At 2:45 pm this afternoon, Church Orders and Ministry approved an overture submitted by the Presbytery of Western Reserve to strike the current text of the Book of Order, Chapter 6 (6.0106b), and insert new text. The approved overture follows; it will be recommended for approval by the whole of General Assembly. The vote of the committee was: (36)Yes; (16)No; (1) Abstention.
Shall G-6.0106b be amended by striking the current text and inserting new text in its place: [Text to be deleted is shown with a strike-through; text to be added or inserted is shown as italic.]
Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W-4.9001), or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, elders, or ministers of the Word and Sacrament. Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life (G-1.0000). The governing body responsible for ordination and/or installation (G.14.0240; G-14.0450) shall examine each candidate’s calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W-4.4003). Governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.”