SELECTED PORTIONS OF ACTIONS OF THE 39th GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PCA
The Thirty-ninth General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America met in Virginia Beach, Virginia, June 7-10, 2011, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, hosted by James River Presbytery. A total of 1,183 commissioners attended (901Teaching Elders and 282 Ruling Elders).
Insider Movement and Bible Translation
The PCA’s Mission to the World (MTW) has taken the position that people who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ should not continue to practice non-Christian religions but should become part of the Church, and that Bible translations that remove from the text references to God as “Father” (pater) or Jesus as “Son” (huios), so as to alter the doctrines of the Trinity, the doctrines of the person and work of Christ, or the doctrine of Scripture, are unfaithful to God’s revealed Word.
A PCA Response to Same–sex Marriage
The Assembly responded by adopting a statement that the PCA Constitution, through its doctrinal standards, the Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 24, the Westminster Larger Catechism 137-139, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism 70-72 speaks clearly to the PCA’s understanding of the nature of marriage [“Marriage is to be between one man and one woman”]. Further, the second ordination vow (BCO 21-5, 2) makes clear that all Teaching Elders (ministers) in the PCA are bound by WCF 24, WLC 137-139, and WSC 70-72 even when in the service of the civil magistrate. (PCA ministers are not permitted to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies under any circumstances).
PCA Statistical Changes as of December 31, 2010
Total membership and the number of churches increased; other items decreased. Churches and missions: 1,757, an increase of 17. Total membership: 346,814, an increase of 414. Total professions of faith: 10,803, a decrease of 279 from the previous year’s level. Total Family Units: 137,263, an increase of 2,033. Sunday School Attendance: 103,911 which is 1,566 fewer than in 2009. Per capita Giving: $2,486, an increase of $94. Per Capita Benevolences: $451, an increase of $14. Total Reported Contributions: $678,150,048, an increase of $24,259,293. There has been only one year in which there was a reported decrease in PCA membership (2008, when one of our largest churches had a major roll revision). Since its beginning in 1973 the PCA had several years of being one of the fastest growing denominations in North America. The 2010 PCA reported growth rate was positive, (.2%), but that is not as high as in previous years. Seventeen mission churches were organized as new particular churches in 2010. The 39th General Assembly approved forming two new Presbyteries; one is a Korean-language Presbytery.
Suggested Prayer, Offerings, and Events
October 16, 2011, Covenant College Sunday. Prayer for CC.
November 2011, a Month of Prayer for Global Missions (MTW).
November 13, 2011, a Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Worldwide (MTW).
Annual Thanksgiving Offering for MNA Mercy Ministries and Ethnic Training.
December 2011, Offering for Ministerial Relief (PCA-RBI).
The 2012 Women in the Church Love Gift Offering is for Mission to the World.
A special offering for MTW Compassion Ministry to be taken in 2011, date set by Sessions.
Prayer for Ridge Haven Conference Center staff, ministries, and needs.
May 5-June 17, 50 Days of Prayer for the General Assembly, coordinated by MNA & CEP.
The 40th General Assembly will convene June 19, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky