So Great a Cloud of Witnesses - Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 217th General Assembly; Birmingham, Alabama; June 15-22, 2006 PC(USA) Seal
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Assembly adopts Theological Task Force report

Controversial 'authoritative interpretation' garners 57% support

Commissioners holding hand
Assembly attendees hold hands and pray after the Assembly voted to accept the report of the Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity, and Purity of the Church. Photo by Joseph Williams.

By a vote of 298-221 (57% to 43%), the 217th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) today approved an "authoritative interpretation" of the church's Constitution that maintains current ordination standards for church officers but gives ordaining bodies greater leeway in applying those standards to individual candidates for ordination.

The proposal was one of seven contained in a report of the Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity, and Purity of the Church (TTF) that has spent the last four years looking for ways to help the deeply divided denomination stay together despite its differences. [Read more]

GA overwhelmingly approves Israel/Palestine recommendation

View of plenary floor
The Assembly follows discussion on the Peacemaking and International Issues committee report. Photo by Danny Bolin

The 217th General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the recommendation of the Peacemaking and International Issues committee regarding Middle East issues.

By a vote of 483 in favor, 28 opposed and 1 abstention today, the Assembly set as church policy that "financial investments of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), as they pertain to Israel, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank, be invested in only peaceful pursuits." The recommendation was an alternate resolution to an overture that sought to repeal and rescind the actions of the 2004 General Assembly relating to "phased selective divestment in multinational corporations operating in Israel." [Read more]


Detterick says $150 million donor will honor pledge

General Assembly Council Executive Director John Detterick today reaffirmed his conviction that Denver businessman and lifelong Presbyterian Stanley W. Anderson will make good on a $150 million pledge he made last week to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Detterick’s statement to the assembly came after The Denver Post reported today that Anderson is in debt and that there are no assets in the Trinity Foundation, which Anderson set up in January with a business partner in the Bahamas and which was to channel the contribution to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation later this year.

Detterick acknowledged that the news reports "cast serious doubt in some minds.

But I know Stan Anderson as a man of integrity." [Read more]


Assembly approves keeping 'fidelity-chastity' provision in constitution

The 217th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to leave the "fidelity-chastity" ordination standard for church officers in the denomination’s Constitution.

The Assembly's 405-92 vote with four abstentions affirmed a recommendation from the Assembly Committee on Church Orders to keep G-6.0106b in the denomination's Book of Order. The provision requires "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness." [Read more]


GA acts on Trinity paper

Assembly votes to 'receive' and commend to the church

The 217th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a recommendation today to receive and commend to the church for study the paper, "The Trinity: God's Love Overflowing." The vote was 282 to 212, with 7 abstentions.

The original recommendation from the General Assembly Council called for the Assembly to approve the paper. An amendment during the debate changed the word to "receive" when some commissioners expressed concern that the word approve meant endorsement. While a majority of the commissioners were uncertain about endorsing it, they were ready to commend it to congregations for study. [Read more]


YAD videos tell a unique story

Youth Advisory Delegates to the 217th General Assembly are diverse, energetic, dedicated, and the future of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.) A few of them have taken the time to share their video stories of fun, hard work, and fellowship during this unique experience. [See videos]


Assembly in Brief helps you review the issues discussed in Birmingham

Assembly in Brief: 217th General Assembly 2006 is a 16-page booklet presented in a format suitable for a bulletin insert. Assembly in Brief provides a quick way to recall or learn about the actions of the Assembly.


Tell us what you think

Thank you for visiting the 217th General Assembly Web site this week. We want to know what you liked and disliked. Give us your feedback.

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