According to a recently released survey, support for same-sex marriage among Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) members and pastors has considerably increased since 2005.
In research conducted by Presbyterian Research Services and published in October, the number of PC(USA) members and pastors supporting the denomination redefining marriage grew. In 2005, 23 percent of PC(USA) members supported same-sex marriage; in 2012, the number had increased to 34 percent. Among pastors, support for same-sex marriage in 2005 was at 35 percent; in 2012, it is at 49 percent.
Jack Marcum, coordinator of Research Services at Presbyterian Mission Agency and author of the published findings, framed the issue regarding a recent vote by PC(USA)'s General Assembly to keep their traditional marriage definition in the denomination's constitution. more >>
The highest legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) rejected on Friday an attempt to reverse its ordination standards to once again ban partnered gay clergy.
The proposed measure would have reinstated a requirement that clergy live "a chaste and disciplined life, whether in holy marriage between a man and a woman or in single life."
It's been one year since the PC(USA) officially lifted the ban on openly gay clergy. Dozens of congregations have left the denomination since then, citing the liberal direction of the church body. more >>
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 >>
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) held a debate during its General Assembly in Pittsburgh, Pa., where a proposed divestment from companies doing business with the Israeli government was narrowly rejected on Thursday.
The Assembly, which will also be debating a number of key issues such as same-sex marriage, initially voted to bring the issue up for discussion and ask members whether they wanted the church to continue doing business with companies like Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard, which have been supplying the Israeli military with security products. These business ties are seen by some as harmful to the Palestinian people who live under Israeli occupation in disputed territories in the West Bank. The PC(USA) had reportedly been in talks with these companies for the past eight years, which was unsuccessful in implementing changes.
"It's too early to know what is going to happen, but I have been moved to tears on multiple occasions as I saw authentic recognition of Palestinian experience and deep commitment to justice for all people by the Presbyterian Church," commented Rabbi Alissa Wise, the director of campaigns for Jewish Voice for Peace, after the vote. "This is a historic moment in the struggle for dignity and justice, and I commend the PC(USA) for getting us this close to holding corporations accountable for profiting from the occupation." 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 >>