In discussing a number of substantial proposals that could affect the dynamic of future Assemblies, members will be asked today to consider a resolution that it is hoped will widen accessibility to future meetings from next year, by including a number of additional evenings for business throughout the week.
Members will also consider a proposal that will enable each of the denomination’s 539 congregations to send an additional member, or elder, who will be aged 30 or under. This new member of Assembly will be able sit and deliberate in a move to enable younger voices to be heard at the General Assembly.
On the last day of the 2017 annual gathering of the Church’s decision-making body, two Memorials will come before the House. Memorials are petitions to the Assembly, usually from some person, or body, who is not a member of the General Assembly. It is a long time since significant issues have come before the Assembly in this way.
One of the memorials concerns breaking the link between being a communicant member of the Church, recorded giving and voting within congregations. The second Memorial concerns the annual election of the Moderator and asks that more information be given on nominees to assist members of Presbytery when making their decision.
The amalgamation of two congregations: Berry Street and Lowe Memorial Presbyterian Church in Belfast, and the congregation of Cloughey with Greyabbey Presbyterian on the Ards Peninsular will come before the Assembly and a revised expenses scheme for ministers will be discussed.
The Assembly’s final decision will be to agree to meet in Belfast on Monday, 4th June 2018.
Details of all resolutions and reports to this year’s General Assembly can be found at www.presbyterianireland.org/GA2017.