Overture 7, from Northern New England Presbytery, would significantly modify the responsibilities of the Cooperative Ministries Committee (CMC). It would remove the section of the Rules of Assembly Operation that charges the CMC to, “facilitate integrated long-range planning that supports progress toward the overall mission and ministry of the PCA.”
In its rationale for the overture, Northern New England asserts that most of the CMC’s reports to the General Assembly have focused on long-range planning rather than its other primary responsibility, inter-agency cooperation. This emphasis, they argue, gives the CMC a platform to influence church policy, a role more reflective of hierarchical church government than Presbyterianism. Teaching Elder Per Almquist, clerk of Northern New England, identifies this as being the Presbytery’s primary concern in advocating the proposed change. “The overture addresses the old debate about whether the direction of a Presbyterian denomination should be top-down or come up from presbyteries through overtures.”
The Committee on Constitutional Business has advised the Overtures Committee that proposal made by Overture 7 is not in conflict with the Constitution or other parts of the Rules of Assembly Operation.