QUOTE from post in More Light Presbyterians [USA]
After decades of slow changes in the hearts and minds of Presbyterians regarding welcome and affirmation of LGBTQ people, it is in many ways remarkable that the PC (USA) has chosen to ratify these much-needed changes to the Book of Order, not only correcting statements of fact (marriage as a civil contract has changed in most states to allow two people to enter the contract regardless of their gender), but also affirming marriage as God’s gift for the benefit of all humankind, not just heterosexual, gender-conforming couples.
…this is the culmination of a much longer and hard-fought struggle for recognition of LGBTQ people and our relationships. Before Jane Spahr and the couples she married put so much on the line in their judicial cases; before this Massachusetts couple and their pastor took unknown risks to claim the full richness of their relationship, there were the struggles of prior General Assemblies over civil unions, holy unions, domestic partnerships, and commitment ceremonies; and before that the struggle to keep body and soul together with a Christian sexual ethics based in justice-love. And well before General Assemblies would even talk about any of this there was the love, one person for another, a constant steady stream of what God had joined together, queering our understanding of ourselves and each other, of who God is and what church can and should be.
From Kotukutuku in Spring blog:
The current situation is one where there is space for only one point of view.
…I’m glad that there is a desire to do things differently… But I wish a dramatic stand had been taken before Assembly. Or I wish that a symbolic action, a disruption, could have happened without walking out. I think only a different sort of conversation will help us move forward, but it needs to happen alongside Assembly processes, because that is where decisions are made. For a diversity of views to be respected, General Assembly will need to vote to change the rules.
Rob reminds us (after Edward Hayes) to associate with the hopeful.
Continue reading General Assembly 2014 “From the Outside”
From Doug Burtenshaw, Convenor, UCA Lay Preachers Association, WA:
Below is a YouTube link which is from a well regarded voice in the sexuality debate.
Now available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHN7v54bGzQ
Continue reading Listening to 1st Century voices: Jewish & Christian attitudes to same-sex relations
“…we have not, will not, and cannot turn sexual minorities away. We will continue to welcome all people into our community, including all who are called into leadership, all who wish to be baptised, and all who wish to be married.”
From An Open Letter to the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, on behalf of the Parish Council of the Community of St Luke, Remuera:
“The decisions taken by General Assembly 2014 are deeply offensive to sexual minorities, deeply offensive to all those who are the parents, grandparents, partners, children, grandchildren, and Christian brothers and sisters of sexual minorities, and deeply offensive to all who believe on the basis of sound scholarship and experience that sexual diversity is a given to be accepted, welcomed and celebrated.
“The decision of General Assembly concerning marriage is also contrary to the clear tradition of Presbyterianism regarding Liberty of Conscience, the clear guidance of our Doctrine Core Group, and the clear wishes of our elected national leaders, namely the Moderator and Moderator-Designate.”
Ministers and celebrants of many denominations – including Presbyterian – have signed up to love and marriage equality.
The Yes to Love website ‘is a celebration of faith that is accepting and welcoming. It profiles leaders of religious and spiritual communities in Aotearoa who are saying “yes” to love and marriage equality. These are people of faith who are willing to conduct weddings for same-sex couples.’