In response to last year’s study committee on Women Serving in the Ministry, Grace Presbytery has submitted an overture to the General Assembly requesting that clarity be given to the language in the Book of Church Order that addresses the diaconate. Particularly, the overture asks that BCO 9-7 and 24-11 be amended so that it is clear that women and men serving as assistants to the diaconate are not, in fact, actually deacons.

More specifically, the overture asks that language be added to these portions to clarify three things: 1) that assistants to deacons are not to take ordination vows; 2) that they should not be referred to as “members of the diaconate” or “board of deacons”; 3) and that they should not have the right to vote on matters coming before the “diaconate” or “board of deacons.”

“This overture … presents what we believe to be the historic, conservative, Reformed perspective on the role of women in ministry [with respect] to the role of deacon,” said Brian Davis, teaching elder at Bay Street Presbyterian (Hattiesburg, Mississippi), the church from which the overture originated.

To read the overture, click here: