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The Historical Development of the Book of Church Order

Chapter 5 : The Organization of a Particular Church

Paragraph 2 :

5-2. Ordinarily, mission churches are established by Presbyteries within their boundaries.
       a. Initiatives to which the Presbytery may respond in establishing a mission church include, but are not limited to, the following:
              i. The Presbytery establishes a mission church at its own initiative.
              ii. The Presbytery responds to the initiative of a Session of a particular church.
              iii. The Presbytery responds tot he petition of an independent gathering of believers who have expressed their desire to become a congregation by submitting to the Presbytery a written request.
       b. In the event an existing non-PCA church is interested in coming into the PCA, the Presbytery shall work with the church leadership to determine whether the church should come into the PCA as a mission church or seek Presbytery approval to be received under the provisions of BCO 13-8.
       c. Should it become necessary, the Presbytery may dissolve the mission church. Church members enrolled should be cared for according to the procedures in 13-10.
       d. If the mission church is located outside the bounds of a Presbytery, the responsibility may be exercised through the General Assembly's Committee on Mission to North America or Committee on Mission to the World, as the case may be, according to the Rules of Assembly Operations. In such a case the powers of the Presbytery in the following provisions shall be exercised by the General Assembly through its appropriate committee.

[Historical Summary : The current text of BCO 5-2 was adopted at the 43d General Assembly in 2015 [M43GA, p. 106-108.], by a vote of 64 in favor and one against. Immediately prior to that, chapter 5 had a major overhaul in 2011, springing from an overture from Potomac Presbytery in 2010 [M38GA, p. 357f.]. The original chapter 5 with its seven paragraphs had its beginning with Overture 7 from Southwest Presbytery, as brought before the Ninth General Assembly (M9GA, 9-10, B, p. 48). That Overture requested clarification and instruction in the BCO regarding mission churches and the status of their members. In the MNA Report to the Tenth General Assembly (M10GA, Appendix F, p. 250), the text of a proposed chapter 5, paragraphs 1 through 7, was presented in reply to Overture 7. The matter was next sent to the Committee on Judicial Business (M11GA, 11-9, D, p. 56), and then presented under the Report of the Committee of Commissioners on Mission to North America (11-61, III.4, p. 122). The proposed text was adopted by the Eleventh General Assembly and sent down to the Presbyteries for their advise and consent. The Presbyteries affirmed the proposed Chapter 5 by unanimous vote, and the amendment received final approval at the Twelfth General Assembly (M12GA, 12-14, Item 1, pp. 83-85).]

BACKGROUND & COMPARISON:
PCA 2011
Ordinarily, the responsibility for initiation and oversight of a mission church lies with a Presbytery, exercised through its committee on Mission to North America, or by a Session, in cooperation with Presbytery's committee on Mission to North America. However:
       a. if an independent gathering of believers desires to form a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America, they shall submit to the appropriate Presbytery a written request to come under Presbytery oversight. Upon approval of said request, the gathering will be assigned a temporary government BCO 5-3), which government shall take steps to oversee the election of a pastor according to BCO 5-9.f.(1). The Presbytery will follow BCO 13-8 when it applies.
       b. if the mission church is located outside the bounds of a Presbytery, the responsibility may be exercised through the General Assembly's Committee on Mission to North America or Committee on Mission to the World, as the case may be, according to the Rules of Assembly Operations. In such a case the powers of the Presbytery in the following provisions shall be exercised by the General Assembly through its appropriate committee.

PCA 1984

Ordinarily, the responsibility for initiation and oversight of a mission church lies with Presbytery, exercised through its committee on Mission to North America, or by a Session, in cooperation with presbytery's Committee on Mission to North America. However, if the mission church is located outside the bounds of Presbytery, the responsibility may be exercised through the General Assembly's Committee on Mission to North America.

No comparable text in these editions:
PCA 1973, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly
Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, Proposed text
PCUS 1879
PCUS 1869 draft
PCUS 1867 draft

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898)
[no comparable text for discussion
]


Chapter Index [links are to Paragraph 1 in each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]

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