Much has happened in the last month since our last email update. Let’s cut straight to the chase:
- Texas Presbytery’s overture has successfully been submitted to Synod by receiving concurrence from the Upper Midwest on 8/26/17.
- East Central Presbytery’s overture has successfully been submitted to Synod as well, by receiving concurrence from Northern California/Nevada on 9/9/17.
- Mid-America Presbytery has advanced a new overture which you can see at https://www.theology-eco.org/overtures/. The language of this overture is carried over from a proposal by First and Calvary Church in Springfield, MO, and has been on the website for many months.
- Concurrence is expected for a number of other overtures. It is likely we will see around 5 or 6 overtures at Synod. The details of how the vote will take place will be clarified when the Theology Task Force meets with the Synod Executive Council and their parliamentarian in mid-October.
Deadlines are fast approaching:
- September 27th is the final day for new overtures to be advanced.
- October 27th is the final day for concurrence. These dates are determined by the rules that Synod adopted early on. They are available from ECO’s head office.
- If these dates do not work with your current plans, you may need to call a special presbytery meeting.
Remember that Texas Presbytery’s overture asks to adopt a special rule for voting. That means that, per Robert’s Rules, their vote will go first, and if successful, no other overtures can be considered because they imply a different voting format. But even if Texas’ overture is successful, that doesn’t mean all the work of other presbyteries and overtures is made meaningless. All of your work on providing rationale for which documents should be in and out of our new collection of confessions will be vital in helping frame the conversations that happen at Synod. Also, many of the overtures have motions outside of the basic content of the book. Be sure to look at these, as some ask for the modification of polity, modern language versions, and other important considerations.
I know this process has been frustrating for some, and a lot of questions have yet to be answered. As with much in ECO, it seems to be a learning process as we go. Thank you for your patience and flexibility. A good consensus is developing, if not in procedure, at least in much of the content of our future collection of confessions. If you have questions about the parliamentary procedures that will be followed at Synod, please wait until mid–October when the procedure will be discussed at length, and address such questions to the Synod Executive Council.
Finally, check out the spreadsheet that summarizes the overtures that has just been uploaded: https://www.theology-eco.org/overtures/