Cincinnati Presbytery members implement more rigorous examinations of candidates

At the September 12, 2006 meeting of the Cincinnati Presbytery, three candidates were examined for ordination, David Zuidema, Nate Manzo and Thomas Emery. Moderator Rebecca Lindsay prefaced the examination by explaining how the examination process has changed since the adoption of the report of the Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity and Purity of the Church. She referred to the General Assembly Stated Clerk Cliff Kirkpatrick’s counsel during and after GA: With the PUP vote…”we have not altered the fundamentals; we have the same standards as before. The [PUP] report encourages a more pastoral approach to ordination and encourages our governing bodies to do a thorough work of examining people for office.’ During Zuidema’s examination, a commissioner declared the intention to ask the same related questions of all three candidates:

(1)   The Stated Clerk and the General Assembly agree that our current constitutional standards categorically preclude the ordination and/or installation of any person who, without repentance, engages in intimate sexual activity outside the bounds of a marriage of a man and a woman. In light of that understanding of the requirements for ordination are you personally in compliance with the Constitutional boundaries for ordination?

(2)   If ordained, would you advise your session or another ordaining governing body to be in compliance with those standards as long as they are the expressed requirements of the Constitution of the PC(USA)? 

(3)   If part of an examining body, would you vote to ordain/install a candidates NOT in compliance with the Constitution?

The second question was challenged by a commissioner. Moderator Lindsay and the Presbytery’s Stated Clerk, Janis Adams, had been advised of the questions in advance. Based on their research, the Moderator ruled that all the questions were in order.

The most common feedback from other commissioners was that the questions address the key concerns and were expressed in simple lay language.



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