General Assembly 221 Resources
Information and resources for Congregations
- + JOINT LETTER FROM THE SOUTH CAROLINA FIVE (5) PRESBYTERIES
June 23, 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
In Jeremiah 29:11, God encourages us with these words, “For surely I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
The 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) met June 14 – 21, 2014, in Detroit, Michigan. Many complicated issues came before the Assembly that are of interest to the churches of our presbyteries. Our commissioners, as did those of our sister presbyteries, worshiped, studied, discussed, prayed, and together they made decisions in service to the Church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Now, over the next two years, commissioners of the 221st General Assembly (2014), and we, as presbytery leaders, will be about the business of interpreting and guiding our members and member congregations through the decisions made.
There are also decisions which each individual presbytery will have to make. These decisions include proposed amendments to the Book of Order and a proposed amendment for inclusion of the Belhar Confession in the Book of Confessions. May we seek to embody the grace and love of our Savior as we engage with these decisions and commit ourselves to one another and to Almighty God as we move forward together in service to Christ’s church.
The 221st General Assembly (2014) has taken three significant actions on the teaching and practice of marriage, relating to our life together and to the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Book of Order. First, following a lengthy debate, the Assembly approved, in a 371 to 238 vote, to adopt an “Authoritative Interpretation” (AI) of the Constitution. An AI is an interpretation of the Constitution by the General Assembly or the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission. It is binding denomination-wide.The AI approved by the Assembly permits pastors to marry same-gender couples in churches where it is permitted by state law, even though marriage is currently defined in our Constitution as being between a man and a woman. This permission takes effect immediately. Please note: Same-gender marriage is not permitted by state law in South Carolina.
Second, the Assembly approved, in a 429 to 175 vote, to recommend rewriting the Book of Order section W-4.900, in which marriage is described as between “a man and a woman”. The new language being proposed for presbytery ratification defines marriage as “a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and to support each other for the rest of their lives.” After several other provisions, it concludes with this important qualification: “Nothing herein shall compel a teaching elder to perform nor compel a session to authorize the use of church property for a marriage service that the teaching elder or the session believes is contrary to the teaching elder’s or the session’s discernment of the Holy Spirit and their understanding of the Word of God.”
Now, unlike an authoritative interpretation, a constitutional amendment is first voted on by the General Assembly, but it must be confirmed by the majority of presbyteries before it is effective. This constitutional amendment to the Book of Order will require ratification by a majority of the 171 presbyteries.
The constitutional amendment to the Book of Confession will require ratification by a two-thirds majority of the 171 presbyteries. Therefore, each presbytery will vote on these constitutional amendments sometime within the next year. All church councils are under the authority of the Constitution.
Third, the 221st General Assembly (2014) also directed the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (PMAB) and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (OGA) to engage in the process of working together with churches in the task of reconciliation. The reconciliation process will start with visits to each presbytery. The PMAB and OGA will serve as a resource for each presbytery’s discussion of these actions in congregations and the presbytery at-large, as they present voices of reconciliation for the unity of the church.
Included with this letter are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about what each of these actions means and does not mean for our presbyteries and for each of our churches. Also included is a bibliography of resources and responses, which have come from a variety of sources in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Each of our five presbyteries will be moving ahead with plans to report on actions of the General Assembly. This will include receiving reports from our commissioners, providing opportunities for members to ask questions, and preparing ourselves to vote on proposed changes to the Constitution.
We recognize that other issues that the 221st General Assembly approved will be a cause for joy for some and concern for others. One of those issues is the divestment from three U.S. companies involved in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Middle East. After more than a three-hour debate, the Assembly approved, in a 310 to 303 vote, an overture calling for divestment from Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, and Motorola Solutions. Also included in this mailing is a resource on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on this decision made by the Assembly.
Here is a brief outline of Middle East divestment decision: After a 10-year history of attempted engagement with Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, and Motorola Solutions, the 221st Assembly directed the church to divest its holdings in these three companies, as they violate the denomination’s policy of not profiting from “non-peaceful pursuits.” The action affirms Israel’s right to exist securely. It disavows association with or endorsement of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement. It does not call for divestment from Israel or economic boycotts. The church maintains significant investments in companies that do business in Israel. Another important note is that the Assembly stated the following concerning the controversial study called Zionism Unsettled: The General Assembly “declares thatZionism Unsettled does not represent the views of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)”
If there are other issues which are of concern to you, please contact your presbytery leadership and commissioners to the 221st General Assembly. We will be glad to assist you in any manner that we can.
We are aware that there are those who are rejoicing and there are others who are weeping, due to some of the actions of the 221st General Assembly. Therefore, one of the challenges before us is whether or not we are able to exercise mutual forbearance with brothers and sisters who differ from us. Can we show a more excellent way by remaining together in love and forbearance amid our differences? Can we model the way of living that Scripture calls us to embrace: “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15)?
Moreover, Jesus says, “…go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). The Lord is with us. Therefore, let us fix our focus on following Christ’s commission to go and make disciples, baptizing and teaching them.
Praying that it may be so, we remain,
Yours in Jesus Christ,
Bruce E. Ford T. Mark Verdery
Executive Presbyter/Stated Clerk General Presbyter/Stated Clerk
New Harmony Presbytery Providence Presbytery
Donnie R. Woods Gordon W. G. Raynal
Executive Presbyter/ Interim Presbytery Pastor/
Associated Stated Clerk Stated Clerk
Charleston Atlantic Presbytery Foothills Presbytery
Danny C. Murphy
- + RESOURCE BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR THE 221ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Printer-friendly version FAQs on Marriage Middle East and Divestment A Pastoral Letter from PFR and the Fellowship of Presbyterians Presbyterian News Service- Articles Presbyterian Outlook- Articles published and a Brief Summary that may be purchased The Office of General Assembly will be producing an Assembly in Brief, a more detailed compilation of the Assembly’s decisions, which will be available for download next week at www.pcusa.org/ga221. . Blogs that you may find helpful include the following: An Insider’s Guide to the General Assembly - Dan Saperstein Reflecting on the PC(USA) GA - Steve Lindsley, Thoughts and Musings Brief Summary - Steve Salyards, GA Junkie Divestment - John Henry Bell
- + FAQ MARRIAGE AMENDMENT
Printer-friendly version Are congregations and/or pastors required to participate in/host such weddings? “In no case shall any teaching elder’s conscience be bound to conduct any marriage service for any couple except by his or her understanding of the Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.” No pastor is compelled to perform a service of marriage nor a session compelled to use church property for a service of marriage. 2. Can a pastor in a state where it is not permitted perform a wedding in a state where it is? The teaching elder has freedom of conscience. Beyond that, it would depend on whether the teaching elder is authorized under civil law to perform a wedding in the state where the wedding is to take place 3. Will sessions have the authority to permit (or not) same-gender marriage services in the church? Yes. Nothing has changed about the authority of sessions in the way church property is used. 4. If a pastor is willing to preside at the marriage of a same-gender couple, can the session prohibit the pastor from doing so? No. The session cannot compel the pastor nor can the pastor compel the session. The pastor has the freedom of his or her own conscience and the session has the responsibility for providing for worship and making decisions about the use of church property. 5. Can the session make a categorical prohibition of same-gender weddings in its building? Yes. Nothing has changed about the authority of the session with regard to the use of the church building. 6. What process did the General Assembly use to make this happen? The General Assembly made an authoritative interpretation of the Constitution and proposed an amendment to the Constitution. 7. What is an authoritative interpretation (AI)? An AI is an interpretation of the Constitution by the General Assembly or the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission. It is binding on all councils. 8. What is permitted according to the AI at the adjournment of the assembly? Pastors may conduct a marriage service for same-gender couples and may do so where the community gathers for worship with the permission of the session. “In no case shall any teaching elder’s conscience be bound to conduct any marriage service for any couple except by his or her understanding of the Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.” 9. What is an amendment to the Constitution? An amendment to the Constitution is determined by the General Assembly, but must be confirmed by a majority of the presbyteries. All councils are under the authority of the Constitution. 