The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to keep its current definition of marriage "between a woman and a man" by narrowly defeating a proposal to change the wording to "between two people" at its 220th General Assembly Friday evening.
The proposal by same-sex marriage proponents would have also changed the definition of marriage from being a "civil contract" to a "covenant" that "according to the laws of the state also constitutes a civil contract."
Nearly four hours of debate preceded the 338-308 vote. While in prayer after the vote, General Assembly Moderator Neal Presa said, "Some of us weep while some of us rejoice. We are a divided church." more >>
The 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) narrowly passed a resolution on Thursday against using corporal punishment on children.
"Most people know the difference between discipline and abuse. I would like us to trust parents that most of them can responsibly [use] corporal punishment," said the Rev. James Emig of the Denver Presbytery, according to a PC(USA) blog.
Many Christians believe corporal punishment is a biblical practice. Proverbs 13:24 says, "Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them." Still, other Christians believe children can be effectively disciplined in a non-physical way. more >>
Days after being elected as vice moderator of the General Assembly – the second highest elected position in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – the Rev. Tara Spuhler McCabe resigned on Wednesday after realizing that her recent participation in a same-sex marriage was going to be disruptive.
"The amount of conversation in person and comments online indicate that my confirmation has obviously touched a nerve," she said in a speech to the Assembly. "The tension over all of this is real, and clearly the energy and passion about this issue runs deep – and isn't going away."
McCabe, who served as associate pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., pointed out that people had posted blogs, tweets and comments that were "unhelpful" and "divisive" since she was elected by a 55 to 44 percent vote on Sunday. more >>
The first openly gay bishop in The Episcopal Church recently praised pro-gay Presbyterians for creating "enormous confusion" and what he called "holy chaos" in their denomination over homosexuality.
"It was not that many years ago when our churches, yours and mine and most others, were absolutely certain what God thought of us ... and because of your courageous work, there are a lot of confused people out there and that is a huge step forward," Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire said Saturday during an event sponsored by More Light Presbyterians – a pro-LGBT group.
Robinson looked to commend and further encourage gays and lesbians as they face several measures on homosexuality during the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s General Assembly in Pittsburgh. The denomination is considering a proposal to reverse a 2010 decision that allowed partnered gay clergy to serve and another measure that would redefine marriage. Votes are expected to take place later this week. more >>
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will vote on two highly contentious issues at its General Assembly beginning Saturday with some presbyteries proposing reversal of the right to ordain openly gay and lesbian clergy and some seeking a change to the definition marriage.
Some presbyteries are calling for restoration of the 1996 standard that required "fidelity in the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness" for all clergy, according to PC(USA), which will have it biennial assembly from June 30-July 7 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Some other presbyteries want to change the definition of marriage from being between "a man and a woman" to "two people." Five others are seeking an authoritative interpretation of the constitution that would allow pastors to officiate at wedding ceremonies in states where same-gender marriage is legal. more >>
The short answer is: a lot. Some of it was incredibly heartening–making new friends with some dear brothers and sisters, laughing with old friends, and having sweet times of prayer and fellowship outside of Synod. Some of Synod was goofy, like putting sticky notes on paper cubes and walking by the massage tent (no joke). It was an exhausting week, one from which I still have not recovered. I'm glad I don't have to go back for five years.
But while there are many experiences and frustrations to share, let me cut to the chase and summarize the two biggest issues. Both items are not being described entirely accurately in the outside press.
Homosexuality more >>