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Constitutional Interpretation

Constitutional Interpretation

Constitutional Interpretation is a department of the Office of the General Assembly concentrating on the form of government and church polity,  judicial process, and immigration law and policy.

Through Advisory Opinions (AO), the Stated Clerk offers a well-researched opinion on a provision or interpretation of the Constitution that is not clearly defined in the church’s life. A Constitutional Musing (CM) is intended as a helpful reflection by OGA on a particular issue currently being considered by many councils. Neither AOs or CMs are binding and do not constitute an Authoritative Interpretation (AI), which is an interpretation of the Constitution that carries the authority of the General Assembly and is binding on the councils of the church.

The Office of Immigration Issues is a resource for Presbyterians, congregations and councils seeking to discern a faithful response to national and local immigration issues.

Additional Resources:

Church Conflict and Negotiation
General Assembly Permanent Judicial Decisions
Safe Churches and Sexual Misconduct

Associated Committees/Commissions

Advisory Committee on the Constitution
Advisory Committee on Litigation
General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission
Special Committee on Existing Authoritative Interpretations

News & Statements

  • A call for unity

    December 17, 2012

    At Advent, we expectantly turn the page of a new liturgical calendar as we anticipate Christ’s coming, prepare for the story of the incarnation, and await Christ’s glorious return. Advent is a time of new beginnings and hopeful expectations. A time when the “now” and the “not yet” are held in an especially delicate tension. The cycle of days—both ordinary and extraordinary—begins anew.

    In this season of new beginnings, our thoughts turn to congregations and individuals who are starting the new liturgical year—this year—outside the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Nowhere is our sense of the now and the not yet of Christian unity more apparent. New beginnings so often come with a sense of loss for what has been.

  • Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) leaders express both encouragement and concern over Supreme Court’s decision on Arizona SB 1070

    • June 25, 2012
    • Melissa Gee
  • Leaving room for the Spirit

    • February 26, 2012
    • Sharon Youngs

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About us

Constitutional Interpretation provides advice about the Book of Order and the Book of Confessions and staffs permanent and temporary entities of the General Assembly. Through the Office of Immigration, Constitutional Interpretation provides the church with legal, policy and advocacy resources on immigration issues.