I’m at the 31st General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Memphis, at the largest church in the EPC, Hope EPC in Cordova. We began with workshops led by church consultant and researcher Ed Stetzer, that were very interesting (Stetzer is a terrific guy to listen to), and with worship this morning, and we’ll be going through Saturday.
As usual, I’ll report on any significant news or decisions that come out of the meeting. For an excellent preview of the General Assembly, check out Steve Salyards’ post at GA Junkie. More to come.
UPDATE: The first significant action of the Assembly was the passage of three descending overtures from the 30th GA that were passed by three-fourths of the presbyteries over the last year. Tow of them have to do with the issue of how to deal with women teaching elders. The first caused the most controversy in the presbyteries, and makes a statement from a denominational position paper part on women’s ordination part of the Constitution of the church. Paragraph 2-2 of the Book of Government now says:
The Officers of the Church as set forth in Scripture are: Teaching Elders (designated by many titles in Scripture, including Ministers and Pastors), Ruling Elders, and Deacons. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church believes that the issue of the ordination of women is not an essential of the faith. Since people of good faith who equally love the Lord and hold to the infallibility of Scripture differ on this issue, and since uniformity of view and practice is not essential to the existence of the visible church, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church has chosen to leave this decision to the Spiritguided consciences of particular congregations concerning the ordination of women as Elders and Deacons, and to the presbyteries concerning the ordination of women as Teaching Elders. [The portion in italics has been added.]