10. What if the presbyteries refuse to vote on the amendment? A majority of the presbyteries must vote for the amendment in order for it to become part of the Constitution. A non-vote has the effect of a “no” vote. 11. If the presbyteries do not approve changes to the Constitution, what is the effect on the authoritative interpretation (“AI”)? The AI remains in place until it is superseded by another. 12. What is the timeline? The same-gender marriage measure (the AI) takes effect upon the conclusion of the General Assembly on Saturday, June 21, 2014. The proposed amendment must be ratified by a majority of the church’s 172 presbyteries, which have one year to vote. If ratified, the amendment would take effect on June 21, 2015. 13. What is the actual language of the authoritative interpretation? “Worship is a central element of the pastoral care of the people of God (W-6.3001, W-6.3010) in which a teaching elder’s discernment of the leading of the Holy Spirit is indispensable. The necessity of ensuring the exercise of freedom of conscience in the interpretation of Scripture (G-2.0105) in the planning and leadership of worship has deep roots in our Reformed tradition and theology. Because a service of marriage is one form of such worship, when a couple requests the involvement of the church in solemnizing their marriage as permitted by the laws of the civil jurisdiction in which the marriage is to take place, teaching elders* have the pastoral responsibility to assess the capabilities, intentions, and readiness of the couple to be married (W-4.9002), and the freedom of conscience in the interpretation of Scripture (G-2.0105) to participate in any such marriage they believe the Holy Spirit calls them to perform. “Exercising such discretion and freedom of conscience under the prayerful guidance of Scripture, teaching elders may conduct a marriage service for any such couple in the place where the community gathers for worship, so long as it is approved by the session; or in such other place as may be suitable for a service of Christian worship. In no case shall any teaching elder’s conscience be bound to conduct any marriage service for any couple except by his or her understanding of the Word, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. The authoritative interpretation of this section by the 203rd General Assembly (1991) (Minutes, 1991, Part I, p. 395, paragraphs 21.124–.128), and the subsequent authoritative interpretations of the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission relying upon it, are withdrawn and replaced with this authoritative interpretation.” *“As in other places in the Directory for Worship, the use of ‘teaching elders’ in this paragraph should be understood to include ruling elders commissioned to pastoral service.” 14. What is the actual language of the proposed amendment? Amend W-4.9000 by striking the current text and replacing it with the following: “Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the well-being of the entire human family. Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people (traditionally a man and a woman) to love and support each other for the rest of their lives. The sacrificial love that unites the couple sustains them as faithful and responsible members of the church and the wider community. “In civil law, marriage is a contract that recognizes the rights and obligations of the married couple in society. In the Reformed tradition, marriage is also a covenant in which God has an active part, and which the community of faith publicly witnesses and acknowledges. “If they meet the requirements of the civil jurisdiction in which they intend to marry, a couple may request that a service of Christian marriage be conducted by a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), who is authorized, though not required, to act as an agent of the civil jurisdiction in recording the marriage contract. A couple requesting a service of Christian marriage shall receive instruction from the teaching elder, who may agree to the couple’s request only if, in the judgment of the teaching elder, the couple demonstrate sufficient understanding of the nature of the marriage covenant and commitment to living their lives together according to its values. In making this decision, the teaching elder may seek the counsel of the session, which has authority to permit or deny the use of church property for a marriage service. “The marriage service shall be conducted in a manner appropriate to this covenant and to the forms of Reformed worship, under the direction of the teaching elder and the supervision of the session (W- 1.4004–.4006). In a service of marriage, the couple marry each other by exchanging mutual promises. The teaching elder witnesses the couple’s promises and pronounces God’s blessing upon their union. The community of faith pledges to support the couple in upholding their promises; prayers may be offered for the couple, for the communities that support them, and for all who seek to live in faithfulness. “A service of worship recognizing a civil marriage and confirming it in the community of faith may be appropriate when requested by the couple. The service will be similar to the marriage service except that the statements made shall reflect the fact that the couple is already married to one another according to the laws of the civil jurisdiction. “Nothing herein shall compel a teaching elder to perform nor compel a session to authorize the use of church property for a marriage service that the teaching elder or the session believes is contrary to the teaching elder’s or the session’s discernment of the Holy Spirit and their understanding of the Word of God.”
