Vacant Congregations Assembling for Public Worship

  1. Considering the great importance of weekly assembling the people, for the public worship of God, in order thereby to improve their knowledge; to confirm their habits of worship, and their desire of the public ordinances; to augment their reverence for the most high God; and to promote the charitable affections which unite men most firmly in society, it is recommended, that every vacant congregation meet together, on the Lord’s Day, at one or more places, for the purpose of prayer, singing praises, and reading the Holy Scriptures, together with the works of such approved divines, as the presbytery within whose bounds they are may recommend, and they may be able to procure; and that the elders be the persons who shall preside, and select the portions of Scripture, and of the other books to be read; and to see that the whole be conducted in a becoming and orderly manner.
  2. Presbyteries may supervise vacant churches within their bounds through a committee or committees appointed for this purpose, or through the moderators who have been appointed for the sessions. Such supervision includes co-operation with the session, or with any authorized committee of the particular church, in the supply of the pulpit, and in the seeking and securing of a pastor.