Like many organizations, permanent committees and agencies of the PCA write policy manuals that outline how they will carry out their constitutional and Assembly-directed mandates. Through Overture 24, Philadelphia Metro West Presbytery (PMWP) is asking the General Assembly to make two directives regarding these manuals and policy changes they contain.

First, they ask that these bodies be directed to include in their manuals an explicit statement that the manuals are, at every point, subordinate to the constitution of the PCA. Second, they ask the policy manuals themselves and any changes in policy, be approved by their committees or boards and ratified by the General Assembly before they become operational.

PMWP’s rationale for this proposal draws attention to BCO 14-1.7, which states that the Assembly’s committees “are not to establish policy but execute policy established by the General Assembly.” It cites as precedent an action of the 5th General Assembly, which stated that the policy section of the Missions Manual could be “revised only by General Assembly procedures.”

PMPW cited the committee and agency child protection policies mandated by the 42nd GA and the recently created sexual harassment policy created by MTW as examples of policies that should be GA approved.

As this overture affects all permanent committees and agencies, it has been referred to all of them.