- + MIDDLE EAST AND DIVESTMENT SUMMARY AND FAQs
Printer-friendly version (Detroit, Michigan – June 20, 2014) – By a margin of seven votes, the 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a measure recommending that the Board of Pensions, the Foundation, and its members divest from three corporations whose products it believes contribute to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The companies—Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, and Motorola Solutions—are used by the Israeli government in the occupied territories and are not in compliance with the General Assembly’s police on socially responsible investing. The PC(USA) has a decades-long history of social responsible investments. The measure also says that this action does not indicate an alignment with the overall global Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. It affirms the importance of economic measures and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians that support and advance a negotiated two-state solution, and encourages Presbyterians to travel to the Holy Land to give broad support to the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities throughout the Middle East. The assembly also called for a study to determine whether a two-state solution continues to be viable. Regarding Zionism Unsettled, the assembly declared that the publication does not represent the views of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Why does the church care about Israel/Palestine? The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s General Assembly has long supported two viable states as a solution to the Israel Palestine conflict. The challenge has been how to respond to the human rights violations and suffering resulting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The church’s policy, based on General Assembly actions, includes: • promoting a just peace in the Middle East; • acting in solidarity with Palestinian Christian mission partners and other church partners across the Middle East; • ending the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza; and • advocating for the right for Israelis and Palestinians “to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” FAQs What is the point of divestment? For Presbyterians individually, and collectively, investments offer not only financial return, but represent a form of constructive partnership for good in the world. Divestment is always a last resort, as a matter of faithful stewardship, when it becomes apparent that an investment can no longer be part of a constructive partnership for good. Presbyterians believe firmly that their investments must be in alignment with their values. What were the recommendations to the (221st) General Assembly (2014)? MRTI (Mission Responsibility Through Investment) has found three corporations—Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, and Motorola Solutions—not in compliance with General Assembly policy on socially responsible investing. MRTI is a General Assembly committee that implements General Assembly policies on socially responsible investing. MRTI has repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, reached out to these corporations and asked for resolution, but no resolution has been forthcoming. As a last resort, the General Assembly recommended divestment. Why is the General Assembly focusing on these three corporations? The General Assembly developed criteria for corporate engagement calling on corporations to confine their business activity to peaceful pursuits and refrain from allowing their products or services facilitating or supporting violent acts by Israelis or Palestinians against innocent civilians. MRTI found these companies to be out of compliance with these criteria, as well as resistant to change and further dialogue: • Caterpillar provides bulldozers used in the destruction of Palestinian homes and for clearing land of structures and fruit and olive tree groves in preparation for construction of the barrier wall. • Hewlett-Packard has extensive involvement with the Israeli army and provides electronic systems at checkpoints, logistics and communications systems to support the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, as well as business relationships with illegal settlements in the West Bank. • Motorola Solutions provides military communications and surveillance systems in illegal Israeli settlements. What actions have been considered by past General Assemblies? The divestment began at the 2004 General Assembly (GA), which instructed MRTI to initiate a process of “phased, selective divestment” related to corporations doing business in Israel. The General Assembly’s process is phased and selected because the focus is not blanket disinvestment, but rather an established process of phrased corporate engagement, with few companies, with corporate change as its goal. Divestment is the last resort, when change is no longer considered likely. Since 2004, GAs have directed MRTI to use the church’s customary corporate engagement process to ensure that church investments are made only in companies engaged in peaceful pursuits in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. In 2012, the GA approved an additional layer of corporate engagement: the boycott of all Israeli products produced in the occupied Palestinian Territories. This is not a cultural or academic boycott, or a boycott against any product made in Israel. Instead, it is a call to recognize that factories in illegal settlements extend the occupation and prevent a just peace between Israel and Palestine. The 2012 GA also directed the Presbyterian Foundation and the Presbyterian Mission Agency to make positive investments in Palestinian businesses to make a difference in the lives of those who