The Two Synod Solution

Proposed Amendments

A Two Synod Constitutional Structure in the PCUSA
The Future of PCUSA Evangelicals
The Future of PCUSA Evangelicals
2010 Overtures Addressing a Restructured PCUSA
Proposed Amendments to the Book of Order for Comment and Review
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Proposed Amendments
Enabling Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments
Miscellaneous Conforming Amendments

Proposed Amendments
Primary Synods
Permanent Judicial Commissions
and the General Assembly
Arbitration Board

D-1.0101          (Unchanged)

D-1.0102          (Unchanged)
Power Vested
in Christ's

D-1.0103          (Unchanged)
Conciliate and

D-2.0101         Judicial process is the means
Church             by which church discipline is
Discipline         implemented within the
                      context of pastoral care and
                      oversight.  It is the exercise
                      of authority by the two Primary
                      Synod's of the PCUSA (Auburn
                      and Westminster) over their
                      respective governing bodies,
                      and to a limited extent, the
                      General Assembly Arbitration
                      Board, for:

                       a. the prevention and correction
                       of irregularities and delinquencies
                       by the governing bodies of each
                       of the two Primary Synods
                       (Westminster and Auburn).

                      b. The prevention and correction
                      of offenses by persons, by 
                      the Permanent Judicial
                      Commission of the Primary
                      Synod (Auburn or Westminster)
                      having jurisdiction over the

                      The governing bodies of the
                      church for judicial process 
                      are the session of each
                      church, their Presbytery's
                      Permanent Judicial Commission,
                      which is aligned with the
                      same Primary Synod 
                      (Westminster or Auburn),
                      as the congregation, their
                      Sub-Synod's Permanent
                      Judicial Commission, and
                      their respective
                      Primary Synod's
                      Permanent Judicial
                      Commission, with
                      which they are aligned
                      (Auburn or Westminster).

                      The Session, their respective
                      Presbytery, their respective
                      Sub-Synod and their Primary
                      Synod, with which they are aligned, 
                      (Westminster or Auburn),
                      can conduct trials and 
                      hearings through their
                      Permanent Judicial

D-2.0203         The investigating committee
Alternative       may initiate, if it deems
Forms of          appropriate, and with the
Resolution       written consent of all parties
                      involved, alternative forms
                      of resolution conducted by
                      professionally trained and
                      certified mediators and 
                      arbitrators.  The purpose
                      of this process is to achieve
                      justice and compassion for 
                     all parties involved through
                     mediation and settlement.
                     No statements, written or oral,
                     made at or in connection with
                     this process, shall be 
                     admissible in evidence at a 
                     subsequent investigation or

D-2.0104        The General Assembly Arbitration
General          Board will settle
Assembly        disputes within the General
Arbitration       Assembly, against the
Board             General Assembly and its 
                     members, as well as 
                     appeals from the two
                     Primary Synods' 
                     (Auburn and Westminster)
                     respective Permanent
                     Judicial Commissions,
                     but only to the extent 
                     that the disputes do
                     not involve the following
                     issues: ordination
                     standards, definitions
                     of marriage and 
                     marriage ceremonies,
                     Statements of Faith,
                     Edcucational Material
                     used, Church planting
                     and growth, and
                     evangelism, and
                     evangelism methods.
                     These issues can
                     only be litigated before
                     the Permanent
                     Judicial Commissions
                     of the Primary Synod
                     in which the case arose.
                     The decisions of the
                     highest Permanent
                     Judicial Commission
                     of each of the Primary
                     Synods (Auburn or
                     Westminster) shall be
                     final and binding with respect
                     to the governing bodies of that
                     Primary Synod (Auburn
                     or Westminster), with
                     regard to the above
                     enumerated issues,
                     and may not be

D-2.0201        Judicial process consists
Remedial or    of two types of cases:
Disciplinary      remedial and disciplinary.

D-2.0202        A remedial case is one
Remedial        in which an irregularity
                     or a delinquency of 
                     a lower governing 
                     body, may be corrected

Irregularity      a. An irregularity that is
                     an erroneous decision
                     or action

Delinquency    b. A delinquency that is an
                     ommission or failure
                     to act.

D-2.0203        A disciplinary case is one
Disciplinary      in which a church member
                     or officer may be censured
                     for an offense.

Church            a. Church officers are
Officers           ministers of the Word and
                     Sacrament, elders, and

Offense          b. An offense is any act
                     or ommission by a member
                     or officer of the church that
                     is contrary to the Scriptures
                     or the Constitution of
                     the PCUSA, as interpreted
                     by the respective
                     Permanent Judicial
                     Commission of the
                     Primary Synod, (Auburn or
                     Westminster), in which the
                     offense or act arose.
                     It is understood that many
                     of the decisions of the
                     respective Permanent
                     Judicial Commissions, 
                     aligned with the two different
                     Primary Synods (Auburn
                     or Westminster) will
                     differ from each other.
                     This will be an expression
                     of the diversity within the

D-3.0101        In the judicial process, each
Jurisdiction      of the governing bodies has
                     jurisdiction as follows:

Session        a. The session of a church
                       has original jurisdiction
                       in disciplinary cases involving
                       members of that church.

Presbytery    b. (1) The Presbytery has 
                      original jurisdiction in 
                      disciplinary cases involving
                      members and commissioned
                      lay pastors serving in congregations
                      in that Presbytery, that are aligned
                      with the same Primary Synod
                      (Westminster or Auburn) that
                      the Presbytery is aligned with.

                      (2) A minister engaged in work
                      within the bounds of a 
                      Presbytery other than the 
                      Presbytery of membership,
                      but aligned with the same
                      Primary Synod (Auburn or
                      Westminster), whether that
                      work is under the jurisdiction
                      of the Presbytery or not, does
                      by engaging in that work, 
                      submit to the jurisdiction of
                      of that Presbytery for the
                      purposes of discipline.  Should
                      disciplinary process be 
                      initiated against a minister
                      under this provision, the
                      Presbytery of membership 
                      shall be notified.  This
                      paragraph shall apply if the
                      minister is working in a
                      validated ministry.  

Presbytery,   c. The Presbyery, Sub-Synod,
Sub-Synod,      and Primary Synod 
and Primary     (Westminster or Auburn) 
Synod              that the Presbytery and
                      Session are aligned with
                      shall have jurisdiction
                      in remedial cases and
                      in appeals.

Church is      d. When a church is
Dissolved         dissolved, the Presbytery
                      of the Primary Synod
                      (Auburn or Westminster)
                      that the church is aligned
                      with, shall determine
                      any case of discipline
                      begun by the session
                      which has not yet

General           Remedial Cases
Assembly         may only be appealed
Arbitration        to the General Assembly
Board              Arbitration Board if
                      the issues do not
                      involve ordination
                      standards, definitions
                      of marriage, statements 
                      of faith, educational
                      materials used, church
                      planting, and evangelism

D-3.0102        When a case, either remedial
No Further       or disciplinary, has been
Judicial           transferred to the Permanent
Action             Judicial Commission of the
                     Primary Synod, in which the
                     case arose, (Westminster
                     or Auburn), the elected  
                     members of the
                     governing body, before
                     whom the action has
                     been brought, shall take
                     no further judicial action
                     on the case.

D-3.0103        When a lower governing
Lower             body fails to act in a
Governing       particular remedial or
Body Fails       disciplinary case for a
to Act             period of ninety days after
                     the filing of a complaint
                     in a remedial case or
                     charges in a disciplinary
                     case, the Primary Synod
                     (Auburn or Westminster)
                     with which the session and
                     Prebytery are aligned,
                     on the request of any
                     party, may assume
                     jurisdiction in the case.
                     The Primary Synod may
                     either issue specific
                     instructions to the lower
                     governing body as to its
                     disposition, or conclude
                     the matter itself.

D-3.0104       A minister transferred
Jurisdiction     from one Presbytery to
over              another, in the same
Transferred    Primary Synod (Auburn
Matters          or Westminster), shall
                    be subject to the jurisdiction
                    of the first Presbytery until 
                    received by the second Presbytery.   
                    A minister transferred by a 
                    Presbytery to another denomination
                    shall be subject to the
                    jurisdiction of the
                    Presbytery until received
                    by that denomination.

