A Statement of the
Board of the Covenant Network on the
Authoritative Interpretation of G-6.0108
by the 217th General Assembly
The 217th General Assembly has given the church a hopeful vision of life together in a time of disagreement. Drawing on our traditional polity, the Assembly has provided an Authoritative Interpretation and other resources to help the Presbyterian Church (USA) deal constructively with fractious issues. While reaffirming church-wide Constitutional standards for ordination, the Assembly lifted up a basic principle of Presbyterian church order: standards are interpreted and applied by sessions and presbyteries – those who know candidates best.
Despite our disappointment that the Assembly chose not to remove G.-6.0106b from the Book of Order, the Covenant Network embraces the General Assembly’s mandate to live faithfully with all seven of the actions recommended by the report of the Theological Task Force. We are committed to staying in the church and supporting its wider mission. We are thankful that many who find the Assembly’s actions difficult to accept have also declared their intention to remain part of this denomination. The Covenant Network will continue to look for ways that Presbyterians with different, even opposing, perspectives can learn from each other and strengthen each others’ faith. It will take many years to live into the vision of peace, unity, and purity in the church articulated by the General Assembly. More dialogue, understanding, and trust must be established if the church is to fulfill this high calling.
In recent years, the Covenant Network has provided resources to the church to further the discussion of the theology, polity, and Biblical basis of ordination. We will continue to provide resources at this critical time to help sessions and presbyteries faithfully examine and ordain candidates called by God and the voice of the people.
The Presbyterian Church is ministering today amid enormous challenges in its own fellowship and in the world. The Covenant Network is confident that the Holy Spirit will guide the church in a common life of peace and unity as we honor Christ in our shared worship, witness, and mission.