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Presbyterians/Issues decided by All church vote


I am an Elder in a church which is part of PCUSA
Our Session is very divided on some issues about hiring and church services etc

Does the Book of Order allow for a group of Elders to ask for an all church meeting to overrule the Session on issues of hiring or time of services? if so, what is the procedure and the rule.

I would be nappy to pay for your time and effort. Just email me and maybe we can talk


Here are the relevant sections of the new BoO.
G-1.0502 Calling a Congregational Meeting
Meetings of the congregation shall be called by the session, by the presbytery, or by
the session when requested in writing by one fourth of the active members on the roll of
the congregation
. Adequate public notice of all congregational meetings shall be given.
Congregations shall provide by their own rule for minimum notification requirements and
give notice at regular services of worship prior to the meeting.
G-1.0503 Business Proper to Congregational Meetings
Business to be transacted at meetings of the congregation shall be limited to matters
related to the following:
a. electing ruling elders, deacons, and trustees;
b. calling a pastor, co-pastor, or associate pastor;
c. changing existing pastoral relationships, by such means as reviewing the
adequacy of and approving changes to the terms of call of the pastor or pastors, or requesting,
consenting to, or declining to consent to dissolution;

d. buying, mortgaging, or selling real property;
e. requesting the presbytery to grant an exemption as permitted in this Constitution
f. approving a plan for the creation of a joint congregational witness, or
amending or dissolving the joint congregational witness (G-5.05).
Whenever permitted by civil law, both ecclesiastical and corporate business may be
conducted at the same congregational meeting.

You're heading into tricky territory. If the session is deeply split and it's not a matter of primary theology, then it is wiser to seek reconciliation. I'm sure the pastor is aware of the matter. If they can't handle it, it's time to ask for another pastor or a delegation from presbytery to come in and help facilitate the conversation. Taking things to the congregation should really be a last-resort method. After all, this is presbyterianism...not congregationalism.


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Chris Larimer


Reformed / Systematic Theology, Biblical Theology, New Testament, Church History, Philosophical Theology, Apologetics, Preaching/Homiletics, Sacraments, and Liturgy are all specialties in which I have some expertise. I've been told I have a "knack" for Practical/Pastoral Theology as well.


I have been a Presbyterian church worker since 1996 and am about to be ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament. I served a year long internship in our denomination's Office of Theology and Worship.

Presbyterian Church (USA)

Call to Worship. ReNEWS. The Presbyterian Outlook (online edition).

Undergraduate study at King College and East Tennessee State University leading to BA in English, with minors in Sociology and in Humanities (emphasis Classical Studies). Master of Divinity, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Additional study, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Awards and Honors
Patterson Scholar in Greek and Latin, LPTS (2003-2006). J. K. Patterson Graduate Fellow in Church History, LPTS. PC(USA) Ordination Exams: Bible Content 98%; Greek Exegesis 5/5; Reformed Theology 5/5.

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