Human life is shaping up to be the dominant topic in the Social Justice Issues Committee of the coming General Assembly of the PCUSA(Presbyterian Church USA) to be held June 14-21, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The overtures coming from presbyteries are thoughtful and fresh with only a few echoing stale debates from political positions.
Several items of business at the upcoming GA have potential for sparking meaningful discussion about the role of the church in both the physical protection of human life and the preservation of the dignity and sacred worth of each individual human being across the vast spectrum of humanity. Below are brief descriptions of the recommendations in these overtures. Full text is available online at PC-Biz,the electronic repository of all the General Assembly business.
Two overtures consider lives yet in a mother’s womb
Item 09-02 (Ovt 15) On Entering a Two-Year Season of Reflection on the Plight of Unwanted Children, and Appointing a Special Committee on Abortion Review—From the Presbytery of South Alabama
The recommendations in this item offer substantial opportunity to commissioners to improve the way the PCUSA thinks about and values children before and after birth. It calls the Presbyterian Mission Agency and PCUSA congregations to “enter a two-year season of reflection” on the plight of children unwanted by society, born and unborn. In the spirit of James 1:27 the overture asks the assembly to call the church to “enter the pure worship of God by offering aid, comfort and the Gospel” to orphans (including those who survive abortion procedures) and their families, communities, and medical providers.