225th General Assembly

Overture: Regarding Clarifying the Intent of G-2.1001 on Use of Commissioned Pastors


The Presbytery of Palo Duro overtures the 225th General Assembly (2022) to direct the Stated Clerk to send the following proposed amendment to the presbyteries for their affirmative or negative votes:
To clarify the intent of G-2.1001 on the use of commissioned pastors by amending G-2.1001, Book of Order to read:

G-2.1001 Functions

When the presbytery, in consultation with a session or different sessions or other responsible committee, determines that its strategy for mission requires it, the presbytery may authorize a ruling elder to be commissioned to limited pastoral service as a “CP or Commissioned Pastor” as assigned to the presbytery. A ruling elder so designated may be commissioned to serve in a one or more validated ministries a validated ministry of the presbytery. Presbytery, in its commission, may authorize the ruling elder to moderate the session of the congregation or congregations to which he or she is commissioned, to administer the Sacraments, and to officiate at marriages where permitted by state law. In geographically large presbyteries with hard-to-reach churches, a Commissioned Pastor may be assigned on behalf of the presbytery to any validated ministry as presbytery needs arise.
This commission shall also specify the term of service, which shall not exceed three years but shall be renewable. The presbytery shall review the commission at least annually. A Commissioned ruling elder may be authorized to one long-term agreement or serve the entire presbytery in multiple assignments or a one-time event.


In Small Churches, Small Towns
and Rural Churches

Please Read and Support OV 059

– Fills empty pulpits based on mission,
location, and cost
-More nimble approach to weekly emergent needs
-No change in role status with
accountability to presbytery built-in

Grand Canyon Presbytery
Mission Presbytery
Synod of the Sun
Utica Presbytery

This overture originated in Palo Duro Presbytery, a presbytery in the PC(USA) covering seventy-two counties in Northwest Texas and comprising forty congregations. The use of Commissioned Pastors (“CP”) in ministry has become more common and more needed, especially in geographically large presbyteries like Palo Duro. Five churches in our presbytery now have a CRE/CP instead of a minister leading worship, serving communion, and performing other duties as commissioned by the presbytery. Other churches serve small communities which are greatly distanced from more populated areas. Due to that isolation, untenable financial limitations, or both, calling a full-time Minister of Word and Sacrament is often not a possibility. Of our churches with an installed minister, the majority are solo positions. For those congregations, it is difficult to find a substitute if their regular minister is not available. It would be beneficial in all these situations if a presbytery could have CREs (CPs) that were commissioned to more than one church, or even to a group of churches or to the presbytery.

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