The Urgency of an Authoritative Interpretation on Marriage

By Tim Cahn: A new authoritative interpretation (“AI”) of the PCUSA Constitution is needed to ensure that teaching elders have discretion to officiate same-gender marriages in states where legal. Without a new AI, teaching elders who perform ecclesiastical marriage services for same-gender couples may continue to be vulnerable to disciplinary proceedings under the prevailing interpretations of the Book of Order. These disciplinary proceedings come at a high institutional and personal cost, including the hundreds of hours spent by many persons over several years to resolve these cases, the emotional toll on all parties concerned, and the often harsh public attention that such church trials can fix on the Church…

Thoughts on Officiating at Same-Gender Blessing Services

May Presbyterian ministers officiate at weddings of same-gender couples? May Sessions give permission for such ceremonies to be held on their premises? The Board of the Covenant Network has analyzed the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission’s decisions in cases where teaching elders have been involved in same-gender marriages, and offers thoughts for those who are concerned with providing pastoral care that is consistent with the GAPJC’s authoritative interpretation of the PCUSA Constitution.