Study material from the 143rd General Assembly

    The last three General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church in Canada received some 29 overtures regarding sexuality. This year's assembly received a joint report from the Church Doctrine Committee and the Justice Ministries component of the Life and Mission Agency regarding these overtures, containing 16 recommendations, two presented jointly, seven from Church Doctrine and seven from the Life and Mission Agency. Details on the recommendations and the General Assembly's decisions may be found in Gord Walford's report to session in June 2017.

    Four documents have been referred to sessions and congregations for report back to certain committees by January 31, 2018. At its June meeting session decided to make the four documents available so that elders and others might read them over the summer. It is anticipated that session will prepare a plan to study and report for it's September meeting. In the meantime, the four documents are available below:

    To assist in studying the first two papers in particular, Pastor Hurd suggests reading a paper on biblical interpretation by Gene Haas, Professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer University College, Ancaster ON: "Principals of Reformed Hermeneutics", also available by following the link below. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Hermeneutics as "the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible)".

    The papers

        papers 1-3 (document includes "bookmarks" for easy navigation to each paper):
      • The Historic Argument Concerning Human Sexuality
      • What the Bible teaches on Covenanted Monogamous Same-sex Relationships
      • Where from Here?

        paper no. 4: The biblical reflection presented in the LMA report concerning the responses to the various overtures on Human Sexuality

        recommended reading: Principals of Reformed Hermeneutics

    A fifth paper related to sexuality, from L.M.A. - Justice Ministries, was presented at General Assembly, which congregations, ministers, chaplains, elders and youth leaders were encouraged to study - there is no requirement to report back to any committee.

        paper no. 5: The Church and People who are Transgender or Intersex

    GA2017 Summary... An excellent summary of the 143rd General Assembly can also be found on the website of the Renewal Fellowship Within the Presbyterian Church in Canada.. It was written by Rev. Andy Cornell, the new director of the Renewal Fellowship. You can learn more about Andy here.


(picture @ top: photo taken during the 143rd General Assembly, June 2017)




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