Shuck and Jive

Friday, June 27, 2008

Big Doins Today in Presbyland

At some point today the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church will address the issue everyone is watching, whether or not to approve the Committee on Church Orders recommendation to have this General Assembly declare that statements regarding homosexuality in 1978 and 1993 have no further effect and to send an alternative text for G-6.0106b to the presbyteries for ratification. The committee had approved this recommendation by a vote of 41-11.

Here is G-6.0106b as it stands:

“Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W-4.9001), or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, elders or ministers of the Word and Sacrament.”

Here is the proposed new text:

“Those who are called to ordained service in the church, by their assent to the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W-4.4003), pledge themselves to live lives obedient to Jesus Christ the Head of the Church, striving to follow where he leads through the witness of the Scriptures, and to understand the Scriptures through the instruction of the Confessions. In so doing, they declare their fidelity to the standards of the church. Each governing body charged with examination for ordination and/or installation (G-14.0240 and G-14.0450) establishes the candidate’s sincere efforts to adhere to these standards.”

The Peacemaking Committee will also present its recommendations which include a statement against
  • the option of pre-emptive war against Iran
  • and the impunity of military contractors operating outside the bounds of military law.
The Committee made statements for:
  • Conscientious objectors and
  • Human rights in Colombia, Philippines, and Zimbabwe.

Debate will ensue about whether the Presbyterians will advocate for removal of military presence in Iraq. Recommendations are also on the table for pursuing a just peace between Israel and Palestine.

The GA will also deal with issues regarding reproductive choice, pay equity for women and men, immigration issues, opposition to torture, energy issues, and a new social creed for the 21st century.

Oh, and to top off the day, Presbyterians will discuss whether or not to expand the definition of marriage to two people rather than one man and one woman.

Presbys are not afraid to get into the nitty gritty.

That should be an exciting show. Check in to the live stream video feed.

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