PCA HISTORICAL CENTER
Archives and Manuscript Repository for the Continuing Presbyterian Church


The Historical Development of the Book of Church Order

Chapter 25 : Congregational Meetings

Paragraph 2 : Of Calling a Congregational Meeting

25-2. Whenever it may seem for the best interests of the church that a congregational meeting should be held, the Session shall call such meeting and give public notice of at least one week. No business shall be transacted at such meeting except what is stated in the notice. The Session shall always call a congregational meeting when requested in writing to do so:
a. by one-fourth (1/4) of the communing members of a church of not more than one hundred (100) such members.
b. by one-fifth (1/5) of the communing members of a church of more than one hundred (100) and not more than three hundred (300) such members.
c. by one-sixth (1/6) of the communing members of a church of more than three hundred (300) and not more than five hundred (500) such members.
d. by one-seventh (1/7) of the communing members of a church of more than five hundred (500) members but not more than seven hundred (700) such members.
e. by one hundred (100) of the communing members of a church of more than seven hundred (700) such members.
Upon such a proper request, if the Session cannot act, fails to act or refuses to act, to call such a congregational meeting within thirty (30) days from the receipt of such a request, then any member or members in good standing may file a complaint in accordance with the provision of BCO 43.


DIGEST: The wording of the current text dates to 1989, when the 16th General Assembly adopted Item 15 (M16GA (1988), 16-10, pp. 106-107) on the advise and consent of 33 of 42 presbyteries. This amendment came before the 15th General Assembly as one of the recommendations from the Ad Interim Committee on the General Assembly. Prior to this change, PCA 1973 had added a stipulation of "notice of at least one week", improving on PCUS 1933 and 1925.

BACKGROUND & COMPARISON:
PCA 1973, 26-2, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 143
Whenever it may seem for the best interests of the church that a congregational meeting should be held, the Session shall call such meeting and give public notice of at least one week, and no business shall be transacted at such meeting except what is stated in the notice. The Session shall always call a congregational meeting when requested in writing to do so by one-fourth of the communing members of the church.

Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 26-2, Proposed text, p. 35
PCUS 1933, XXVIII, 153
and
PCUS 1925, XXVII, 153
Whenever it may seem for the best interests of the church that a congregational meeting should be held, the Session shall call such meeting and give public notice, and no business shall be transacted at such meeting except what is stated in the notice. The Session shall always call a congregational meeting when requested in writing to do so by one-fourth of the communing members of the church.

No comparable text in the following editions:
1. PCUS 1879
2. PCUS 1869 draft
3. 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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