This page is intended to make available, to persons who are part of the Dayspring community of faith and care, the resources (Documents 1, 3, 4, and 5) which have been developed by the Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC) along with a personal reflection by a Minister-in-association who is a member of Dayspring’s Session (Document 2).
The PCC documents were created as a result of requests from Presbyteries, Sessions, and individuals from across Canada who are trying to figure out how to relate to persons who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, and/or Intersex/Inquiring (LGBTQI).
You are encouraged to download and study the documents.
Dayspring Session offered an opportunity on three successive Saturdays in early 2018 for persons who are part of the Dayspring community to have a conversation about the issues raised by these documents. These were not decision-making meetings – rather were “conversations” with an intent to focus on three questions:
- Why does it become so difficult to interpret the Word of God?
- Why do we want to re-interpret the Word of God?
- How are any of your family members or friends or persons connected with Dayspring affected by this conversation?
There was an opportunity after having read and reflected on the documents and/or participated in at least one of the Saturday morning conversations, to provide feedback to the PCC by responding to an online questionnaire.
Please note that if any change is to be made to the practice of the PCC and of Dayspring Church, the decision about that will be made by the General Assembly.
In the PCC, congregations elect persons who are ordained as Elders to serve on Session. Session oversees the life and work of the congregation. Sessions appoint one of their number to serve as a member of Presbytery and Synod – which oversee the work of the congregations located in their geographical region.
The General Assembly oversees the overall work of the congregations of the PCC in Canada and our mission and service partnerships with Christian churches in many parts of the world. It does that work through boards, committees, and staff who report to the General Assembly when it meets, once yearly, in early June. General Assembly comprises 1/6th of the active ministers from each presbytery across the church, together with an equal number of elders selected by the Sessions of the Presbytery in rotation. With 11 active ministers, Edmonton-Lakeland Presbytery sends two Ministers and two Elders to General Assembly each year. Dayspring Session Clerk was one of the Elders who attended the 2017 General Assembly. Dayspring’s minister was a commissioner at General Assembly in 2016 and 2018.
Members of General Assembly do not “represent” anyone in the decision-making of the Assembly. Rather, they are “commissioned” to vote according to their conscience – of course with due regard for the wellbeing of the whole church.
On February 13, 2018 acting on the decision of the General Assembly, Peter Bush, Moderator of the 143rd (2017) General Assembly, published a Letter of Repentance to the LGBTQI Community. You can find the letter here.
The 144th General Assembly (June 2018) assigned a Special Committee of former moderators (from the past 12 years) to review the issue and propose a way ahead that allows for the mission and ministry of the PCC to continue. They are expected to report back at next year’s Assembly.
The work of the Rainbow Communion Listening Committee will continue.
The 2018 General Assembly also sent a report on Unity and Diversity to Sessions, Presbyteries, and Synods, asking us to study and provide feedback on the document. You can find the document by clicking on this link. Dayspring Session studied the document and forwarded its response (click on this link to see the response) to the General Assembly.