From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] Peace, Unity and Purity Task Force releases

Date 19 Dec 2001 09:05:51 -0500

Note #6986 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

Peace, Unity and Purity Task Force releases 
statement on its work

Peace, Unity and Purity Task Force releases 
statement on its work

Editor's note: The General Assembly's Theological Task Force on the Peace,
Unity and Purity of the Church has issued a press release following its
first meeting. The Presbyterian News Service has agreed to publish it in its
entirety. - Jerry L. Van Marter

Press Release
December 14, 2001

The charge to the Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity and Purity by the
213th General Assembly is to "lead the Presbyterian Church (USA) in
spiritual identity of our Christian identity in and for the 21st century
seeking the peace, purity and unity of the church."  The task force's first
meeting December 6-8 in Dallas, Texas, was convened by the three General
Assembly moderators who appointed the members: Jack Rogers, Syngman Rhee,
and Freda Gardner.  Early in the meeting, Jack Rogers, moderator of the
213th General Assembly, announced that one member appointed, Mrs. Sue
Mallory of  Playa del Rey, CA, had  written to regretfully resign from the
Task Force because of serious health problems.  At the conclusion of the
meeting, Moderator Jack Rogers announced that the 3 moderators have decided
not to appoint a replacement for Mrs. Mallory.  The remaining twenty members
were all in attendance at the meeting.

The three days the Task Force members spent together were framed in worship,
study of scripture and getting to know one another as they laid out plans
for their work.   The official proceedings started with a commissioning
service by the moderators that included laying on of hands and prayer for
each Task Force member.  Each day included a period of in-depth study of

After studying, first in small groups then as a committee of the whole, the
Task Force charge and the individual reflections each member had written
concerning their work, the following goals were adopted to guide the work of
the Task Force.
  *	To deepen our understanding of our Christian and catholic identity and
clarify key themes of the Reformed theological and constitutional heritage.
  *	To study and evaluate the sources of health and promise as well as the
causes of dissension and unrest in the church
  *	To recommend ways for the church to move forward, furthering its peace,
unity and purity.
The two documents approved by the Task Force, a covenant for their work and
an initial work plan, set the tone of mutual respect that permeated the

The Task Force work will be to start to "discern our Christian identity in
and for the
21st century by exploring the scriptural, theological, historical,
ecclesiastical and missiological sources that have shaped our identity and
by listening to one another and to the church."

Each member of the Task Force will serve on one of four subgroups according
to his/her preference and gifts:

Scriptural and theological resources 
Historical and ecclesiastical resources
Practices conducive to discernment and building   community, including
models from the mission field
Consultation and communication with the larger church.  

At the conclusion of the meeting each member indicated his/her committee
preference and  charged the Task Force co-moderators, Gary Demarest and
Jenny Stoner with reviewing the data and making committee assignments. 
Meeting dates for the three meetings in 2002 were set; the next meeting will
be Feb. 28-March 2, 2002.
Subsequently, committee assignments were made according to preferences. 
They are:

Committee #1 - Scriptural and Theological Resources: Stacy Johnson
(coordinator), Barbara Wheeler, Elizabeth Achtemeier, Frances Taylor Gench,
Mike Loudon, Gary Demarest.

Committee # 2 - History and Ecclesiastical Resources: Joe Coalter
(coordinator), John Wilkinson, Jong Hycong Lee, Jack Haberer, Jose Luis
Torres-Milan, Jenny Stoner.

Committee # 3 - Practices conducive to discernment and building community,
including models from the mission field: Sarah Sanderson (coordinator),
Vicky Curtiss, Lonnie Oliver, Martha Sandogei, Scott Anderson, Gary

Committee # 4 - Consultation and communication with the larger church: Joan
Merritt (coordinator), Mary Ellen Lawson, Barbara Bryant, Jenny Stoner.
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