.

The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 25 : Congregational Meetings

Paragraph 11 :

25-11. While a congregation consists of all the communing members of a particular church, and in matters ecclesiastical the actions of such local congregation or church shall be in conformity with the provisions of this Book of Church Order, nevertheless, in matters pertaining to the subject matters referred to in this BCO 25, including specifically the right to affiliate with or become a member of this body or a Presbytery hereof and the right to withdraw from or to sever any affiliation of connection with this body or any Presbytery hereof, action may be taken by such local congregations or local church in accordance with the civil laws applicable to such local congregation or local church; and as long as such action is taken in compliance with such applicable civil laws, then such shall be the action of the local congregation or local church.
It is expressly recognized that each local congregation or local church shall be competent to function and to take actions covering the matters set forth herein as long as such action is in compliance with the civil laws with which said local congregation or local church must comply, and this right shall never be taken from said local congregation or local church without the express consent of and affirmative action of such local church or congregation.
Particular churches need remain in association with any court of this body only so long as they themselves so desire. The relationship is voluntary, based upon mutual love and confidence, and is in no sense to be maintained by the exercise of any force or coercion whatsoever. A particular church may withdraw from any court of this body at any time for reasons which seem to it sufficient.


[Historical Sumary : .]

Background and Comparison :
PCA 1973, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 144
Definition of a local congregation in such action as relates to this Chapter. While a Congregation consists of all the communing members of a particular church, and in matters ecclesiastical the actions of such local congregation or church shall be in conformity with the provisions of this Book of Church Order, nevertheless, in matters pertaining to the subject matters referred to in this Chapter XXVI, including specifically the right to affiliate with or become a member of this body or a presbytery hereof and the right to withdraw from or to sever any affiliation or connection with this body or any presbytery hereof, action may be taken by such local congregation or local church in accordance with the civil laws applicable to such local congregation or local church; and as long as such action is taken in compliance with such applicable civil laws, then such shall be the action of the local congregation or local church. It is expressly recognized that each local congregation or local church shall be competent to function and to take actions covering the matters set forth herein as long as such action is in compliance with the civil laws with which said local congregation or local church must comply, and this right shall never be taken from said local congregation or local church without the express consent of and affirmative action of such local church or congregation. Particular churches need remain in association with court of this body, only so long as they themselves so desire. The relationship is voluntary, based only upon mutual love and confidence, and is in no sense to be maintained by the exercise of any kind of force or coercion whatsoever. A particular church may withdraw from any court of this body at any time for reasons which seem to it sufficient.

Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 26-11, Proposed text, p. 37
Definition of a local congregation in such action as relates to this chapter : A congregation shall be comprised of all on the roll and eligible to vote. With a proper quorum present a two-thirds majority vote would then become the act of the congregation as a whole.

PCUS 1933,
[no comparable text]

PCUS 1879
[no comparable text]

PCUS 1869 draft
[no comparable text]

PCUS 1867 draft

[no comparable text]

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



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11
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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
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46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
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§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
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62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]