From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] Moderator responds to special Assembly petition

Date 15 Jan 2003 16:05:30 -0500

Note #7562 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

Moderator responds to special Assembly petition

Abu-Akel says call for historic session gives him "a heavy heart"

by Jerry L. Van Marter

LOUISVILLE - Reading from a prepared statement, the Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel,
moderator of the General Assembly, said on Tuesday that it was with a "heavy
heart" that he'd received a proposal for a special meeting of the 214th GA

Abu-Akel read his statement to members of the General Assembly Council (GAC) 
and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA).

The moderator had urged commissioners to last summer's Assembly not to join
Alex Metherell's petition drive for a special meeting of the Assembly - which
would be the first in the history of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Metherell, an elder commissioner to the Assembly from Los Ranchos Presbytery,
gave his petition to Abu-Akel during a joint meeting of the GAC's executive
committee and COGA.

After reading the statement, Abu-Akel led the group in prayer.

The full text of his statement:

It is with a heavy heart that I received the petition today asking me to call
a Special General Assembly.

I have instructed the Office of the General Assembly to begin the process
with the stated clerks of the presbyteries to verify the status of those who
signed the petition.

I have also asked the Office of the General Assembly to verify the current
desire of those commissioners to have a Special Called Assembly in light of
the provision of our Constitution, which requires that it be held no sooner
than 120 days from today. I reminded all commissioners of this constitutional
provision in my letter to them this past November.

I ask all of you to be in prayer for me, for the stated clerk of the General
Assembly, for all commissioners to the 214th General Assembly, and for the
entire Presbyterian Church (USA) in the days ahead.

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