17. Ecclesiastical Commissions

  1. A Commission differs from an ordinary committee in this, that while a committee is appointed to examine, consider and report, a Commission is authorized to deliberate upon and conclude the business referred to it. It shall keep a full record of its proceedings, which shall be submitted to the court appointing it, entered on its minutes, and regarded and treated as the action of the court.
  2. Among the matters that may be properly executed by Commissions are the taking of testimony in judicial cases, the ordination of Ministers, the installation of Ministers, the visitation of portions of the Church affected with disorder, and the organization of new churches.Every Commission appointed by Presbytery shall consist of at least two Ministers and two Ruling Elders, and the Presbytery at the time of the appointment of the Commission shall determine what the quorum shall be. However, should a Presbytery clothe a Commission with judicial powers and authority to conduct judicial process, or with power to ordain a Minister of the Gospel, the quorum of such Commission shall not be less than two Ministers and two Ruling Elders. When the ordination of a Minister is committed to a Commission, the Presbytery itself shall conduct the previous examination.
  3. The Presbytery may, of its own motion, commit any judicial case coming before it by appeal or complaint to a Commission, and should ordinarily follow this procedure, especially when requested by one or both parties to the case. Such a Commission shall be appointed by the court from its members other than members of the court from which the case comes up. Two-thirds of the Commissioners shall be a quorum to attend to business. The Commission shall try the case in the manner prescribed by the Rules of Discipline; shall submit to the court a full statement of the case and the judgment rendered, all of which shall be entered on the minutes of the court and accepted as its action and judgment in the case.
  4. The Presbytery shall have power to commit the various interests pertaining to the general work of evangelization to one or more Commissions.


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