The agenda of items to be debated and voted upon by the International General Council of the Church of God has been placed on the Church of God website, following a pre-release mailing to ordained bishops earlier this month.
The agenda is posted in its entirety as a PDF document, allowing for online viewing or the ability to print out a complete copy, if desired. It is available in both English and Spanish and includes summary and explanatory notes on several of the agenda items.
There are 20 items on the agenda, including the traditional presentation of resolutions as the last order of business. After four days of General Council sessions (July 24-27), the nominations, deliberations, and decisions of the group, comprised of ordained bishops, then heads to a Friday afternoon session of the General Assembly, which is made up of all registered delegates age 16 years and older, who will then further discuss or ratify the Council’s actions.
The first order of business for the General Council is nomination of the Executive Committee, the denomination’s highest governing body. The leaders who will eventually be elected will be voted to serve in their posts until 2016.
An unknown of the nominations which follow is the outcome of a measure to eliminate two assistant positions, assistant director of Youth and Discipleship and assistant director of World Missions. Should the General Council vote to eliminate the positions, a special called session of the General Assembly will take place that afternoon at 2:30 to approve or nullify the action.
Other elected positions include Director of Youth and Discipleship and Director of World Missions. The General Council will complete selection of leaders with the election of the International Executive Council, or Council of Eighteen.
Highlights of the General Council Agenda include a re-visitation to the question of church affiliations. Several concerns have been addressed since the last Assembly. State and regional leadership are being offered more flexibility in defining the roles of youth and evangelism directors. Some changes are being considered in the operation of the Motions Committee, as well as the Aged Ministers Fund. Item #9 deals with lowering the age for ministers to become ordained bishops, provided they meet other criteria.
An item on Women in Ministry opens the door for women to serve on church boards that have previously been open to men only. The measure reflects the spirit of motions passed in previous Assemblies where women are now active participants.
There will also be reports given from task forces put in place. One critical report will be addressed on Thursday morning and deals with a National Church Planting Strategy.