Presbyterians to Study Civil Unions and Christian Marriage

As a friend of mine pointed out, this “study” may already be frought with bias.  Since it will study the “relationship between civil union and Christian marriage” can we assume that they will not study the far longer traditions of Christian unions and civil marriages. The study seems to suggest some fairly overt, albeit unreflective, bias to begin with.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Sharon K. Youngs, Communications Coor. February 4, 2009 (888) 728-7228, ext. 5750; sharon.youngs@pcusa.org

GA Moderator announces names for special committee to study civil union and Christian marriage

Committee of 13 will begin work in March

LOUISVILLE-The Reverend Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the 218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has selected members for the General Assembly Special Committee to Study Issues of Civil Union and Christian Marriage.

Last summer’s General Assembly directed the Moderator to “appoint a special committee, representing the broad diversity and theological balance of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), to study the following … including any policy recommendations growing out of the study:

  • The history of the laws governing marriage and civil union, including current policy debates.
  • How the theology and practice of marriage have developed in the Reformed and broader Christian tradition.
  • The relationship between civil union and Christian marriage.
  • The effects of current laws on same-gender partners and their children.
  • The place of covenanted same-gender partnerships in the Christian community.”

The special committee is to make its report to the 219th General Assembly (2010) next summer in Minneapolis.

Of the thirteen on the special committee, six are between the ages of 36-45, six are between 46 and 55, and one is older than 55.

Reyes-Chow used a video clip posted on his blog (www.mod.reyes-chow.com) Tuesday evening in advance of today’s release to comment about the selection process to fill this and additional special committees that will be announced later this week. In the clip, he explained that he had extended an “open invitation to submit names – promising to select people that I believed could bring passion, thought, intellect, experience, foresight and vision” to the task.

Reyes-Chow said, “Those who have been chosen have a deep commitment to the church, a deep love for Christ, and are seeking and yearning for a way to be church in new and discerning ways.”

He continued, “We owe our deepest gratitude to those who have accepted this calling – the privilege and responsibility of serving on task forces and study groups at the General Assembly level of our denomination.”

Named to the special committee are the Reverends Clayton F. Allard (Grace Presbytery), Emily J. Anderson (East Tennessee Presbytery), Margaret Aymer Oget (Greater Atlanta Presbytery), Steve Hancock (Arkansas Presbytery), Tracie Mayes Stewart (Salem Presbytery), James Szeyller (Charlotte Presbytery), and William Teng (National Capital Presbytery); and elders Luis Antonio De La Rosa (Pacific Presbytery), Katina Miner (San Francisco Presbytery), Stephen L. Salyards (San Gabriel Presbytery), and Lisa Cooper Van Riper (Foothills Presbytery). Emily W. Miller (Shenandoah Presbytery) and Derrick Weston (Pittsburgh Presbytery) will also serve as members.

Szeyller will serve as chairperson of the group.

Staffing the committee will be the Reverend David Gambrell, associate for worship, Theology Worship and Education (General Assembly Council), and the Reverend Vernon Broyles, volunteer in mission, Office of the General Assembly.

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... or, preaching from both ends


That's too bad - I'm so sorry. Oh, well, just try to make the best of it. What you'll find here is a variety of essays and ramblings to do with things theological, social, whimsical and, sometimes, all three. I don't write to get famous - trust me, I've been told how futile that would be - but to express myself. I love to communicate and browbeat - ummm, I mean dialogue - about the things I find intriguing. Since you're here, and the door's locked, why don't you stay a while. There's a page bar under the header with links to information about us - I mean me. Don't forget to tell me what you think - in a nice way, I mean.

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