body, moving as God shows us the way, in ministering in love to a world who needs it so desperately.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
On Wednesday, committees wrapped up their recommendations to the assembly and plenary sessions were convened at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. During the day, the major action passed was the approval of recommending the Belhar Confession be added to our Book of Confessions. This recommendation will now move to the presbyteries for a vote. In order to pass at the presbytery level, the body must approve it by a two-thirds vote. Additionally, to become a new confession, two-thirds, or 115 of the 171 presbyteries must vote in the affirmative. Should this pass the presbyteries, the confession would need another approval from the 222nd General Assembly in order to be added to the eleven confessions presently in Part I of our Constitution.
The major items to be voted on which will come to assembly on Friday include recommendations from the committees on Middle East Relations and Civil Unions and Marriage. Today, as I sit in the morning plenary, the Delegates and Commissioners have been listening and talking in small groups about these two important items. There is a sincere effort to hear each other, even as we disagree with each other. I would ask that you pray for the peace and unity of the Church, and specifically the PCUSA, as these decisions are made regardless of the outcome.
Please pray also for Molly, Rachel, and Trip as they are in discernment as to God’s leading them in the remaining long days of this assembly.