Reflections from Keith Geckeler, our Stated Clerk, after the approval of the New Form of Government (nFOG).

“Ministers and commissioners to presbytery.   I trust that you will see that this letter and the attached information get to the individuals in your congregation who will be responsible for interpreting and implementing the New Form of Government.

Attached in spreadsheet format are the first of what I’m sure will be a series of charts and tables to help us identify where we have to make changes because of the new Form of Government—and were we won’t have to make any change.

There are two charts that break down where in the new Form of Government there are the most critical changes—and the most critical places where there is no change.   Prepared by Donna Wells, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta (and a personal friend), they are an excellent starting point for comparing changes.   If you want to do your own search you can go to

for a complete copy of the present Form of Government in parallel column with new Form of Government.

Much has been made of the fact that there is no quorum set by the Form of Government for meetings of a congregation.  [Congregations must do this for themselves].   Since all of our congregations are required to produce their By-Laws/Standing Rule for Session Records Review—and since By-Laws are one of the required records of Session Records Review, (if it’s not, books are automatically rendered “Not Acceptable”.  )—and since all of my templates and examples include a “Quorum for a Congregational Meeting”—all of our churches should be in compliance.   If not, you need to immediately take steps to amend your constitution to establish a quorum for a congregational meeting.)

With the links below, you can find and read about the changes in the new form of government, which changes impact local churches the most, which changes you will not notice or have not changed, and which things may (or may not) should have changed:

15 things that impact local churches the most

15 things you can forget or have forgotten and you’ll be retired before you know they have changed (and things that have not changed)

Twelve things that some think should (or should not) have changed

An additional important link is provided below to address problems and in the new edition of the Book of Order:  2011-2013 Book of Order Corrected Index Only  This information is not on the PC(USA) site yet, but addresses some corrections and “errata” in the new book.

Rev. Dr. W. Keith Geckeler
Associate Presbytery Pastor/Stated Clerk
Presbytery of Los Ranchos

Chart for What Does NOT Change

Chart for What Changes