are most vulnerable, to help in the development of viable infrastructure for a future Palestinian state, and to aid in job creation and economic development. Three investments have been made in solar energy, microfinance, and education. What is the position of the church on Israel and Palestine? In 2010, the General Assembly reaffirmed its historical commitments with respect to the region and called for: • an immediate cessation of all violence, whether perpetrated by Israelis or Palestinians; • the reaffirmation of Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation within secure and internationally recognized borders in accordance with United Nations resolutions; • the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and diversion of water resources; • an immediate freeze both on the establishment or expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and on the Israeli acquisition of Palestinian land and buildings in East Jerusalem; • the relocation by Israel of the Separation Barrier to the 1967 border; • the withholding of U.S. government aid to the State of Israel as long as Israel persists in creating new West Bank settlements; • continuing corporate engagement through the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment with companies profiting from the sale and use of their products for non-peaceful purposes and/or the violation of human rights; • a shared status for Jerusalem; • equal rights for Palestinian citizens of the State of Israel; • the cessation of systematic violations of human rights by any party specifically, • practices of administrative detention, collective punishment, the torture of prisoners and suspects, home demolitions and evictions, and the deportation of dissidents; • the immediate resumption by Israel and Palestine of negotiations toward a two-state solution. What have other denominations done on the issue of divestment? A snapshot of information: World Council of Churches • In 2005, the World Council of Churches passed a resolution commending the selective divestment resolution passed by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 2004 saying that the previous resolution “in both method and manner, uses criteria rooted in faith and calls members to do the things that make for peace.” United Church of Christ • The United Church of Christ endorsed a range of economic leverages that included divestment, but church leaders did not commit their pension or foundation assets to a divestment plan. United Methodist Church • In 2012, the United Methodist Church voted to reject the divestment initiative regarding businesses that deal with Israel, including “Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard.” Episcopal Church • In 2012, the Episcopal Church adopted a resolution at its General Convention Assembly that supported “a negotiated two-state solution” and “positive investment” rather than divestment from Israel. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [updated 6/5/14] • In an action which underscored the call for economic initiatives with respect to Israel and Palestine that included the possibilities of 1) purchasing products from Palestinian providers and 2) exploration of the feasibility of refusing to buy products produced in Israeli settlements, the 2007 ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted to exclude the option of divestiture in the context of the church’s exploration of its investment activities. Church of England • The General Synod has voted for disinvestment from Israel. United Church of Canada [updated 5/27/14] • The 41st General Council in August 2012 called on United Church members to take concrete actions to support the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Those actions include worship, prayer, and study; economic action focused on settlement goods; and support for trust-building programs between Palestinians and Israelis. What is the position of the church on anti-Semitism? “We condemn anti-Semitism in the strongest terms. While reaffirming our close spiritual ties with the Jewish people, we wish to state unequivocally that authentic Christianity can have no complicity in anti-Semitic attitudes or actions.” (1990) What is the position of the church on Zionism? The General Assembly has not taken a position explicitly in regard to Zionism. The church has reaffirmed as recently as 2010, “Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation within secure and internationally recognized borders in accordance with United Nations resolutions,” but it has also voted to “challenge and encourage discussion of theological interpretations that confuse biblical prophesies and affirmations of covenant, promise, and land, which are predicated on justice, righteousness, and mercy, with political statehood that asserts itself through military might, repressive discrimination, abuse of human rights, and other actions that do not reveal a will to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God,” in its 2003 paper “End the Occupation Now.” What is the actual language of the divestment measure? 04-04. On Supporting Middle East Peacemaking The PC(USA) has a long standing commitment to peace in Israel and Palestine. We recognize the complexity of the issues, the decades-long struggle, the pain suffered and inflicted by policies and practices of both the Israeli government and Palestinian entities. We further acknowledge and confess our own complicity in both the historic and current suffering of Israeli and Palestinian yearning for justice and reconciliation, the 221st General Assembly (2014) recommends the following: 1. Reaffirm Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation within secure and internationally recognized borders in accordance with the United Nations resolutions. 