Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wednesday Evening Actions

Item 3-17 of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly dealing with the records currently housed at the Presbyterian Historical Society at Montreat. The Plenary ultimately voted 356-147-6. The result of the vote is that the records will be moved to Columbia Theological Seminary. This was an emotional issue, and one that was not decided lightly.

Item 10-01 from the Committee on Health Issues dealing with late-term abortions. An early amendment to strengthen the pastoral issues passed 402-74-5.

A second amendment was proposed to change "supercede" to "added to" when describing earlier statements by previous General Assemblies. This amendment failed.

A third amendment to add the words "based on the choice of the mother" to the first sentence decribing the alternatives, including abortion. This amendment also failed.

A vote was called for the main motion as amended. The advisory delegates voted in favor and the commissioners voted 381-117-6 in favor of Item 10-1.

10:20pm CDT: Item 10-3 from the Committee on Health Issues was moved by the committee and passed 406-71-6. This asked that the plenary act "To commend the Presbytery of Mississippi for its use of group discernment concerning abortion, and recommend that all presbyteries create task forces to replicate their process of prayer and study, that hearts and minds may be open to God’s wisdom through Scripture, other resources, and one another, and to direct the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly to communicate this action to the presbyteries."

Item 10-4 passed on a show of hands. In its original form, the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) asked that the General Assembly reaffirm the previous policies on problem pregnancies, and to approve the "Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the Problem Pregnancies and Abortion Policies." The actual action was answered in part by the action on Item 10-1 (which did not reaffirm previous policies and, in fact, superceded them), and the report was received, not approved. This was somewhat complex, so follow the link at the beginning of this paragraph for the "canonical" version of what was done.

That's it for the evening, and I am going to head for bed. Tommorow is going to be a short day for our hard-working commissioners. They deserve a break, and I sure hope no one pulls any last minute parliamentary shenanigans....

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