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Part II of Don Clement’s Post on the J&R Concept

In Third General Assembly of the PCA (1975) on May 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm

The Birth of the Joining And Receiving Idea – Part II

In Part I, I shared the events of which I was a party that brought about the determining of the Seventh General Assembly to elect an Ad Hoc Committee to Study the Differences and Similarities between the PCA, RPCES, and OPC.

As so often happens during General Assemblies, the Nominating Committee had to reconvene to bring nominations to the floor for men to serve on this Ad-Interim Committee.  They returned to the floor on Friday after lunch and, as the last piece of business before the Committee on Thanks report and adjournment, presented their slate of nominees to serve – all of whom were elected without objection (Minutes of 7GA, page 141, Section 7-98).  Men elected to serve on this Ad-Interim Committee were:  TE Carl Bogue, Ascension Presbytery; RE Rob Cannada, Sr., Mississippi Valley Presbytery; RE Ed Robeson, Calvary Presbytery; TE Paul Settle, Calvary Presbytery; TE William J. Stanway, Grace Presbytery; and RE Jack Williamson, Evangel Presbytery.  After the meeting of the General Assembly the Moderator appointed TE Settle to act as Convener and he was subsequently elected as Chairman at the first meeting.

This Ad-Interim Committee met on September 14, 1979 and had invited representatives of the Fraternal Relations Committees of the RPCES, RPCNA, AND OPC to meet with them.  After a series of joint discussions, the PCA Ad-Interim committee met and unanimously included the following notation as part of their report:

The question was raised in the joint meeting of the various denominational representatives as to whether or not the PCA would be receptive to the idea of inviting the RPCES, for example, to come into the PCA under terms of the PCA Book of Church Order without the necessity of prolonged negotiations to develop a plan for denominational merger (See BCO 15-6).  There was discussion of the organizational structure of the PCA and the provision for receiving congregations from another denomination on a congregation by congregation basis.  So far as any proposal for action was concerned, the PCA Ad-Interim Committee recognized that its function was strictly a fact finding function and it could go no further than that.  Such a proposal might be initiated by presbytery overtures or through recommendation of the Sub-committee on Interchurch Relations of the Committee on Administration.  (Minutes 8GA, p239, Committee report).

This report came to the floor of the 8th General Assembly in Savannah on Tuesday evening (June 17, 1980) as specified by the Committee of Commissioners on Inter Church Relations.  In what can only be called a providence of God (by which I hereby declare absolute innocence from any pre-GA finagling (other than seeking to be elected by Central Georgia Presbytery to serve on the Committee) I had been elected Chairman of this Committee of Commissioners and had the privilege of presenting the report.  I can guarantee that I did no finagling because I had returned from a 9 month deployment with the Navy in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean just two weeks before the General Assembly convened!! Read the rest of this entry »

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The Birth of the ‘Joining And Receiving’ Idea (Part I)

In National Presbyterian Church, Third General Assembly of the PCA (1975) on May 15, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Don Clements shares the following, to get us started.  This is Part I of his account:

The Birth of the ‘Joining And Receiving’ Idea

The Seventh General Assembly, held in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 18-22, 1979 had several events that are memorable from my perspective.  One involved the Report of the Interchurch Relations Committee and a motion that eventually led to the idea that resulted in the Joining and Receiving of the RPCES into the PCA.

At the Sixth General Assembly the previous year, the IRC was instructed “discuss the factors involved with and the possibility of working toward a merger of the PCA with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, with the understanding that the discussions do not imply commitment to ultimate merger.”  (Minutes of the 6GA, p 120, Section 6-120).

The IRC, chaired by TE Tom Llewelyn, met twice during the year, the second one being in St. Louis in February where they met with their OPC and RPCES counterparts.  The result of the joint meeting was the following motion:

“It is the opinion of the Joint Committees of the Fraternal Relations Committees of the OPC, the PCA, and the RPCES that as Presbyterian Churches, committed to a common faith as set forth in the Westminster Standards, and to the Presbyterian form of government, and to a common testimony to the purity of the Church, we have a basis for merger of the three Churches.  We, therefore, recommend to the respective Committees that they each recommend to their Churches the continuation of consultations with a plan of merger in view.”  (Minutes of the 7GA, p178, ICR Report)

In presenting their report to the 6th General Assembly, the IRC revealed that their committee was not unified on this issue, saying:

Your Sub-Committee is not uniform in the extent of its commitment toward such a plan.  We are united, however, in desiring to know the mind of the PCA Assembly on this matter.  We believe that we should proceed on this course only if there is a real mandate expressed by the Assembly to do so.  For this reason, we are recommending the continuation in the consultation, but also are requesting that a three-fourths vote of those present and voting be required for passage.  Minutes of the 7GA, p 178, ICR Report) Read the rest of this entry »