Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP)


The Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) serves the prophetic calling of the whole Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by providing the General Assembly with careful studies of pressing moral challenges, media for discussion and discernment of Christian responsibilities, and policy recommendations for faithful action.

Prepared for the 224th General Assembly (2020) to be held in Baltimore, and now referred to the Columbus, Ohio, Assembly in 2022, this report contains firsthand descriptions about what it is to minister in a majority African-American city with stark social and economic, as well as racial divisions. These divisions are seen in the geography of gun violence, to which the testimony, “Lazarus in Walking in Baltimore,” particularly responds. The title, “Epistles,” connects this report with prior “Gospels from” Detroit and St. Louis, in an on-going conversation about urban ministry. In addition to the epistles from pastors Andrew Foster Connors, Robert Hoch, and Michael Moore, there are recommendations and reflections from Kevin Johnson and Phil Tom, both active in the Urban Ministry Network.  To download the PDF of the Epistles from Baltimore, click here.

This urban ministry report builds on the Gospel from Detroit (2014), City Churches: Conviction, Conversion, Call to Action (2016), and Epistles from Baltimore (2020 for 2022) in an on-going conversation about why and how the PCUSA should face the racial and economic divisions that mark our cities. The pastors and seminary dean writing most of the Gospel from St. Louis all address the impact of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson and subsequent protests. The recommendations condense calls for police accountability and criminal justice reform, as well as ways to counter the re-segregation of many communities. To download the PDF of A Gospel from St. Louis, click here.



Resolution on Violence, Religion, and Terrorism (2004)

This report focuses on the role that religion plays in relationship to violence, most specifically the form of violence used to attack important centers and symbols of American power on September 11, 2001. It also examines actions that have been, or can be, mounted to counter such violence and the role religion plays in supporting… Read more »

Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call (2010)

This report, approved by the 219th General Assembly (2010),challenges our society’s fatalism and numbness in accepting the highest gun death rates in the world, reviews past church positions and proposes a new “spiritual awakening” approach: a church-related, community-based strategy inspired by “Heeding God’s Call” in Philadelphia, with similar groups in Richmond, Virginia and central New… Read more »

Reformed Faith and Politics (1983)

A central question of political ethics is: ‘Why ought one to obey the state?’ A Christian political ethic puts a different question: ‘How can we love God in serving our neighbors through politics?’ The purpose of humanity is to love God and to help our neighbor know the love of God. Therefore, Christian political ethics… Read more »
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