G-6.0106b Amendment 08B

UNOFFICIALLY, The “NOs” have won with Northern Plains Presbytery being the 87th negative vote. While the voting of the remainder of the presbyteries may represent some interest, one more time the majority of PC(USA) members/churches have shown their blind adherence to tradition even in the face of evidence to the contrary, lack of informed theology and dearth of compassion. It is another sad day in a line of sad days. May God forgive us.


This will undoubtedly only be of interest to other Presbyterians – or maybe not.
 A full tally can be viewed here, courtesy of Presbyweb.
While not the nail in the coffin, so to speak, San Francisco Presbytery provided the biggest shock and disappointment when it became the first to flip from support of LGBT to opposition. This is less likely to be a sign of growing opposition and more likely to be a sign of complacency, laziness and arrogance on the part of usual supporters. 58 fewer members of the presbytery voted this time when compared to the last attempt at an amendment, presumably because many didn’t feel the need to show up and vote. How commendable!

        This year, all 173 presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (USA) will discuss and vote on the proposed amendment to the Book of Order, one part of the Constitution. Each of the other 172 presbyteries have or will consider this revision, with 87 needed to pass the amendment.  The current wording that is up for amendment is:

“Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W-4.9001), or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, elders, or ministers of the Word and Sacrament.”

         The amendment would replace those words with:

“Those who are called to ordained service in the church, by their assent to the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W-4.4003), pledge themselves to live lives obedient to Jesus Christ the Head of the Church, striving to follow where he [sic] leads through the witness of the Scriptures, and to understand the Scriptures through the instruction of the Confessions. In so doing, they declare their fidelity to the standards of the Church. Each governing body charged with examination for ordination and/or installation (G-14.0240 and G-14.0450) establishes the candidate’s sincere efforts to adhere to these standards.” 

      Since I feel compelled to keep my commentary and report of the Albany Presbytery vote separate from the facts, just click on the links for each to view them.

1 Response to “G-6.0106b Amendment 08B”

  1. April 25, 2009 at 10:28 PM

    I share your deep disappointment. However, we must not lose heart in our evangelism to change hearts and minds since there are still 31 presbyteries in which to have phone conversations and group discussions between now and May 19.

    Taking our queue from the efforts required to obtain the vote for African Americans and for women, we can be encouraged by the huge number of “no to yes” change in presbytery support since our last national vote in 2001, as well as the fact that 110 of the 156 presbyteries who have voted so far have increased their support for LGBT equality in the church.

    Personally, I take hope that the Church is starting to listen. The youth of the church, parents, and pastors are sharing their own stories, as well as of family, friends, and colleagues. I firmly believe this work is Holy work, allowing the Holy Spirit to move in our midst to change hearts and minds.

    Thanks for the continuing witness of the good people of Albany Presbytery!

    Ralph Carter
    Elder, Third Presbyterian Church
    Rochester NY

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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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