Exec’s Reflections


A Word from the General Assembly

In June the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to approve the recommendations of the report of the Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity, and Purity. The recommendations were only slightly amended by the Assembly and the final vote of the commissioners was 298 to 221.

The General Assembly Commissioners (including our commissioners, the Rev. Russell Duncan of Morrisville, Elder Peter Koenig of Pebble Hill, and Youth Advisory Delegate Susan Newman of Auburn, First) considered the “PUP” report during the afternoon business session. As I observed the Assembly, I can report that the time was characterized by extensive and moving periods of prayer, thoughtful discussion, often passionate debate, and carefully crafted questions. The Assembly consideration was distinguished by the successful effort of the entire Assembly to be fair, respectful, and caring.

The approval of these recommendations will have significant implications for our church in the days and years to come. Initially, much will be written and said about the “authoritative interpretation” this action provides of G-6.0108 (ordination standards). Each of us will have the opportunity to hear from our Commissioners as well as many other concerned Presbyterians.

I hope you have read the PUP Report and are familiar with the seven recommendations. If you have not read it, I commend it to you. It is available on the denomination’s website www.pcusa.org

As a college history major, I was taught to go to the “original sources” while doing historical research so that I could draw my own conclusions before reading what others found in the documents. This is still a good practice, so I recommend that you read and study the PUP report before coming to any conclusions based on what others may say.

Finally, do not overlook other news coming out of the General Assembly. Things like:
� The election of the Rev. Joan Gray, Atlanta Presbytery, as Moderator.
� The celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament. The Rev. Margaret Towner, the first woman minister in the Presbyterian Church (ordained by Cayuga-Syracuse!) spoke to the National Association of Presbyterian Clergy Women. She will speak in Syracuse on October 15, at First PC United.
� The announcement of a special gift of $150,000,000 by a Presbyterian member from Denver, CO to be granted to presbyteries for church growth.
� The reception for study and use by the Church of the paper, “The Trinity: God’s Love Overflowing”.
� The election of Elder Linda Valentine as the new Executive Director of the General Assembly Council. The Rev. Karen Dimon, GAC member and Pastor of our Northminster Presbyterian Church, chaired the national search committee.

Look for additional news on the General Assembly and please keep the Church in your prayers.


Dave Johnson, Executive Presbyter