The Saturday morning plenary at the 2013 Covenant Conference, “Marriage Matters,” included a look at the Covenant Network’s work leading up to the 221st General Assembly (2014), to be held in Detroit June 14-21. With a focus on marriage equality, the CovNet Board is supporting both an authoritative interpretation of the current language of the Book of Order to clarify that officiating at a same-gender marriage is not an offense subjecting a minister to discipline, and an amendment to the Directory for Worship to make it more accurate now that marriage equality is spreading in the United States.
On the afternoon of Sunday, August 25, 2013, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area ordained Daniel Vigilante as a Teaching Elder and installed him as Pastor of Grace-Trinity Community Church and Associate Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis. Dan is a member of the Board of Directors of the Covenant Network, and we rejoice with him as he has, at long last, reached this stage in his ministry. Read more…
The Covenant Network rejoices in the approval of a new translation of the Heidelberg Catechism for the Book of Confessions. It also is thankful for the defeat of Amendment 12-B, which would have added unnecessary language to the ordination standards newly approved in 2011.
Ken Cuthbertson explores the historical contexts of the usage in the PCUSA’s Book of Confessions where marriage is specifically spoken of as being between “a man and a woman” — particularly relevant since that phrase has become the focus in so much of the rhetoric in the current debates concerning same-sex marriage in the church, and in society in general.
The Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Cuthbertson is a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a scholar of church history and historical theology, and a spiritual director. He is a native of Kansas and a graduate of Sterling College, Gordon-Conwell Seminary, and the School of Religion at the University of Iowa. His new book, The Last Presbyterian?, is a historical-theological-spiritual memoir about the “psalm-singing, Sabbath-keeping” strain of old-time Scots-American Presbyterianism from which his family came, and includes reflections on how we might carry key elements of that faith heritage forward into an inclusive, emergent, and missional church for the 21st century. Ken and his spouse, Doug, live in New Mexico.
Ken offers a draft of a confessionally-based statement about marriage for our day and time.
May Presbyterian ministers officiate at weddings of same-gender couples? May Sessions give permission for such ceremonies to be held on their premises? The Board of the Covenant Network has analyzed the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission’s decisions in cases where teaching elders have been involved in same-gender marriages, and offers thoughts for those who are concerned with providing pastoral care that is consistent with the GAPJC’s authoritative interpretation of the PCUSA Constitution.