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.

Covenant Network Board celebrates GA action on marriage

221st GA logo (150x177) (150x177)

A statement by the Board of Directors of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians: “The Covenant Network of Presbyterians rejoices in today’s historic actions by the 221st General Assembly allowing same-sex couples freedom to marry in the Presbyterian Church (USA) without risking discipline for the ministers officiating or the sessions hosting the wedding…”

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 Urgency of an Authoritative Interpretation on Marriage

By Tim Cahn: A new authoritative interpretation (“AI”) of the PCUSA Constitution is needed to ensure that teaching elders have discretion to officiate same-gender marriages in states where legal. Without a new AI, teaching elders who perform ecclesiastical marriage services for same-gender couples may continue to be vulnerable to disciplinary proceedings under the prevailing interpretations of the Book of Order. These disciplinary proceedings come at a high institutional and personal cost, including the hundreds of hours spent by many persons over several years to resolve these cases, the emotional toll on all parties concerned, and the often harsh public attention that such church trials can fix on the Church…

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)’