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2011-2013 Advisory Handbook for Ministry Committees/Commissions

The New Form of Government Adopted in 2011 is intentionally different in tone and purpose from recent earlier versions. Rather than a regulatory manual that provides guidance for all that we do as a church, it is a description of our common life. It begins with a new section of the Book of Order “Foundational Principles” that lay out the important theological and ecclesial principles for the church’s life. In the Form of Government which follows many of the details have been removed, leaving a broad framework within which councils of the church discern what is the best course of action based on their mission context and understanding of God’s will.

It is in accord with that approach that this “Advisory Handbook” is offered. It is designed for use by those who are called to presbytery work formerly called “The Committee on Ministry”. While many presbyteries will keep that name or become a “Commission on Ministry”, others will organize it differently with different names.

This handbook includes sections that are introductory to presbytery responsibilities (G-3.0307), offer guidance on particular functions of the work, and provide information and resources on a variety of topics. Each segment includes relevant Book of Order references, introductory information, questions for consideration of the designated presbytery body, and related resources.