From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] GA has been in Columbus before, clerk notes

Date 15 Jun 2002 13:24:58 -0400

Note #7213 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

GA has been in Columbus before, clerk notes
June 14, 2002

GA has been in Columbus before, clerk notes

by Emett Barfield

COLUMBUS, OH-Clifton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the General Assembly, and Jim Browne, Jim Wilson, and Sue Mooney, co-moderators of the Committee on Local Arrangements, met today with representatives of the press in advance of the 214th Assembly (GA) of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Kirkpatrick began by expressing his appreciation to the local arrangements committee for the job they have done and to the press for their interest in the event.

 Noting that the Presbyterian General Assembly met here in stressful times in 1862, Kirkpatrick cited a covenant adopted by those commissioners as a commitment for this year's GA. Quoting from that covenant, he challenged the commissioners "to cherish fraternal greetings, to cultivate Christian dialogue, to worship God, to promote the cause of Christ, and to avoid all needless controversies and competitions adapted to perpetuate division and strife."

He identified these as key issues before the Assembly this year:

* The launching of a $40 million Mission Initiative to raise funds for international mission personnel and new-church development and redevelopment;

* The affirmation of the lordship of Jesus Christ; 

* A proposal to hold Assemblies only every other year; and,

* A reconsideration of the PC(USA) position on abortion.

Asked how the denomination is different today from a year ago, Kirkpatrick said, "The events of September 11 have broadened our sense of compassion and deepened our spirituality." 
Asked about holding GAs every other year, he pointed out that it would save a great deal of money. He added that biennial assemblies would provide a "breather" between debates of major issues in the denomination. He also said that, if the GA adopted a new policy, the church would have more time to put it into effect. He said "off years" would provide time for other national gatherings.
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