The Committee on the Middle East approved sending the Middle East Study Committee report with major deletions and revisions. Deleted was Section III (except the Appendices), which was the most objectionable part to Jewish leaders. A 7 person monitoring group will solicit 4 narratives from an Israeli and 4 from a Palestinian perspective in place of Section III. The "Kairos" document was commended for study with the understanding that we are not endorsing anything in it except its emphases on hope for liberation, nonviolence, love of enemy and reconciliation. After significant re-working of the response to the report and the report itself, the committee voted unanimously to send their work to the GA plenary.
The Committee on Civil Union and Marriage is forwarding to the GA Plenary the endorsement of 12-04 and similar overtures changing the language in the Book of Order and Directory for Worship in reference to marriage as between two people instead of between a man and a woman. The committee added language that clarifies that ministers and Commissioned Lay pastors have the right to refuse to perform any marriage, even those sanctioned by the civil court and that sessions may prohibit any marriage on its property. The vote was about 2/3 in favor. Mike Cole