Hymn-writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is offering a wedding hymn — using the tune of the Thanksgiving standard, “We Gather Together — with permission for use by anyone who supports the work of the Covenant Network and the request that donations go to the Covenant Network. The hymn was commissioned for the wedding of Paul Tellstrom and Carl Whidden on September 7, 2014.
The Rev. Stephanie Anthony explains the discernment process leading to the unanimous Session decision that “at First Presbyterian Church of Hudson, Wisconsin requests for Session consideration of marriage will not be denied based upon sexual orientation.”
The Covenant Network is profoundly grateful for the decision of the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court proclaimed that states may not refuse to grant marriage licenses to couples of the same sex, and must recognize valid marriages contracted in other jurisdictions. The decision expands marriage equality nationwide and affirms the equal dignity of all persons, removing one form of legal discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
When the Presbytery of Northeast Georgia met to consider Amendment 14-F, both the Pastor of Nacoochee Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Robert W. Prim, and Ruling Elder Theodore Brothers shared their testimony.
Bob: “The Bible does give a clear sense about God’s purposes for marriage — God has given us marriage so that human beings might grow in self-giving love. In this way marriage is a beautiful metaphor for God’s relationship with Israel and Jesus’ relationship with the Church.”
Ted: “Now, I know that many of you believe that I chose to be gay. You are wrong. Being gay is something God chose for me when I was born. Being gay is how I was created. For me, to deny being gay would be to deny God. I cannot do that. Nor can I deny the love that I have for my husband, Mike.”
Mike and Debbie Regele are among many evangelical Christians whose views on same-gender relationships have been challenged when one of their children came out to them as LGBT. Each of them prepared remarks for the meeting of the Presbytery of Los Ranchos considering the Marriage Amendment 14-F.
Mike: “The question I want to address in a few brief comments is why I am on the affirming side.”
Debbie: “This is my story — but it is only one of many families’ in our presbytery who face this issue in a personal way. So I speak for them too — please prayerfully consider supporting this amendment.”
Keynote Address by the Rev. Larry Owens at the Covenant Network Regional Conference at Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, November 8, 2014: “Lord, we are forever asking you for many things, and what you are forever giving us instead…is the gift of one another.”