In the spirit of Advent, where the church year is made new again, I’d like to take some time to reflect on this past year in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I’ll use this post to reflect back on what was, and another later in the month to look forward at what could be.
This week, two Presbyterian groups will be looking for solutions that will comfort conservative Presbyterians who are anxious about the church, and today, I write with a solution that I hope they consider.
A few months ago, President Jimmy Carter took religion to task for contributing to discrimination against women around the world. From my perspective, President Carter’s comments definitely struck home. But it led me to also ask the question: What does religion, and specifically my faith, Christianity, really have to say about gender?
I have had only two encounters with Rev. Joan Gray, Moderator of the 217th General Assembly (2006-2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Both of them have been memorable and helpful to me in understanding how to be a Christian and a Presbyterian.
This spring, with other former moderators, Rev. Lamar signed a letter calling for unity in the face of the ratification of Amendment 10A. Now in retirement in upstate New York, I sought him out last week and asked him to share with me, specifically, how the church can best do that now. I treasure his wisdom and want to share it with you here.
How we see God at work in this may vary but we can pause for a moment on the blessed common ground of acknowledging God at work in the church and the world in this vote. We can join together in keeping our eyes on God’s presence and inspiration and move ahead.
There are many conversations still to be had this Eastertide in the presbyteries yet to vote. Two years ago, the majority of 87 was reached a few weeks after Easter. Right now, only God knows what will eventually be written in the Book of Life.
In essence, we have said to our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members, “Too bad, your Baptism pales in the light of our judgment of you.”
Christ has no body on earth but ours; Ours are the only hands which Christ can use to work, Ours are the only feet with which Christ can go about the world, Ours are the only eyes through which Christ’s compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world. Christ has no body on earth now […]
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been talking with ministers and elders across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) about Amendment 10-A. Voting on the amendment will continue through the next few months and, if ratified, 10-A would allow our congregations and presbyteries to ordain gay or lesbian elders and ministers they deem ready to serve in […]