The 41st General Assembly, Part 4: Parliamentary Pandemonium

2013/07/15

Bruce Terrell’s work as Moderator of the PCA General Assembly can’t be blamed for the contentious nature of the 41st. He didn’t help it either. Terrell looked hesitant, confused, lost, and waylaid throughout the debates on the floor. I don’t recall him showing confidence about the next item on the agenda even when the room was relatively calm. Terrell frequently had to redo votes, dismiss and then recall commissioners making motions and speeches, and reflexively turn to parliamentarians and the Stated Clerk for bailouts. He didn’t project understanding of how the GA works or more than a minimal understanding of Robert’s Rules. I was impressed with how humble and apologetic he was about all the confusion and inconvenience. He seems like a nice fellow. Granting that, I don’t see why he was nominated for the position. It’s common in Presbyterianism to honor servants of the church with nominations to lead church assemblies. Why not nominate men with some savvy in parliamentary procedure so that the church business will proceed with excellence? Or, at least with a minimum of embarrassment?

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