From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] Elder presents signatures to force special Assembly

Date 14 Jan 2003 16:21:42 -0500

Note #7560 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

Elder presents signatures to force special Assembly
January 14, 2003

Elder presents signatures to force special Assembly

Metherell presents petition to moderator during GAC  meeting

by Jerry L. Van Marter

LOUISVILLE - In a move that has been talked about for months but landed like
a bolt of lightning, Alex Metherell -- an elder and surgeon from southern
California - delivered a petition today to Fahed Abu-Akel, moderator of the
General Assembly, that he says has the number of signatures necessary to
force the first special General Assembly in history.

Metherell's appearance at a joint meeting of the executive committee of the
General Assembly Council (GAC) and the Committee on the Office of the General
Assembly (COGA)came as the two groups were preparing to discuss changes in
standing rules and in Book of Order necessitated by last summer's GA decision
to move to biennial General Assemblies following the 2004 Assembly.

Ironically, that same Assembly will now meet again.

COGA officials said the special Assembly could not be convened much earlier
than mid-May. The 215th Assembly is scheduled to convene in Denver on May 24.
Metherell handed Abu-Akel a notebook containing signed postcards requesting
the special Assembly. Metherell had personally mailed the cards to all 554
commissioners to last summer's GA.
The Book of Order requires signatures of at 50 commissioners to the Assembly,
including at least 25 Presbyterian Church (USA) ministers and 25 elders
representing at least 15 of the 173 presbyteries under the jurisdiction of at
least five of the 16 synods. 

Metherell claimed to have 57 signatures - of 26 ministers and 31 elders from
46 presbyteries and all 16 synods.
The Rev. Gradye Parsons, the director of operations for the Office of the
General Assembly, said the first task will be to attest the signatures to
make sure they qualify.

Once that is done, next steps will be taken. 

Metherell's petition mentions three purposes for the special meeting: 

1. "Continue oversight of the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission
decision in Londonderry Vs. Presbytery of Northern New England in order to
effect compliance with the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA)."

2. "Respond to the growing defiance of, delinquency, and enforcement of the
Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) by officers, agencies and
governing bodies with respect to G-6.0106b (the commonly called "fidelity and
chastity" provision of the Book of Order) and the General Assembly Permanent
Judicial Commission decision on holy unions (Benton vs. Hudson River

3. "Exercise all necessary powers authorized to the General Assembly under
the Constitution to propose and adopt directives of officers, agencies, and
governing bodies in order to deal with all matters relating to the issues
detailed in items # 1 and 2 above."

The names listed on the petition (listed alphabetically, by presbytery): 

Abingdon: Elder William W. Hull
Baltimore: Rev. Phyllis M. DeSmit
Central Florida: Rev. William C. Duckworth
Central Washington: Rev. Stephen G. Barker
Charlotte: Elder Mary E. Hendrick
Detroit: Elder Beatrice Thomas
Eastern Korean: Elder Yung Suk Park
Giddings-Lovejoy: Rev. Nancy Gillard
Great Rivers: Elder Ronald H. Leonard
Greater Atlanta: Rev. Russell O. McKee
Hanmi: Rev. Seung-Nam Kim
Heartland: Rev. Jodi H. Mathews
Huntingdon: Rev. Glen Eason
John Calvin: Elder Rein Vander Naald
Lake Michigan: Rev. David E. Gilbert; Elder John Somerville
Los Ranchos: Elder Alex Metherell
Mississippi: Elder Joyce Gibbens
Muskingum: Rev. Diana A. Lantz
Nevada: Rev. Bruce Kochsmeier
New Covenant: Elder Edward F. Brodie
Noroeste: Rev. Juan Bordoy-Acevedo
Northumberland: Rev. Brent F. Davidson; Elder Bob Reich
Peaks: Elder Dorothy Tatum
Pittsburgh: Rev. Jane Johnson
Prospect Hill: Rev. Brian V. Janssen
Pueblo: Elder Roy N. Hollaway
Sacramento: Rev. Margaret C. Suttle, Elder Yubang Lee
San Diego: Rev. Lisa Johnson, Elder Russ Lowe, Elder Jillene Simms
San Fernando: Elder Paul Carlson
San Gabriel: Rev. Cynthia Reyes Fillmore; Elder John van Genderen
San Joaquin: Rev. James B. Harper
San Jose: Rev. David B. Rodriguez
Savannah: Rev. David A. Long; Elder Neil Spradley
Seattle: Rev. Robin D. Caudillo; Rev. Don Waite
Sierra Blanca: Elder Terry Aiello
Stockton: Rev. Robert Mitchell
Tampa Bay: Elder David Armstrong
Tropical Florida: Elder William D. Tenney; Elder Nancy Young
Upper Ohio Valley: Elder Bruce Trushel
Utah: Elder Herbert Minich
Wabash Valley: Elder John McCrum
Washington: Rev. Craig Kephart; Elder Doris M. Sawhill
Western New York: Rev. Michael R. Burkley
Western North Carolina: Rev. Bill Serjak
Western Reserve: Elder Angela A. Davis
Yellowstone: Elder Ida Norgaard

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