Shuck and Jive

Friday, February 06, 2015


30-13 (30 yes and 13 no) is the latest tally for the PCUSA marriage equality amendment!   I am adding the vote chart kept my More Light Presbyterians to the sidebar.    Redwoods, Utica and Western North Carolina all voted yes in the past week!

The big news is that Huntington voted yes, 31-29.  They had voted no last time on ordination equality.  So give Huntington the Flipper Award!

Nicely done.   There is no substitute for actually showing up to the meeting and voting!

Here are texts of Overture Advocates making their presentations at General Assembly.  I have reposted June Carlson's speech. June is an elder from Southminster.   She was on the Pastor Nominating Committee so she can also be blamed for you know what.   June said (quite eloquently):
I’m June Carlson, ruling elder. Southminster Presbyterian Church, Beaverton, Oregon, Cascades Presbytery. Two years ago, the 220th General called for “serious study and discernment” on Christian marriage. My congregation took this to heart. We studied scripture. We prayed together. Our pastor preached on the meaning of Christian marriage. Our “serious study and discernment” led us to conclude that because our faith calls us to live out the inclusive message of the Gospel, we must work for marriage equality in the PCUSA.

Accordingly, this overture seeks to replace Directory for Worship section W-4.9000 with the language you have before you. The overture originated in Cascades Presbytery. Sixteen others concurred. We represent all these presbyteries. We are here to advocate for our belief that your committee’s affirmative recommendation of this overture to the assembly is a faithful action to take.

In our Reformed tradition, working in the world for peace, equality, reconciliation and social justice is an expression of faith. The Book of Order urges us to honor diversity in our church councils. So is it consistent with our heritage to listen to the voices of those who have been marginalized in society, and especially within the fellowship of the church. Jesus modeled inclusivity, welcoming all, excluding no one from his blessing. That inclusivity has made a claim on our hearts, causing us to see that the church’s blessing of the covenant of marriage is meant not just for some, but for all our members. The current Directory for Worship language excludes same-gender loving couples like Ralph and Van who are full, vital, faithful members of our Christian family.

Over the last several years, the pace of social change has accelerated dramatically. Many of us struggle to make sense of this change. Some of us are confused or dismayed by changes in patterns of family, church, and culture. But these changes also offer opportunities to follow more faithfully that path of radical love and inclusivity that Jesus demonstrated in his ministry.

Thank you for undertaking the important task before you. Our deep concern is for what will become of those faithful Presbyterians who have been very patient with our church while we engage in years of “study and discernment” about whether they and their families shall receive our full blessing. It’s likely that whatever your committee and this Assembly decide, some people will feel disappointed. There is no comfortable resolution to the question before you, but we believe this amendment is the way forward by which the church can minister inclusively to all God’s children, while preserving freedom of conscience for individual members and ministers.

In our collective presentation today, we will make our case based in scripture, polity, and church mission; and share examples illustrating how our church marriage policy limits our ministry to those who seek the church’s guidance and care in making the lifelong commitment of marriage. 

As June said, this amendment provides an opportunity "to follow more faithfully that path of radical love and inclusivity that Jesus demonstrated in his ministry."

The truth.

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