Jim Hudnut-Beumler predicts that the approval of Amendment 14-F will continue the movement toward marriage equality in a growing number of congregations — not because ministers and sessions will be forced against their will, but because “‘the power of one’ has the power to change hearts and minds.”
The Covenant Network of Presbyterians is grateful that with today’s presbytery votes, a majority of the 171 presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (USA) have approved an amendment to the church’s Book of Order that describes marriage as “a unique relationship between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”
Keynote Address by the Rev. Dr. Mark Hostetter at the Covenant Network Regional Conference ~ Philadelphia, PA, February 7, 2015:
” One of the things I love most about Covenant Network, the uniqueness of CovNet, is that you are changing hearts and minds with a vision of living the lives Jesus calls us to – of welcome and inclusion and truth and joy; and yes, too, lives led with purity and proclamation and biblically-based witness and testimony and making Jesus the center of our lives and vision.
Reaching across the aisle, not demonizing those who disagree, that’s the power of Covenant Network. Engaging in respectful dialog, talking about issues, taking arguments one-by-one and one-on-one, not shying away from the hard discussions, giving reason, giving faith, giving testimony, giving hope. The power of Covenant Network lies in personal connection.”
As the Presbytery of Santa Fe prepares to consider Amendment 14-F this weekend, Ken Cuthbertson reflects on the amendment, church history, theology, and relationships within the PCUSA: “I hope to speak to having been at GA and how deeply impressed I was/am at the care taken to move into a newly worded description of marriage while endeavoring to honor and hold space for those who differ. We are “one in the Spirit” and “one in the Lord.” What we need on Saturday is for our folks to show up, and – as needed and as moved – to speak our truth.”
By the end of the month of February, more than half the presbyteries will have voted on the amendment that seeks to extend the good gift of marriage to all. We’ve had a good start, but there is still much work to do. The Covenant Network is working tirelessly this month to organize, educate and advocate for a successful outcome — approval by 86 or more presbyteries. Three donors have pledged to match, dollar for dollar, all contributions of $86 or more in the month of February (up to $1000 each). Please click here to donate.
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.”