We Journey Together

A Sermon on James 2:1-17 by the Rev. Bertram Johnson at the Northwest Regional Conference, Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, 30 January 2015: “Through our acts of partiality, of favoritism, of judgment, of limitation on not just LGBTQ people, but on all God’s people, we pit the truth of God’s grace against itself and show our hypocrisy and lack of faith. As these first century believers dishonored the poor by favoring the rich, we continue to dishonor God’s people by creating divisions and obstacles to God. Through our biases the Church becomes a stumbling block and an exclusive club to those who seek to know God. We do this because we fail to believe that Christ’s sacrifice is big enough, wide enough, and deep enough to heal all our human-made fears and prejudices. When I’m faced with such opposition from my brother and sister Christians, like James, I ask do we really believe that the power of God is for all or is it that we think it’s only for some?”

What’s Next?

Ben Fitzgerald-Fye is Director of Mission Services for Goodwill Industries of North Central PA, Inc., and a Ruling Elder at the Presbyterian Church of Punxsutawney; his husband, Sean, is a Deacon. Ben shared this reflection after he and Sean attended the Regional Conference at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill on Saturday, February 7: “As the right to marriage becomes a reality, we must also begin to address the responsibility of marriage.”

The Gospel of the Christmas Pageant

Michael Lukens reflects on his congregation’s Christmas pageant — and the deepened meaning of God’s gift to the world, when the parents of the infant in the role of Jesus are a gay couple.

They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love

Ruling Elder Ben Fitzgerald-Fye: “Sean loved God and Sean loved me and that reality began to build a bridge that would reshape my view of faith, of Christianity, and of God.”

Just Tell Them Who You Are

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.”

Marriage: Why It Matters to the Church

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.”