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May 23, 2008:

DAY 8 ON nFoG WATCH: I have been looking around on-line for anyone writing in support of the nFoG (that is, anyone who was not a part of the Task Force itself). On Wednesday, I linked to an article by Louis Weeks, who was generally in support. I also mentioned another writer, Merwyn Johnson, who wrote me a thoughtful reply about the nFoG -- particularly as it would be amended by the Foothills overture (Item 06-13).

The challenge stands, however, to show how the nFoG would better handle the divisive issues faced under the current Form of Government -- Jane Spahr, the Synod administrative commission regarding property decisions, and money. In other words, trace these cases through the specific provisions of the nFoG and show how the results would be better. Local option is not better; it would guarantee schism.

Committee Survey: Committee 7, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations

The task of this committee is to consider matters related to: amendments to Chapter XV (G-15.000) of the Form of Government with Advisory Committee on the Constitution advice; requests for interpretation; matters dealing with relationships with, and attitudes toward, other religious movements or bodies; conversations with other Presbyterian denominations; nominations for ecumenical advisory delegates; nominations for delegations to corresponding churches; reports of Corresponding Bodies.

The most interesting business this committee will handle is related to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and the New Wineskins. Item 07-03 recommends the General Assembly request an investigation of the EPC by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC). And who is the President of WARC? How do you think that'll turn out for the EPC?

Item 07-13 also is related to the EPC and New WIneskins congregations. I have written about this previously: here and here.

Item 07-01 requests that the General Assembly "state that the PC(USA) affirms that Jews, Christians, and Muslims worship a common God, although each understands that God differently; and that, as children of this loving God, we share the commandments of love for God and neighbor , the requirement to care for the poor; and acknowledge Abraham as an expression of our common commitment to one God." Normally I do not make a big deal about the wording overtures because it often changes during the Assembly; however, if this were approved, I figure people would want to know how it got to the GA in the first place.

Item 07-05 requests the Assembly to "reaffirm the commitment of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to work with other ecclesial and mission bodies through our historic conciliar relationships of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the National Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches; and continue our support and participation in the governance and mission of these ecumenical agencies." However, no financial implications are listed. It is hard to imagine that continuing our "support" will not cost us anything -- in the past, there has been quite a price tag to some of these.

As for the rest, there are some nominations and some other recognitions -- important to the people involved, but not much realistic hope of getting above the Mendoza line for real public awareness.