The calendar of presbytery events is at the foot of the page

Contact stated clerk Pete Wells to add events to the calendar

Thursday, June 26, 2014

PC(USA) Summary of GA 221

The Presbyterian News Service and the Office of the General Assembly have produced a free downloadable summary of General Assembly 221.

In summary the General Assembly:
The Assembly of Yes … mostly
  • ‘Yes’ to divestment from three U.S. companies
  • ‘Yes’ to same-gender marriage: pastoral discretion and a new definition
  • ‘Yes’ to the Belhar Confession
  • ‘Yes’ to new synod boundaries
  • ‘Yes’ to leaders of General Assembly agencies
  • ‘Yes’ to PC(USA)’s continuing commitment to peacemaking
  • ‘Yes’ to preventing gun violence
  • Working for the common good with people of other faiths
  • ‘Study’ to fossil fuel divestment
  • ‘Educate a Child, Transform the World’
  • Peacemaking Offering expanded
  • The Bottom Line
Copies of the free summary are here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Words Make a Difference

Our friend Edward Dunn of Boise Presbytery has a blog about the connections within the Presbyterian church, including the opportunities to discern the best words to express God's intent.

The closest vote of the assembly was on 'divestment' of investments in three companies. These companies make some of the tools that the government of Israel uses to 'protect from violence' or 'oppress' residents.  Of over 600 votes cast, the difference was 7. Had 4 commissioners voted 'no' instead of 'yes' the result would have been different.

The argument was over 'divestment.'  We aren't going to divest of anything.

PC(USA) investments are managed by the Board of Pensions and Foundation. The Board is actually and legally responsible not to GA but to the active and retired members of the pension plan.

The Foundaton is responsible for preserving and growing the permanent investments.

Each body follows GA advice when buying stock but has to make decisions to sell based on prudent financial decisions.

Neither body will sell stock based on GA action. The only result is to not make future investments in these companies.

The'divestment' that may incite emotions probably should be called 'no  investment in.' People and institutions making decisions to buy are seldom criticized for not investing in any particular company among the many thousands of possible choices.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Most publicized action of General Assembly

The General Assembly in Detroit is adopting several actions that are or will get a lot of press, Here are some summaries:

1. The General Assembly approved an Authoritative Interpretation of the constitution, effective on Saturday noon, EST, that allows ministers and Commissioned Ruling Elders to perform same-sex marriages in states that allow same-sex marriages.  Sessions may allow same-sex marriages in churches and other church-owned property. 

No minister, CRE, or session would be required to perform or allow a same-sex contrary to that person's or body's conscience.

2. The General Assembly approved a rewrite of Directory of Worship W-4-9000 that uses the term 'two people (traditionally a man and a woman)' where the current use is 'man and woman.' 

This proposed amendment is to be sent to presbyteries for ratification.  If approved by a majority of presbyteries it would be effective June 21, 2015.

This also has a provision that specifies that ministers, CRE's and sessions would not be required to violate conscience.

More details in a PC(USA) news release

2. Referred to Mission Responsibility Through Investment a proposal for possible divestment from fossil fuel companies.

We are talking about divestment from 3 companies supplying material to Israel that is used in relation to Israel's relation with Palestinians. More to follow.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Upcoming General Assembly

Please pray for Commissioners Evan Hansen, Rev. Steve Toth and Young Adult Advisory Delegate Madison Lindsey for discernment at the PC(USA) 221st General Assembly in Detroit June 14 -21.

I hope to bring regular updates of GA221 to this blog before, during, and after General Assembly.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April Presbytery - Other action

The Presbytery of Eastern Oregon met in stated meeting in Pendleton, Oregon on April 19-20.  In addition to fellowship, discussion, worship, and sharing a common table, the presbytery conducted the following business:
  • Elected Rev. Steve Toth to fill the unexpired term of Rev. Keith Hudson as commissioner to the Synod of the Pacific for a term ending in September, 2014.   Rev. Hudson has resigned effective after the May, 2013 Synod meeting due to demands on his time.
  • Elected Ruling Elder Pete Wells to serve as presbytery stated clerk for the term July, 2013 to June, 2016.  Elder Wells was first elected to this office in 2004.
  • Commissioned Ruling Elder Jack Schut to serve as pastor to the Pendleton First Presbyterian Church for the months of June through August, 2013, while pastor Rev. Roger Harwerth is on sabbatical leave.
  • Recognized Luke Rembold who is beginning the inquiry process to determine whether he is called to the ministry in the Church.
  • Approved revised statement of priorities for mission grants for 2014 and beyond.
  • Approved amendments to the presbytery by-laws to make chairs of all committees named in the by-laws members of the the presbytery while in office.
  • Accepted invitations from Grace Presbyterian Church, Milton-Freewater, to host the presbytery meeting in October, 2014, and Pioneer Presbyterian Church, Burns, to host the presbytery meeting in October, 2015.  
The next presbytery meeting will be at the Pine Valley Presbyterian Church, Halfway, October 25-26.  The meetings in February and April, 2014, will be in Umatilla and LaGrande, respectiely.

For more information see the Presbytery of Eastern Oregon home page, the Eastern Oregon Presbytery Facebook page, or the clerk's Eastern Oregon Presbytery blog.

Presbytery Meeting, Amendments to the PC(USA) Constitution

On Saturday, April 20, on the proposed amendments to the PC(USA) Book of Confessions and the Book of Order, the Presbytery of Eastern Oregon voted to:
  1. approve the proposed new translation of the Heidelberg Confession and 
  2. to approve proposed Book of Order Amendments 12-A and 12-C through 12-J.  
  3. It voted to not approve Amendment 12-B, amending the language of G-2.0104a on gifts and qualifications for ordered ministry.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Post Elder and Deacon Necrology for recognition at presbytery meeting

We ask each congregation to post here the names of elders and deacons who have passed to Life Eternal in the past 12 months so that they may be recognized at presbytery worship on April 19.  If you are having trouble posting, email names, type of service, and date of death to Pete Wells, Stated Clerk.