Mary Kay Glunt just ask a question of clarification on the floor of GA.
The Assembly again made history this morning by electing J. Herbert Nelson as the new Stated Clerk of the PC(USA). The vote was overwhelmingly in favor with 80% of commissioners voting for Rev. Dr. Nelson. for more information see this post from the Outlook.
Just so you know, we are preparing for a long night on this last full day of the Assembly. But we are ready.
Tonight the General Assembly took the final step to add the first new confession to the Book of Confessions since the reunion of the PCUS and the UPCUSA in 1983. The 221st General Assembly in 2014 sent the confession to the presbyteries for their approval. Adding a confession requires a majority affirmation vote of 2/3 of the presbyteries, which was easily achieved. The next assembly must also affirm the addition of the confession in order for it to be added. Tonight the vote was 540 to approve and 33 to disapprove. This has been a full decade in coming, as many other reformed bodies affirmed the Belhar Confession previously. You can find the full text of the confession on our home page.
Two major items were passed tonight at the GA plenary. The Belhar Confession was overwhelmingly approved and has now become a part of Book of Confessions as this was the last vote necessary to place this confession in our constitution. This was followed by a standing ovation and a song of praise.
The other item which was passed was the new Directory of Worship. This item will require approval of a majority of the 171 presbyteries. This Directory is more logical and shorter by 9000 words.
We praise God for the faithful people who have done the hard work to take our denomination into the future.
Sunday evening the committees of GA began meeting. A special Bible Study was written for this GA and everyone has the opportunity to participate. There are 14 committees meeting until Tuesday evening. Mary Kay Glunt is on Middle East Issues and Jim Holt is on Theological Issues and Institutions. Each committee considers the overtures that pertain to their committee. This year there is a committee called The Way Forward which is dealing with the Foothills Overtures, which JCP concurred with in November, and other similar overtures that seek to change the way General Assembly operates. If you have a Twitter account, you can follow the work of the committees at #GA222. So far, one of the major decisions to come out of committee is the final approval for the Belhar Confession to become a part of our Book of Confessions. Another issue to be referred to the Assembly for final approval is fossil fuel divestment. For more information on what is currently happening, you can go to pres-outlook.com.
We have new co-moderators. Jan Edmiston and Denise Andersen were elected by a vote of 432 to 136. It was the end of a good day at GA. Morning worship was amazing. Worshiping with so many other presbyterians is just incredible. The singing, the choirs - a 300 voice choir and a huge bell choir, the liturgy - it was a good day in Portland. BTW, Flat John Calvin hid in my suitcase and I had to register him for GA and he has been getting his picture taken everywhere. Check out the tweets at #flatjohncalvin and #jcp.
We have arrived in Portland, Oregon. Today we begin General Assembly with worship at 11 am. PDT. Our first plenary begins at 2:30 pm and tonight is the election of the co-moderators. This is the first year for co-moderators. If you would like to know more about the candidates, here is a link
Please keep the commissioners, Mary Kay Glunt and Jim Holt in your prayers as they begin this eight day journey at GA.
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