Progress, Pushback, Possibilities: A preliminary look at the 222nd GA

On Saturday morning at the 2015 Covenant Conference, national organizer Tricia Dykers Koenig offered an early look at the Covenant Network’s priorities at the 222nd General Assembly (2016), which will meet next June in Portland, Oregon.

Science, Scripture, and Same-Sex Love

A book review by Tricia Dykers Koenig: “Regele explores multiple disciplines in his search for understanding – biology, psychology, sociology, and demographics, along with biblical study, theology, and church history – and reflects on these learnings in light of his personal story. He provides an accessible survey of the science pointing to the probability that sexual orientation is innate, resulting from a combination of genetic and prenatal hormonal influences. The ethical conclusion: it is inconsistent with loving one’s LGBTQ neighbors to blame and penalize them for a characteristic they did not choose and cannot change.”

TORN: Justin Lee’s witness

Tricia Dykers Koenig suggests you read TORN: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate, by Justin Lee.

Going to the Chapel

A Sermon on 1 John 4:7–21 by the Rev. Tricia Dykers Koenig at the Philadelphia Regional Conference, Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church, February 7, 2015: “Friends, we don’t welcome other religions because we believe they are true – we welcome them because we believe our own Lord and Savior. We are not kind to others because they particularly deserve it – we are kind because it is our call in Christ. Welcoming all, especially the marginalized, is not about who they are. It’s about who we are. Or perhaps more precisely, because we know who we are – children of God because God loves us unconditionally – then we know we can never deny that identity to another.”

Why the Marriage Amendment Matters

Tricia Dykers Koenig: Given that the GA’s authoritative interpretation of W-4.9000 affirms that ministers may use their discretion in officiating at marriages of same-gender couples, does it matter if the presbyteries approve the proposed Marriage Amendment, 14-F?

The Significance of an Authoritative Interpretation on Marriage

By Tricia Dykers Koenig: “It has been claimed that an authoritative interpretation of W-4.9000, the marriage section in the Directory for Worship, is an attempt to amend the Book of Order without votes from the presbyteries. On the contrary, an authoritative interpretation does not aim to amend what the Book of Order says about marriage – there are other overtures that would do that. An authoritative interpretation simply states that decisions made about pastoral care and worship that do not conform in every detail to the words of W-4.9000 do not necessarily constitute an offense subjecting a minister to discipline.”