The Covenant Network is pleased to offer a four-part video series featuring the Rev. Dr. Mark Achtemeier, author of The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage: An Evangelical’s Change of Heart, discussing how his journey with the Scriptures led him away from his initial opposition to marriage for committed lesbian and gay couples, and toward wholehearted support for marriage equality.
A Sermon on Acts 11:1-18 by the Rev. D. Mark Davis at the Covenant Network Regional Conference, St. Mark Presbyterian Church, November 22, 2014: “What it means to be part of a church that is empowered by God’s Spirit, is to spend our lives playing “catch up” to a Spirit who disrespects our prejudices and will not be hampered by our anxieties. None of us follows this Spirit easily, without some wrestling with God, without some difficult transitions from naïve certainty to perplexity to a chastened and transformed certainty. When we follow this Spirit, we are humbled, even when we’re right. We can listen to even our severest critics, because we know that the same Spirit whose work is confounding them is the same Spirit whose work once confounded us. What we can only do is to tell our stories with confidence and tell them with grace.”
A Sermon on Matthew 25:14-30 by the Rev. Brian D. Ellison at the Covenant Network of Presbyterians Regional Conference, College Hill Presbyterian Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma, November 15, 2014: “The reality is that we all have been entrusted with much. It is as if we have been given a talent, and knowing our master as we do, knowing the way the master reaps where he hasn’t sown, and harvests where he hasn’t scattered, having done so much already, we bury it. We cling to that hard-earned achievement, preserve that wealth of good will and justice abounding around us, ensure a comfortable if not extravagant future. Or we find a way of differentiation, of sheltering in place, of keeping the faith when surrounded by adversity through isolation and fear.”
Covenant Network Regional Conference, November 8th, 2014, Idlewild Presbyterian Church / Memphis, TN: “We keep hearing the stories that connect our present with our past. The stories continue but what is our place in the stories? What are the stories we tell? What are the stories that shape us today and give us life? “
Ruling Elder Ben Fitzgerald-Fye tells of his experience as a married gay man speaking during the debate on Amendment 14-F in the Presbytery of Kiskiminetas: “I had an intense conversation with God about reclaiming the right of gay and lesbian people to have faith and to shed the shame and fear we all knew too well. I began to feel that Saturday’s debate was no longer about myself and my husband, it was about the nature of Christianity as an accepting and socially just force in a much larger world than rural Pennsylvania.”