Jun 24, 2008

Trudging Through the FoG

The General Assembly on the new Proposed Form of Government has finished its work.

Two years ago, the Form of Government Task Force was formed to rewrite the Book of Order for the 218th General Assembly. The Form of Government Task Force has worked diligently to get this work done. And in two days of deliberation in the committee, they never even discussed a single substantive issue on the actual report. In fact, for two days the report was never even looked at until the committee had already decided to defer our work to the next General Assembly.

What the committee ended up doing is referring this work for further study and to report back to the next General Assembly.

I have to tell you, it has not been easy sitting in that room listening to this discussion. There is so much fear and distrust in the church that they never even discussed the material, but what to do with it. And the easiest and the most gutless decision they could make was to refer this for further study and that is exactly what they did.

Now, in all fairness to the committee, there is no way they could absorb and understand the complexity of this new Form of Government in two days. They did the best they could.

However, the leadership of this committee was totally lacking.

This was our report. This is what I and 8 others have been working on for the last two years. The least they could have done was to give us an opportunity to present our material. But the leadership of the committee took it upon themselves to take that opportunity away from us.

Before we could utter a word about our report, the committee leadership allowed the Advisory Committee on the Constitution to give their take on our work. And then they divided the committee into small groups to discuss their "issues" and "problems" with our report. It was only then the committee could hear from us. After two year's of work, we were given 40 minutes to present and answer questions. 40 minutes.

And this brilliant leadership then allowed the committee to get bogged down in parliamentary procedural mess.

At the end, the committee decided to refer this material to the next general assembly. And at the next GA, we're going to have to start this process all over again with a whole new set of commissioners.


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