At the General Assembly in 2017 a special committee was created with the following terms of reference:
- The Special Committee shall create a safe and respectful environment in which confidentiality is assured, in order to encourage LGBTQI people:
- to tell their stories of harm done to them within and by the church; and
- to share their stories of God’s grace experienced by them and Christian ministry
- The Special Committee shall invite LGBTQI people to submit their stories orally or in writing. Stories will be included in the committee’s report to a future General Assembly with permission of those who have shared performed by them, even in the midst of the challenges they have faced.
- The Special Committee shall make use of relevant documents of the church, including but not limited to:
- the 1994 Human Sexuality Report;
- Body, Mind and Soul study document and the individual responses received by the Life and Mission Agency and the Committee on Church Doctrine to it; and
- any other such documents as the committee may deem relevant.
- The Special Committee shall provide an appropriate response to the issue of homophobia within The Presbyterian Church in Canada.
- The Special Committee shall recommend concrete actions addressing homophobia to the General Assembly for implementation within the church.
- The Special Committee shall report its progress at each upcoming General Assembly, with a final report by or before the 2020 General Assembly.
- The Special Committee shall be made up of seven members drawn from across the church. The Special Committee shall be reflective of the ethnic diversity of the denomination and shall include at least two members of the LGBTQI community.
- The Assembly Council shall be instructed to support the Special Committee with an appropriate budget and appropriate document support.
Co-Conveners: The Rev. Dr. Bob Faris (Toronto, ON), Ms Sue Senior (Waterloo, ON)
Members: The Rev. Dr. Tim Archibald (New Minas, NS), The Rev. Joseph Bae (Thornhill, ON), The Rev. Dr. Jean Morris (Calgary, AB), Ms Sydney O’Brien (Oakville, ON), Ms Bassma Younan (Aurora, ON)
The Committee met in Toronto on September 15-16, 2017, and will meet again on November 16, 2017.