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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 9 : The Deacon

Paragraph 6 : Of Diaconal Conference

9-6. The deacons may, with much advantage, hold conference from time to time for the discussion of the interests committed to them. Such conferences may include representatives of churches covering areas of smaller or larger extent. Any actions taken by these conferences shall have only an advisory character.

HISTORICAL SUMMARY:
The current PCA text dates to 1922, with changes made that year to chapter 9 of the PCUS BCO (Cf. PCUS Minutes of General Assembly, 1922, p. 73).

ANTECEDENT TEXTS:
1. PCA 1973, 10-6, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly,
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, Proposed text,
and
3. PCUS 1933, XI, § 49
4. PCUS 1925, XI, § 49
The Deacons may, with much advantage, hold conferences from time to time for the discussion of interests committed to them. Such conferences may include representatives of churches covering areas of smaller or larger extent. Any actions taken by these conferences shall have only an advisory character.

PCUS 1879, IV-4

[no comparable text]

PCUS 1869 draft, IV-4
[no comparable text]

PCUS 1867 draft, IV-4
[no comparable text]

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


Edward Mack, The Office of the Deacon. [Richmond, VA: Presbyterian Committee of Publication, revised, 1929, pp. 37-38.]
Chapter VIII. Conferences of Deacons.
The Deacons may, with much advantage, hold conferences from time to time for the discussion of interests committed to them. Such conferences may include representatives of churches covering areas of smaller or larger extent. Any actions taken by these conferences shall have only an advisory character.—Form of Government, Sect. IV, Parag. 51.
Ministers and Ruling Elders of our churches in both limited and extended areas, render valuable assistance to each other by frequent meetings, in Church Courts, where common difficulties are considered, provision made for overcoming them, and individual experiences made profitable for all. These Courts of the Church meet regularly, and have legislative and administrative authority. Such is not possible, of course, for the Deacons, whose relations are sustained solely to the local church.
But under this paragraph provision is made for conferences for discussion, counsel and inspiration in matters of common concern, although no such conference may have more than advisory character. Such conferences of Deacons have in reality been held time and again in past years. But such meetings have been too seldom. Our Boards of Deacons throughout the Church will do well to heed this recommendation of our Form of Government, and help bear one another's burdens through the sympathy and wider information of such meetings. The issues which occupy the counsels of a laymen's convention are no larger than those whcih call for a Deacon's Conference. And the mutual gain will be as great for the latter as for the former.



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Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of 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]