Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

GAPJC Rules Against Rev. Janie Spahr

This is from Jim Rigby regarding the trial of Rev. Jane Spahr
Janie just called. The verdict was guilty by a 6-8 verdict. As far as I am concerned, the church renounced Christ when they said that Janie did what Jesus would do, but they would follow our own human rules over the law of love. 
I agree, Jim.  The church wants to do this the hard way.  So we will change the constitution.  It begins at this summer's General Assembly.  And we won't stop until it is changed.   

Meanwhile, we will bless these holy relationships.


  1. Sad. But the PCUSA will indeed change, and it won't be long now.

    I'm not sure what the fundies get out of delaying the inevitable (I mean, even they can see it, right?) other than the opportunity to just be mean because they can be mean and/or because they enjoy it. But whatever the reason, the PCUSA and the rest of society will change for the simple reason that we will not stop until it does change.

    We've clearly taught the PCUSA that lesson on ordination, but apparently some people are slow. So we'll teach them again.

    (C) 2012, Alan. All rights reserved.

    (*sigh* Apparently there are people quoting me without attribution and without permission, so though a copyright notice is not legally necessary according to the US Copyright Office, I'll include one until such time as it becomes unnecessary again.)

  2. Decisions like this are one reason why churches are dying. But the underlying reason is fear. Fear of life, fear of death, fear that there really is no "god" out there, fear of acknowledging our own power as creators and sustainers of life.

    This fear is pervasive, and is not only found among what I can only consider to be "fundamentalists" (of any religion or no religion).

    Somehow we need to develop a cosmology of trust and love. I am afraid that's not going to happen within (or among) the Christian church as it now exists. We need a new understanding of the "body of Christ." I recommend Matt Fox's "The Coming of the Cosmic Christ" (among others). Then we can get up in the faces of the fearful with our weird new theology (hear that Rick Santorum?) and indeed "stand on the side of love" for ourselves and the Planet.

  3. This decision should put the moderates who do not want to change the constitution regarding marriage on notice.

    It does no good pretending that not introducing or supporting legislation regarding marriage equality will bring peace to the church.

    It is time now for all advocates to fully support changing all of the documents in the Book of Order so that ministers and churches can do their jobs.

    It is also time for ministers and sessions to sign marriage licenses and to officiate at ceremonies for same-sex couples regardless of this decision.

  4. I haven't had time to read through the decision. Was there a sanction of any kind imposed?

  5. I assume that the initial rebuke is in force. She was censured by rebuke and enjoined to avoid such offenses in the future.

    My hunch is that she will not "avoid such offenses in the future."

  6. So, in spite of the rebuke, which isn't nothing, people can clearly see that even if a trial actually happens (which I've seen several times, they usually do not) the punishment is more or less, "meh."

    The observation just adds a little extra incentive to your call that "It is also time for ministers and sessions to sign marriage licenses and to officiate at ceremonies for same-sex couples regardless of this decision."

    (c) 2012

  7. Exactly. This is church court. We don't send people to the dungeon or burn them at the stake!

    I would imagine that it would take several rebukes (even assuming one is caught, tried, and judged) before you lose your ordination.

    So even then you have wiggle room. By that time we can change this thing.

  8. "We don't send people to the dungeon or burn them at the stake! "

    Not for lack of wanting to!