Committee Recommends Historic Affirmations of LGBTQIA People in Church and Society

Three overtures that strengthen the church’s witness to the rights, dignity and gifts of people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities in unprecedented ways were approved by a committee on Monday at the 223rd General Assembly (2018) in St. Louis.

GA223 Preview: Committees 4 & 10 – Making More Space at the Table

The Assembly Committees on the Way Forward (#4) and Mission Coordination (#10) have a lot on their plate this year. Each committee is considering some proposals that haven’t received much attention, but which we think could make a significant difference in ensuring that voices of “peoples long silenced” are heard. Supporting these measures can help all of God’s children have a place at our tables.

GA223 Preview: Committee 3 – Ensuring Voices Are Heard and Truth Is Sought

Every year, the Assembly Committee on General Assembly Procedures (#3) considers slight changes to help the Assembly’s rules evolve and improve. This year, the Covenant Network of Presbyterians has real concerns about the potential impact – and perhaps unintended consequences – of two of those proposed changes. We hope the committee and the full Assembly will think very carefully before enshrining them in the G.A. rules.

GA 223 Preview: Committee 14 – Taking Our Confession to the Next Level … the Here and Now

The assembly’s theological issues committee (#14) has responsibility for the Book of Confessions. In 2014-15, as the PCUSA considered adding the Confession of Belhar to our Constitution, the Covenant Network was proud to help organize in presbyteries to support an affirmative vote. We believe Belhar speaks a word today as relevant as ever, and one particular action will help its timeless content speak to our current reality.

GA 223 Preview: Committee 6 – Supporting Marriage For All, Preserving the Church’s Unity

With friends across the church, the Covenant Network rejoiced when the church opened the door to same-sex marriages in Presbyterian churches in 2015. Since then, congregations across the PCUSA have celebrated God’s gift of covenant love and witnessed the uniting of couples whose relationship the church would once have rejected. But a painful reality is that the church is still living into what that means, and the Assembly Committee on Church Polity and Ordered Ministries (Committee #6) is addressing one challenging aspect of that reality.

GA223 Preview: Committee 11 – Affirming and Supporting All God’s People in Church and Society

For the third Assembly in a row, matters of sexual orientation and gender identity do not have their own committee. Rather, they are part of the Assembly Committee on Social Justice Issues (#11). That group has a very full agenda filled with a wide range of matters affecting the church’s witness for equity, fairness and wholeness. A committee focused on God’s justice is a wonderful place for LGBTQ people to be celebrated, included and supported in church and society.