D-3.0105       Each governing body, which is
                    aligned with their respective 
                    Primary Synod,
                    (Westminster or Auburn)
                    shall enforce
                    the judgments,
                    decisions, and orders
                    of every other
                    governing body aligned with
                    their respective Primary Synod,
                    (Auburn or Westminster)  The 
                    governing bodies of
                    each respective Primary
                    Synod (Westminster
                    or Auburn) are not
                    bound by the judgments,
                    orders, or decisions, 
                    of the other Primary
                    Synod (Auburn or

General         The judgments,
Assembly       decisions, and orders
Arbitration      of the General
Board            Assembly Arbitration
                    Board, in matters
                    where they have
                    jurisdiction, shall
                    be enforced by the
                    governing bodies
                    of both Primary 
                    Synods (Auburn
                    and Westminster)
                    under the provisions
                    of the Rules of
                    Discipline.  The 
                    General Assembly
                    Arbitration Board has
                    no jurisdiction over
                    cases involving ordination
                    standards, definitions
                    of marriage, statements
                    of faith, educational
                    material used, evangelism
                    initiatives, and church

D-3.0106       Jurisdiction in judicial
When            process ends when a
Jurisdiction     church officer or a
Ends              member renounces
                    the jurisdiction of the
                    church.  Should the
                    accused in a disciplinary
                    case renounce the
                    jurisdiction of the
                    church, the clerk or
                    stated clerk shall report
                    such renunciation
                    to the governing body
                    of their respective
                    Primary Synod
                    (Westminster or
                    Auburn).  Both the
                    renunciation and the
                    status of the matter
                    at that time, including
                    the name of the accused,
                    the date and fact of
                    renunciation during
                    an investigation
                    or trial, and the charges
                    filed, shall be recorded
                    by the Governing Body
                    and the case shall be

D-4.0101       A reference is a written
Definition       request made by a session
                    or a Permanent Judicial
                    Commission of a Presbytery
                    or Sub-Synod to the
                    Permanent Judicial
                    Commission of their
                    Primary Synod
                    (Auburn or Westminster)
                    with which they are
                    aligned, for purposes of a 
                    trial and decision or a hearing
                    on appeal in a remedial
                    or disciplinary case not
                    yet decided.

D-4.0102       A proper subject of       
Proper           reference involves
Subject          matters or questions 
                    for which it is desirable
                    or necessary that a
                    higher governing 
                    body decide the

D-4.0103       With its written request 
Duty of          for reference to a higher
Lower            governing body within
Governing      their Primary Synod
Body             (Westminster or Auburn)
                    with which they are aligned,
                    the lower governing
                    body shall specify its
                    reasons for the request
                    and transmit the whole
                    record of proceedings
                    in the case and shall
                    take no further action
                    thereon.  If the reference
                    is accepted, all proceedings,
                    including the trial or hearing
                    on appeal, shall thereafter
                    be held in the higher
                    governing body of the
                    same Primary Synod
                    (Auburn or Westminster)
                    with which the Governing
                    Body is aligned.  

D-4.0201       Upon receipt of a request
Duty of          for reference, the stated
Higher           clerk of the higher governing
Governing      body shall transmit the
Body             request to the Permanent
                    Judicial Commission of
                    their Primary Synod
                    (Westminster or
                    Auburn), with which they
                    are aligned, for a decision,
                    whether or not to accept
                    the case.

D-4.0202       If the Permanent Judicial
Acceptance     Commission of their
                    Primary Synod
                    (Auburn or Westminster)
                    decides to accept the
                    reference, it shall proceed
                    to trial and to a decision or
                    to a hearing on

D-4.0203       The Permanent Judicial
Refusal          Commission of a
                    Primary Synod 
                    (Westminster or
                    Auburn) may refuse
                    to accept a case for
                    reference and return it
                    to the lower governing
                    body, stating its reasons
                    for refusal.  The lower
                    governing body shall
                    then conduct the trial
                    or hearing on appeal and
                    proceed to a decision.

Proposed Amendments