by Jerry Van Marter, PNS
Institutional questions around polity and governance are secondary to questions around identity and mission, two middle governing body executives who are polity experts told the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Middle Governing Body Commission at its second meeting here Feb. 3-5.
“We have a tendency in the church to ask the question ‘How do we organize ourselves?’ first,” said the Rev. Paul Hooker, executive presbyter for St. Augustine Presbytery and a member of the Advisory Committee on the Constitution (ACC). “And it should be last. The first question is ‘What are we called to do? he continued, “which masks an even prior question: “Who are we called to be?”
Quoting former General Assembly Stated Clerk the late James Andrews, the Rev. Daniel Saperstein, executive for Plains and Peaks Presbytery and also an ACC member, said: “Polity is the practical expression of our theology.”
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