From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Council Narrowly Approves Churchwide Bible Study

Date 04 May 1996 20:36:45


95372  Council Narrowly Approves Churchwide Bible Study 
                         by Julian Shipp 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--A resolution calling all Presbyterians to undertake a 
diligent study of 1 Corinthians and engage in conversations about their 
faith and life in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been narrowly 
approved by the General Assembly Council (GAC). 
     The resolution, which was approved by a vote of 26-23, stems from 
action taken by the 207th General Assembly (1995) calling for Presbyterians 
to pray for "repentance, forgiveness and to rebuke all divisive people and 
groups in our church."     
     The resolution came to the floor of the GAC through the Congregational 
Ministries Division (CMD). Following extensive debate, a motion to refer 
the resolution back to the CMD was defeated by a vote of 30-19. 
     According to the Rev. James D. Brown, GAC executive director, 1 
Corinthians was selected because Paul's first letter to the Christian 
community in Corinth provides today's church with relevant insights and 
     The Rev. Eunice B. Poethig, CMD director, said the 1 Corinthians theme 
also grew out of the Summer Conference at Montreat.  
     "[Paul's] letter in the New Testament has some insights to our 
contemporary situations," Brown said. 
     Most council members supported the study of scripture as an aid to 
fostering reconciliation throughout the denomination but questioned the 
recommendation to focus on a particular chapter of the Bible. 
     "I think that scripture study at this time is probably good," said 
Roberto "Beto" Delagado, a GAC member from Denton, Texas. "But the problem 
with this is that you identify which scripture you study." 
     "I would prefer that we have a broader scriptural reference ... than 1 
Corinthians," said the Rev.  Walter J. Ungerer, a GAC member from Kokomo, 
     But others, like Wilbur ("Wil") F. Chenery, a GAC member from 
Columbia, S.C., said now is the time to start the process of unifying the 
     "If it's going to get out to the church, it has to get out through 
[the appropriate church bodies], otherwise we'll be stuck in this thing 
until the year 2,000," Chenery said. 

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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