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June 2, 2008:

DAY 13 ON nFoG WATCH: I'm beginning to lose interest in my nFoG watch. I suspect the point has been made. It is no fun to keep reading -- or writing -- about the deficiencies. Here's one last thing for commissioners to consider: what is the likelihood that a "yes" vote at the General Assembly will yield a "yes" vote from the presbyteries? The answer: not much. It is much more likely that presbyteries will reject it out of hand because there is something in it for everyone to dislike.

And, if that happens, where is the progress on the effort to revise and renew? It will be set back a decade. The 219th Assembly (2010) would not be inclined to take up the issue so soon after having this version defeated; so it would be up to the 220th GA (2012) to re-start the process; the 221st GA (2014) to have the first crack at a proposal, 222nd GA (2016) by the time it was "studied" enough for a yes/no vote, and 223rd GA (2018) where any approved changes would go into effect.

On the other hand, saying "no" to this version would allow us to start over and to take a more measured, prioritized approach than the "baby and the bathwater" version presented in the nFoG.

Committee Survey: Committee 12, Church Growth and Christian Education

There are 8 items for this committee; and not one of them will generate any headlines. I feel bad writing that because Steve Locke is the moderator and he also is a minister commissioner from San Diego Presbytery. I feel bad writing that for other reasons, too.

This is not to say that nothing interesting will go on here; however, in comparison with other committees we have reviewed, it just does not set up to be a committee where many people are going to spend their time. Think about it this way: the U.S. Open is in San Diego soon. When Tiger Woods tees off, he will have a huge gallery behind him. Tim Clark also will be teeing off at some point, but there are not going to be nearly as many people paying attention to him unless something really extraordinary happens.

Item 12-02 encourages the church to grow deep and wide. The debatable part of this comes in point #2, where the GAC recommends

Encouraging synods, presbyteries, sessions, and all agencies, entities, and networks of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to commit to grow the church deep and wide in the following areas:

a. Grow the Church: Invite persons to attend. Baptize children and adults. Increase our congregations.

b. Grow in Discipleship: Rediscover Scripture. Nurture spirituality. Affirm our Reformed heritage. Embrace Stewardship in all of life.

c. Grow into Diversity: Welcome everyone. Learn from others. Reflect the world. (italics mine).

Because there are so few items for this committee, this is going to get some discussion. I wrote about this previously. To repeat what I wrote would over-emphasize it.

Item 12-08 is an overture from Grace Presbytery inviting the General Assembly to authorize the production of "adolescent human development resources"-- "These resources would explore all facets of adolescent development including human sexuality."

The only other thing worth drawing up for attention is the Item 12-C, the Woman of Faith awards. It is an information item, so no action is being requested. It has been controversial in the past -- so watch for it to be controversial again.

If I am beginning to read like Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off -- "Bueller...Bueller...." -- I know. But I am determined to soldier on through this survey of all the committees.