Nary An Unpublished Thought







May 13, 2008: Not Just Me

The Presbytery of New Covenant produced a review of the proposed new Form of Government (nFoG). It is a good resource for your consideration. (Hat tip: Quotidian Grace). The team that produced this review raised a number of very important questions that do not have simple answers.

The Presbyterian Coalition has published a piece "Altering the Covenant," also a good resource for evaluating the nFoG. Full disclosure: I had a hand in the writing of this piece -- not the only hand, but enough that I do not want to pretend that it is something totally different than the perspective I have offered here.

San Diego Presbytery approved a resolution proposed by Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church (it appears in the Minutes at p. 11-12)

I. Urge the 218th General Assembly to vote to not approve the proposed new Form of Government:

1. Foundations of Presbyterian Polity
2. Form of Government
3. Advisory Handbook for Councils for the Development of Policies and Procedures Required by the Form of Government

II. Dismiss the Form of Government Task Force with our thanks

The Presbytery VOTED their support of this resolution.

Again, full disclosure: I am a member of the presbytery and voted for it, but I did NOT have a hand in bringing the resolution to the presbytery. On its own, the session of Graham Memorial wanted to have the presbytery make a statement to the 218th GA.

On the other hand, I have been looking around on-line and have not found anyone writing in support of the nFoG (that is, anyone who was not a part of the Task Force itself). Can you? If so, send me a link. I will post, I promise. Is there a presbytery, a stated clerk, an executive presbyter or other blogger who is advocating for the nFoG? To me, the silence is deafening.

Further, on April 28, I posed a challenge that still has no takers or answers: Under the nFoG, what would have been the resolutions of the Jane Spahr case and Synod of the Sun administrative commission? How would those resolutions been less regulatory and more missional? If the nFoG can't or won't address these cases, what happens?

If the nFoG is not worth evaluating now, will it be any more so after the 218th General Assembly adjourns? I would really object to having it become a political football foisted upon the presbyteries because commissioners were overwhelmed and could not digest the issues involved. So, how about it?

Again, as I wrote yesterday, this is not intended as a personal slam on the people of the Task Force. They did what the General Assembly asked -- they designed an alternative Form of Government for consideration. However, I am wondering if the rest of the denomination has come to the conclusion that:

a. We realize it would not work so it is not worth the effort to debate and evaluate?

b. It is not going to pass, so why worry about it?

c. Something else?

What do you think?