Chesapeake Presbytery has submitted Overture 3 to the General Assembly; the overture would allow presbytery judicial commissions to issue minority reports.

The overture creates the option for commission members to file concurring or dissenting reports with a commission judgment. If one third of the commissioners submit a dissenting report within the specified timeframe, it will be considered a minority report and submitted to the presbytery. The presbytery will then vote on a minority report “without question, discussion, debate, or amendment.”

A similar overture came before the 2015 General Assembly but was answered in the negative.

Ruling elder Ed Wright and teaching elder Arch Van Devender co-authored Overture 3 to allow presbyteries the opportunity to hear both the judicial commission’s report and a minority report before voting on the floor.

Wright said the overture’s purpose was to make available to presbytery judicial commissions the same procedures available to the Standing Judicial Commission (SJC). In writing the overture, Wright said he tried to mimic the exact procedure outlined in the BCO for the SJC minority reports.

“This overture provides for a smoother procedure,” he said.