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18 Cards in this Set

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Name the Courts of the Church

GPS
General Assembly - Jurisdiction in matters that concerns the whole church

Presbytery - Jurisdiction in what is common to ministers, sessions, churches in prescribed district

Session - jurisdiction over one church

(really all presbyteries made up of presbyters... the difference is how much of the church is represented.
What is the proper or original jurisdiction of the courts?

MD
DOE
BCO 11-2

1. ministerial
2. declarative

relates to
1. doctrines and precepts of Christ,
2. order of the Church
3. exercise of discipline.

limits:
1. they can make no laws binding the conscience
2. they have power to establish rules for the government, discipline, worship, and extension of the Church, (according to the Word)
3. they possess the right to require obedience to the laws of Christ.

Each court exercises original jurisdiction over its own business (i.e., people).
What officers must each court have?
1. Moderator ( for session - pastor; for presbytery & GA - elected)
2. Clerk

BCO 11
How are court officers chosen?
BCO 11
Except for the moderator of the session (which is the pastor by prudence of his office) they are elected by the body, which they will serve.
Who are the members of the church session?

PAR
BCO 12-1
Pastor,
Associate pastor(s), if there are any,
Ruling elders of a church.
** What constitutes a quorum of the session?
With a pastor:
1) Three or more RE’s, the pastor and 2 RE’s constitute a quorum
2) Fewer than 3 RE’s, the pastor and 1 RE constitute a quorum

Without a pastor:
1) With five or more RE’s, 3 RE’s constitute a quorum
@) fewer than 5 RE’s, then 2 RE’s constitute a quorum

BCO 12-1
** What are the main duties of the session?
a. To inquire into the knowledge, principles and Christian conduct of the church members
under its care; to censure those found delinquent; to see that parents do not neglect to
present their children for Baptism; to receive members into the communion of the
Church; to remove them for just cause; to grant letters of dismissal to other churches,
which when given to parents, shall always include the names of their non-communing,
baptized children;
b. To examine, ordain, and install ruling elders and deacons on their election by the church,
and to require these officers to devote themselves to their work; to examine the records
of the proceedings of the deacons; to approve and adopt the budget;
c. To approve actions of special importance affecting church property;
d. To call congregational meetings when necessary; to establish and control Sunday
schools and Bible classes with special reference to the children of the church; to
establish and control all special groups in the church such as Men in the Church, Women
in the Church and special Bible study groups; to promote world missions; to promote
obedience to the Great Commission in its totality at home and abroad; to order
collections for pious uses;
e. To exercise, in accordance with the Directory for Worship, authority over the time and
place of the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments, over all
other religious services, over the music in the services, and over the uses to which the
church building and associated properties may be put; to take the oversight of the
singing in the public worship of God; to ensure that the Word of God is preached only
by such men as are sufficiently qualified (BCO 4-4, 53-2, 1 Timothy 2:11-12); to
assemble the people for worship when there is no minister; to determine the best
measures for promoting the spiritual interests of the church and congregation;
f. To observe and carry out the lawful injunctions of the higher courts; and to appoint
representatives to the higher courts, who shall, on their return, make report of their
diligence.
Who are the members of Presbytery?
BCO 13-1.
All the teaching elders and churches within its bounds that have been accepted by the Presbytery.
To what church does a minister belong?
BCO 13-2
None - A minister holds his membership in the Presbytery within whose geographical bounds he resides, unless there are reasons which are satisfactory to his Presbytery why he should not do so.

If laboring outside geographical bounds, it must be with full concurrence of and agreeable circumstance to his presbytery.
How is an ordained minister received into presbytery?
BCO 13-5.
Ordinarily, only a minister who receives a call to a definite ecclesiastical work
within the bounds of a particular Presbytery may be received as a member of that Presbytery except in cases where the minister is already honorably retired, or in those cases deemed necessary by the Presbytery, subject to the review of the General Assembly.
** How is a church received into a presbytery?
BCO 13-8.

1) Presbytery will designate a commission to meet with the church's ruling elders to make certain that the elders understand and can sincerely adopt the doctrines and polity of the PCA as contained in its Constitution.
2) Ruling elders (of church in question) shall be required to answer affirmatively the questions required of officers at their ordination in the presence of the commission,
** What are the main duties and responsibilities of the presbytery?
BCO 13-9. The Presbytery has power to receive and issue appeals, complaints, and references brought before it in an orderly manner. In cases in which the Session cannot
exercise its authority, it shall have power to assume original jurisdiction.

It has power:
a. To receive under its care candidates for the ministry; to examine and license candidates for the holy ministry; to receive, dismiss, ordain, install, remove and judge ministers;
b. To review the records of church Sessions, redress whatever they may have done contrary to order and take effectual care that they observe the Constitution of the Church;
c. To establish the pastoral relation and to dissolve it at the request of one or both of the parties, or where the interest of religion imperatively demands it;
d. To set apart evangelists to their proper work; to require ministers to devote themselves diligently to their sacred calling and to censure the delinquent;
e. To see that the lawful injunctions of the higher courts are obeyed;
f. To condemn erroneous opinions which injure the purity or peace of the Church; to visit churches for the purpose of inquiring into and redressing the evils that may have arisen in
them; to unite or divide churches, at the request of the members thereof; to form and receive new churches; to take special oversight of churches without pastors; to dissolve churches; to
dismiss churches with their consent;
g. To devise measures for the enlargement of the Church within its bounds; in general, to order whatever pertains to the spiritual welfare of the churches under its care;
h. And, finally, to propose to the Assembly such measures as may be of common advantage to the Church at large.
** What Are The Main Duties And Responsibilities Of The General Assembly?
BCO 14-1
The General Assembly is the highest court of this Church, and represents in one body all the churches thereof.

It bears the title of The GA of the PCA and constitutes the bond of union, peace and correspondence among all its congregations and courts.
** What are the permanent committees and agencies of the General Assembly?
BCO 14-1.
1. Administrative Committee of General
Assembly
2. Committee on Christian Education and Publications
3. Committee on Mission to North
America
4, Committee on Mission to the World, 5. Committee on Reformed University
Ministries
** What is a Committee of Commissioners?
BCO 15-6.
A commission called by the GA (of at least three elders) with the task of forming a provisional Presbytery in a foreign country where there exists no compatible indigenous Presbyterian and Reformed Church.

This commission has the authority to act as the Presbytery in all matters pertaining to the establishment and ordering of a national Church and shall report annually to the GA.

The commission is dissolved when there are at least three national teaching elders and three organized churches under its care, and these shall then constitute a separate national Church
** What are the agencies of the GA?
1. Christian Education and Publication
2. Covenant College
3. Covenant Seminary
4. PCA Retirement & Benefits Inc.
5. MNA
6. MTW
7. Ridge Haven Conference Center
8. Reformed University Ministries
** How Do A Committee Of Commissioners And A Permanent Committee Or Agency Differ?
A permanent committee reports to an appointing body to conclude business.

A committee of commissioners is charged with the concluding of business.
** What Is The Difference Between A Committee And A Commission?
BCO 15-1
a committee is appointed to examine, consider and report

a commission is authorized to deliberate upon and conclude the business referred to it, except in the case of judicial commissions of a Presbytery appointed under BCO 15-3.