UPDATE: Frequently Asked Questions About General Assembly Marriage Actions

We’ve heard from many congregations, pastors and mid-council staff that it would be helpful to have some clarity about what the 221st General Assembly did — and did not do — about marriage. To assist the church in processing the meaning of the authoritative interpretation and proposed amendment to W-4.9000, the Covenant Network has prepared the following list of questions and answers.

“You will know them by their fruits.”

Address to the Covenant Network by Dr. Mark Achtemeier, 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA): “There have been previous General Assemblies where I worked very hard to pass the constitutional ban on gay people serving in the ordained ministries of the PC(USA). I am co-author of the declaration of faith that the Presbyterian Coalition adopted to unite its members in their opposition to gay inclusion. I keynoted the National Celebration of Confessing Churches, which rallied conservative congregations to stand fast in the struggle to keep the constitutional ban in place.
And yet here we are today. I remain fully committed to a high view of biblical authority. But I stand before you as a chastened disciple who now recognizes that the witness of scripture comes down overwhelmingly on the side of gay inclusion.”

Authoritative Interpretation on Marriage – Overture Advocates’ Presentation

Overture Advocates for three items requesting an Authoritative Interpretation on marriage – 26 overtures and concurrences, the most of any item on any subject before the 221st GA – combined their time to make one presentation to the Committee on Civil Union and Marriage Issues. Read it here.

Marriage Amendment Overture Advocate Presentation

Overture Advocates from the 17 presbyteries that proposed an amendment to W-4.9000, the marriage section in the Directory for Worship of the PCUSA Book of Order, made a presentation the morning of Monday, June 16, to the Committee on Civil Union and Marriage Issues of the 221st General Assembly. Read it here.

The Great Pentecost Struggle… Then, and Now

Ken Cuthbertson

Ken Cuthbertson: ‘It should not come as a surprise that the story of Peter and Cornelius means a lot to those of us who have struggled long and hard over the last forty years, seeking the full inclusion of LGBTQ Christians in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Many of us see the story of Cornelius, his family and friends, as paralleling our own. We know we aren’t kosher, but we love God, and feel called to be part of this ever-emerging thing called church. And, thankfully, there are friends and advocates who, like Peter, keep saying to the church: “If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” (Acts 11: 17)’

Acts Then and Now

McKell

Jay McKell reflects on Pentecost, the Council of Jerusalem, and the 221st General Assembly: “God’s welcome is wide. Ancient and outdated barriers are cast aside and grace abounds.”