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October 16, 2007: Wrapping Up Chapter 2

I have gotten bogged down in Chapter 2 of the substitute constitution. The problem is that it takes a good amount of time to track things through -- one section impacts several others.

For example, G-2.09 of the substitute deals with Certified Christian Educators.

Book of Order 2005-2007 coverHere's the thing: most of us are still using the 22007-2009 Book of Order cover005-2007 brick color covered Book of Order because the 2007-2009 version is still being printed. The new one is available on-line and it is the one that is binding. So, what's the big deal? All three are different.

From the substitute:

G-2.0902 Presbytery and Christian Education

The presbytery shall encourage Christian educators to seek certification, shall encourage sessions to make continuing education funds and time available to educators seeking certification, and shall provide a service of recognition at the time of certification. The presbytery may grant the privilege of the floor at all its meetings to all certified Christian educators and voice and vote to certified Christian educators who are ordained ruling elders.

From the 2007-2009 Book of Order:

G-14.0703 Presbytery and Certified Christian Educators

The presbytery shall...

c. grant the privilege of the floor to the certified Christian educator at all its meetings with voice only, and, in the case of certified Christian educators who are ordained elders, voice and vote under the provisions of G-11.0101b. (G-11.0407)

The bold indicates that the section is new -- an amendment approved by the presbyteries after the 217th General Assembly in 2006. (Italics are mine to illustrate a point in a moment.)

From the 2005-2007 Book of Order:

G-14.0705 c. The presbytery shall grant the privilege of the floor to the Certified Christian Educator at all its meetings with voice. (G-11.0407)

This is the kind of thing that drives polity people crazy. In 2005-2007, presbyteries were mandated to grant the privilege of the floor to Certified Christian Educators with voice only privileges. They could be recognized to speak, but did not have a vote.

In 2007-2009, presbyteries were mandated to grant the privilege of the floor to Certified Christian Educators with voice only -- except in the case of Certified Christian Educators who also were ordained elders, for whom voice and vote were now mandated Ok, that's a change, but that is how it was amended.

In the proposed substitute constitution, Certified Christian Educators may or may not be granted any privilege of the floor. They may or may not be granted with voice and/or vote rights. Nothing is guaranteed.

Did you ever wonder why it is difficult to get a quick or straight answer from a stated clerk? This is like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown.

Other things in passing

Chapter 3 is where the most significant changes are proposed, so I am only going to mention, without much explanation, some other items worth investigating later (if time allows):

Other sections I did not even look to evaluate:

 

G-2.0401 - G-2.0409 discernment process for ministry

G-2.0503 (other than noting that W-4.400 describes elements rather than enumerating an outline for the service; thus making a "shall" rather difficult to follow)

G-2.06 Call process for a pastor; and

G-2.07Dissolution of pastoral relationships;

Tomorrow: Chapter 3