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Studies & Actions of the General Assembly of
The Presbyterian Church in America

Ecclesiastical Fellowship

[3rd General Assembly (1975), 3-73, Item 4, p. 86, etc.]

Ecclesiastical Fellowship:
1975, 3-73, 4; p. 86
4. That the language adopted by the General Assembly designating "Churches in Fraternal Relation" (Minutes of the Second General Assembly, p. 75), be changed to read, "Churches in Ecclesiastical Fellowship." This relationship will imply:
a. Exchange of fraternal delegates at major assemblies.
b. Occasional pulpit fellowship.
c. Intercommunion (i.e., fellowship at the Table of the Lord).
d. Joint action in areas of common responsibility.
e. Communication on major issues of joint concern.
f. The exercise of mutual concern and admonition with a view to promoting the fundamentals of Christian unity.
5. That the Committee on Interchurch Relations be authorized to designate fraternal delegates to the meetings of those Churches with which this Church is in ecclesiastical fellowship.
6. That the General Assembly authorize members and/or executives of its Permanent Committees to meet regularly for mutual sharing of plans and for consultation with the corresponding committees of those Churches with which we are in ecclesiastical fellowship. Funding of such meetings shall be by the respective committees.

1976, 4-59, 5 and 12; p. 67
5. That the General Assembly continue its previous authorization that committees of the General Assembly may designate members of these committees or of the church-at-large to meet as regularly as practical with the corresponding committees of these churches in ecclesiastical fellowship with us in order to encourage the mutual sharing of plans and a consultation on matters of common interest.
12. We recommend that local churches and presbyteries of the PCA seek every opportunity for fellowship with churches and presbyteries which are members of bodies with which we have ecclesiastical fellowship.
The report was adopted as a whole.

1985, 13-44, III, 7; p. 97
That the General Assembly no longer pursue consideration of membership in the Reformed Ecumenical Synod in any form, and declare that it will only become affiliated with RES or any other interchurch body by the deliberate action of the General Assembly. In adopting this, the Assembly is clarifying its intentions with regard to the clause in the Joint Statement of 1983 in relation to "honor the commitments of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church". Lest it be otherwise interpreted, the Assembly is declaring that this statement will not enter the PCA into membership in RES in any form for any period of time. Adopted.
That it be the policy of the PCA to continue exchanging fraternal delegates with our sister churches in NAPARC, that we exchange fraternal correspondence with those bodies outside North America that the General Assembly shall determine, and that the Committee on Interchurch Relations shall recommend church bodies to be placed on this correspondence list after consulting the Committee on Mission to the World and/or PCA missionaries in those countries where the bodies are located. Adopted.
9. That we affirm the following courteous code of behavior to guide our church planting ministries in North America:
A. We will be sensitive to the presence of existing churches and missions ministries of other NAPARC churches and will take great care in receiving members of these existing ministries.
B. We will communicate with the equivalent or appropriate agency (denominational missions committee or board, Presbytery missions or church extension committee, or session) before initiating church planting activities in a neighborhood where NAPARC churches or missions ministries exist.
C. We will provide information on at least an annual basis describing progress in our ministries and future plans.
D. We will encourage our regional home missions leadership to develop good working relationships.
(Grounds: The above is the "Golden Rule" Comity Agreement of NAPARC as slightly amended.)

Corresponding Churches Abroad:
1990, 18-16, III, 6; p. 69
That the permanent committee on Interchurch Relations be given the responsibility of formulating principles and policies for the category of Corresponding Churches Abroad for approval by the 19th General Assembly, and that the committee be enabled to co-op a representative of Mission to the World to assist in this matter.