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“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” — Luke 23:42

General Assembly Actions


Following actions taken by the 221st General Assembly, the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy is seeking nominations from across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) of persons to serve on study task forces. The studies below were authorized in response to overtures by presbyteries, usually by more than the two required to concur in such official requests to the Assembly. A short nomination form is available here.

In light of the financial situation of the church, these study teams are smaller in size than has been customary, yet the provision of such studies has long been seen as essential if the church is to address serious social challenges with credibility. It is also Presbyterian tradition that General Assembly statements on social witness policy are developed by a committee of persons elected by the General Assembly rather than simply by staff members. Thus in each case persons of expertise and experience are invited to submit their names and brief background, and then the Advisory Committee (often known by its acronym, ACSWP) selects teams. Smaller than official “Special Committees,” these study teams report back to the Committee, ensuring editorial review and often wider testing of the reports produced. 

The Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy is now seeking nominations for the following approved studies:

Drug Policy Reform Study: Seeking seven to nine volunteers with experience in policy analysis or advocacy, addiction science, criminal justice and international relations, law enforcement or judicial representation and defense counsel or community litigation for a study on drug policy reform. This taskforce will: 

  • Serve as a clearinghouse for information and discussion of relevant issues;
  • Create an online presence with resources for local church study groups even as a report to the 2016 Assembly is prepared; 
  • Conduct four hearings in collaboration with presbyteries to receive a a broad range of insights and dialogue on the issue of drug policy reform.

Additional information is available here

Click here to complete a nomination form. 

End of Life Concerns Study: Seeking a seven to eight person team of Presbyterian ethicists and physicians to produce a pastoral and educational booklet giving guidance on the end of life concerns, including: 

  • Physician-assisted suicide;
  • Palliative and terminal sedation;
  • Pastoral support of dying persons and their families;
  • Special circumstances of persons with disabilities.

Additional details are available here

Click here to complete a nomination form. 

Sustainable Development and the Precautionary Principle: The Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy seeks to commission a study of three to five persons to: 

  • Review the precautionary or prevention principle as it relates to emerging biotechnical developments (such as nanotechnology, genetic engineering and changing climate/chemical interactions) and existing Presbyterian social witness policy;
  • Prepare a study paper and resources for social media. 

Additional information can be found here

Click here to complete a nomination form. 

Two-State Solution in Israel and Occupied Palestine: This three to four person taskforce will be responsible for:

  • Providing a comprehensive history of General Assembly policies favoring a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine;
  • Preparing a report for the 222nd General Assembly (2016) that provides the most up-to-date information regarding all aspects of the Israeli occupation in Palestine, including the present status and pace of illegal settlement building, the appropriation of Palestinian land and resources, the restriction of movement on Palestinian citizens in Palestine and the extent to which human rights are denied to Palestinian people. 
  • Examining and honestly evaluate the existing Assembly statements about the viability of a Palestinian state in light of the most recent developments regarding facts on the ground in Palestine; 
  • Making a recommendation about whether the Assembly should continue to call for a two-state solution;
  • Making other policy recommendations related to findings from the report.

Additional information can be found here

Click here to complete a nomination form. 

Human Trafficking Comprehensive Policy Study: In connection with the Advocacy Committee on Women's Concerns, this four person task group will review the current Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) policy regarding human trafficking and propose comprehensive human trafficking policy grounded in a human rights based approach.

Additional details can be found here

Click here to complete a nomination form.