Ministry Coordination Committee of the PC(USA) General Assembly to consider LGBTQIA+ issues

Committee also will ponder the format of the 226th GA gathering

(PNS) — The Ministry Coordination Committee will consider a host of issues, including whether to create an LGBTQIA+ Equity Advocacy Committee and whether the 226th General Assembly (2024) should be held in person or in another format.

The committee will be considering a recommendation from an LGBTQIA+ Advocacy Task Force to establish a permanent, seven-member GA committee to address injustices experienced by members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“Even with the official denominational removal of constitutional barriers to LGBTQIA+ persons serving the ministries of the PC(USA), members still face discrimination within the church and in society, be it obvious or covert, in a similar manner to the experiences (of) women and people of color, for whom the church has seen fit to provide structural accountability and prophetic witness,” the rationale states. “An Advocacy Committee for LGBTQIA+ Equity will serve as an internal accountability partner with access to decision-making tables, as well as a prophetic witness to and for the denomination regarding LGBTQIA+ Equity.”

The ministry coordination committee also will consider a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy to update the 2004 Presbyterian study “Transforming Families,” and to direct the Presbyterian Mission Agency to conduct a survey of the denomination’s family demographics and needs.

“The proposed study would build upon the excellent foundation of ‘Transforming Families’ while providing a theological framework for the church to welcome and support LGBTQIA+ families, families without children, and those who are not married,” according to the rationale. “Also, this study ought to include updated analyses of marriage and divorce rates, media portrayals of marriage and committed relationships, and other aspects of cultural context.”

In other business, the ministry coordination committee will consider what type of format should be used for the 226th General Assembly, which follows this year’s first-ever hybrid Assembly.

The Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA) has approved a document listing four possible formats: completely in person in Salt Lake City; committees in person in Salt Lake City and plenaries online (similar to this year’s format); committees online and plenaries in person in Salt Lake City; and completely online.

“Since COGA does not wish to prioritize one of the options — and acknowledges that there may be even more choices — COGA is asking the Assembly committee to consider all the factors and propose a path for the discernment of the Assembly,” the rationale states. “It is not uncommon for Assembly committees to consider a variety of options on one topic and answer those recommendations with another resolution of its own.”

For more information about the upcoming GA, go here.

by Darla Carter, General Assembly News – June 7, 2022