General Assembly News for Tuesday, June 13
By Megan Fowler

On Tuesday morning, the Overtures Committee approved the following grounds for recommending that the overtures below be answered in the negative or referred back to the originating presbytery.

Overture 4, Add BCO 24-11 to Specify that Males Only May be Ordained as Elders or Deacons:

The BCO is already clear on this matter and we see no basis for singling out this particular issue as opposed to others as an essential.

Overture 5, Amend BCO 8 to Add Depth and Clarity to Definition of Elder:

Great care should be taken when defining the characteristics of an elder, and the proposed language, while well-meant, does not sufficiently provide clarity to warrant a change. Further, the change in BCO 8-3, as written, appears to narrow the area in which elders are to set a worthy example.

Overture 11, Change BCO 15-3 to Allow Judicial Commission Minority Reports:

Options already exist for appeal, complaint, or retrying a case. Further, if the case is at the court of original jurisdiction, the proposed change would have Presbyters deciding between two outcomes without having read the full record of the case.

Overture 15, Amend BCO 43-1 on Complaints During Judicial Process:

This issue is better dealt with in the context of a broader rewriting of BCO 43, with recommendations coming from Presbyteries.

Overture 17, Assembly Statement Encouraging Theological Discussion on Opting Out of Social Security:

Information about this issue can be disseminated through denominational publications, including byFaith. The General Assembly ought not to determine which theological questions a presbytery should ask during an examination.

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