2. Declare its commitment to a two-state solution in which a secure and universally recognized State of Israel lives alongside a free, viable, and secure state for the Palestinian people. 3. Instruct the Presbyterian Foundation and the Board of Pensions of the PC(USA), to divest from Caterpillar, Inc., Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions, in accord with our church’s decades-long socially responsible investment (SRI) history, and not to reinvest in these companies until the Mission Responsibility Through Investment Committee of the PC(USA) is fully satisfied that product sales and services by these companies are no longer in conflict with our church investment policy. This action on divestment is not to be construed or represented by any organization of the PC(USA) as divestment from the State of Israel, or an alignment with or endorsement of the global BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) movement. 4. Reaffirm PC(USA)’s commitment to interfaith dialog and partnerships with the American Jewish, Muslim friends and Palestinian Christians and call for all presbyteries and congregations within the PC(USA) to include interfaith dialogue and relationship-building as part of their own engagement in working for a just peace. 5. Call for all foreign aid given by the U.S. government—including aid to Israel and the Palestinian Authority—to be comprehensively and transparently accounted to the American people and held to the same standards of compliance with all applicable laws. 6. Call for church advocacy for foreign-aid accountability to be directed toward its universal adherence rather than targeted for selective application to some recipients and not others. 7. Encourage Presbyterians to travel to the Holy Land, and give broad support to the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities throughout the Middle East. 8. Affirm the importance of economic measures and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians that support and advance a negotiated two-state solution. 9. Urge all church institutions to give careful consideration to possible investments in Israel-Palestine that advance peace and improve the lives of Palestinians and Israelis. What is the language of the measure regarding a two-state solution? 04-01. On Reviewing General Assembly Policy Regarding the Two-State Solution in Israel Palestine—From the Presbytery of San Francisco. “1. Instruct the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) to do the following: “a. Provide a comprehensive history of the establishment of General Assembly policies favoring a two-state solution in Israel Palestine. “b. Prepare a report to the 222nd General Assembly (2016), utilizing the report of the Middle East Study Committee approved by the 219th General Assembly (2010)—Breaking Down the Walls (Minutes, 2010, Part I, pp. 1021ff); the subsequent follow-up report by the Middle East Monitoring Group to the 220th General Assembly (2012) (Minutes, 2012, Part I, pp. 1413ff); and relevant and recent reports by the United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council, the World Council of Churches, other corresponding ecumenical partners, and reliable human rights organizations that achieves the following: “(1) Provides the most up-to-date information regarding all aspects of the Israeli occupation of Palestine including “(a) the present status and pace of illegal settlement building; “(b) the appropriation of Palestinian land and natural resources; “(c) the restriction of movement on Palestinian citizens in Palestine; “(d) the extent to which human rights are denied to the Palestinian people. “(2) Examines present General Assembly statements about the viability of a Palestinian state and honestly evaluates these statements in light of the most recent developments regarding the true facts on the ground in Palestine; “(3) Makes a recommendation about whether the General Assembly should continue to call for a two-state solution in Israel Palestine, or take a neutral stance that seeks not to determine for Israelis and Palestinians what the right “solution” should be. “(4) Makes other policy recommendations related to findings from this report. “c. Consult with responsible parties representing the concerns of both Israelis and Palestinians in preparation of this report. “d. Consult also with appropriate, official PC(USA) General Assembly entities in the preparation of this report, including staffing teams, mission networks, and national caucuses. “2. Provide a study guide for the report to the 222nd General Assembly (2016) that will help inform the whole church of the situation on the ground in Palestine, pointing out the enormous difficulty of helping ’in the development of a viable infrastructure for a future Palestinian state’ (action taken by the 220th General Assembly-2012). This study guide should honestly point out that: “a. For every two-year period occurring between General Assembly meetings, Palestinians are suffering an increasing loss of their human rights, freedom, livelihoods, property, and even their lives; “b. Simple, financial investment in a completely occupied land where the occupiers are relentless and unwavering regarding their occupation is not enough to dismantle the matrix of that occupation or dramatically change the vast majority of communities or individual lives that are bowed and broken by systematic and intentional injustice.” What is the language of the regarding measure the publication Zionism Unsettled 04-10 “The 221st General Assembly (2014) declares that Zionism Unsettled does not represent the views of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and directs all Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) entities to express this statement in all future catalogs, print or online resources.”“