From the Worldwide Faith News archives

COCU Study Guide Sent to Churches

Date 04 May 1996 16:05:50


96116           COCU Study Guide Sent to Churches 
                      by Jerry L. Van Marter 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--A study guide on the two formative documents of the 
Consultation on Church Union (COCU) has been published and sent to all 
sessions and presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). 
     The study guide, "Essential Things," was written by the Rev. Joseph D. 
Small, coordinator for theology and worship in the Congregational 
Ministries Division in Louisville.  Along with the study guide, sessions 
and presbyteries received a copy of the proposed amendments to the 
Constitution of the PC(USA) designed to enable the denomination's 
participation in COCU. 
     The 1988 General Assembly approved "The COCU Consensus," a 
foundational statement that grew out of the first 28 years of COCU's 
existence.  In 1993, the Assembly gave provisional approval to "Churches in 
Covenant Communion," a proposal for increased cooperation among the nine 
participating COCU denominations, but without any plan for structural 
union.  The Assembly asked the Presbyterian Special Committee on COCU to 
bring back constitutional amendments needed to implement the covenanting 
     Those amendments were proposed to last year's General Assembly in 
Cincinnati, but action on them was postponed in order to give the church 
more opportunity to study them and the COCU documents that precipitated 
them.  Those amendments will be back before this year's Assembly in 
Albuquerque.  If the Assembly approves them, the amendments will be sent to 
the presbyteries for their affirmative or negative votes. 
     The Rev. Theo Gill, assistant director of the Department of Governing 
Body, Ecumenical and Agency Relations in the Office of the General 
Assembly, has pointed out that the title of the booklet of proposed 
amendments is misleading.  It reads: "Proposed amendments...approved by the 
207th General Assembly (1995) and recommended to the presbyteries for 
study. ..."   
     Gill said development of the study guide was approved, not the 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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