It took only twenty minutes for the 108th General Assembly of the 960,000-member Presbyterian Church in the U. S. (Southern) to say yes to marriage proposals involving the smaller Reformed Church in America (see story following).
Commissioners (delegates), meeting last month at Montreat, North Carolina, voted 406–36 in favor of a plan to create the Reformed Presbyterian Church in America. Ratification by three-fourths of the seventy-nine PCUS presbyteries and by next year’s assembly, with similar acceptance on the RCA side, must precede the constituting session, set tentatively for Memphis in 1970.
Upon final agreement, a new confession of faith and liturgy will be drawn up and a twenty-four-member joint commission will be given four years to set up housekeeping structures. Meanwhile, a syncretistic “Plan of Union” will guide household government and liturgy.
Liberals and conservatives voted harmoniously, the liberals “for the ecumenism of it,” the conservatives in the hope of picking up strength “at top levels.”
Everyone agreed that the most crucial issue, from a PCUS viewpoint, had to do with a denomination on the sidelines: the 3.3-million-member United Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A. Deluged with pleas from PCUS “border” states, commissioners facilitated formation of “union” synods and presbyteries with UPUSA bodies. But many, though they favor such ecumenical moves, fear they will result in worse strain on PCUS support, described as “lagging badly” by outgoing Moderator Marshall C. Dendy.
Dendy’s cousin, conservative, congenial Patrick D. Miller, 68, who is guest professor at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, was elected moderator 240–207 over Dr. Warner L. Hall of Charlotte, North Carolina. Sporting ...1
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