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Committee on Representation

Committee on Representation

2015 synod cor training event

There's Power in the PatchworkThe General Assembly Committee on Representation hosts the Synod COR Training Event, from 5:30pm Friday, October 9, to noon on Sunday, October 11at the Portland Hilton in Downtown Portland Oregon.   Learn more.

disability and the old testament

Online Bible Study: Disability and the Old Testament, presented by Professor Jeremy Schipper of Temple University. Click here to view.

what did you say? representation and language at the 221st general assembly (2014)

221st GA sealPresbyterians love to abbreviate and use acronyms as we navigate life in councils and in relationship.  This tendency can obfuscate communication.  Below I humbly offer a simple list of common acronyms used during General Assembly meetings which may be helpful.  If you have more to add or acronyms that you’d like to have defined – simply comment and I’ll add more. Continue reading 

first look: representation at the 221st general assembly (2014)

221st GA sealIn just a few weeks, Commissioners and Advisory Delegates from all across the US and Puerto Rico will gather in Detroit for the 221st General Assembly (2014).  Presbyteries determine who most of the folks are who will discern the will of the Living God for the PCUSA making decisions large and small. Continue reading 

The General Assembly Committee on Representation (GACOR) advises, consults with, and guides the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its constituent parts on matters of inclusion, participation and representation at all levels of church leadership and decision making. Its mission supports the mandate of the Book of Order (G-3.0103):

The councils of the church shall give full expression to the rich diversity of the church’s membership and shall provide for full participation and access to representation in decision-making and employment practices (F-1.0403). In fulfilling this commitment, councils shall give due consideration to both the gifts and requirements for ministry (G-2.0104) and the right of people in congregations and councils to elect their officers (F-3.0106).  

The section “Participation and Representation” (G-3.0103) further notes that

Each council shall develop procedures and mechanisms for promoting and reviewing that body’s implementation of the church’s commitment to inclusiveness and representation. Councils above the session shall establish by their own rule committees on representation to fulfill the following functions: to advise the council regarding the implementation of principles of unity and diversity, to advocate for diversity in leadership, and to consult with the council on the employment of personnel, in accordance with the principles of unity and diversity in F-1.0403.A committee on representation should not be merged with another committee or made a subcommittee of another committee.

Just as councils provide for the “mutual interconnection of the church” and, with regard to their jurisdiction, “the acts of each [are] subject for review of the next higher council” (G-3.0101), the GACOR reviews and provides counsel and resources to mid council (synod and presbytery) committees on representation (CORs) in implementing these mandated functions (found in G-3.0103).  Ordinarily, the GACOR relates directly to the next smaller councils and their CORs.  “Participation and Representation” (G-3.0103) is addressed in each of these sections of the Book of Order: the presbytery (G-3.0301); the synod (G-3.0401 and G-3.0403c); and the General Assembly (G-3.0501). 

The principle of “Unity in Diversity” from the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity (F-1.0403) is referenced 12 times, including with regard to the nominating process (G-3.0111).  These underscore the fundamental nature of these commitments in the life and witness of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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The General Assembly Committee on Representation (GACOR) is a permanent committee of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  Sixteen persons serve, elected by the assembly and drawn from ruling and teaching elders from across the country.  The Book of Order (G-3.0103; F-1.0403) describes its purposes and principles. The committee advises the General Assembly and its subordinate bodies, on representation, issues of concern including policies and procedures that affect participation and matters related to the employment of personnel.  In addition, it advocates for diversity in leadership at the assembly level.