UPDATE 11.02.10 – Even if you are NOT a voting member of a presbytery, you should feel free to post why you would vote yes if you could. Just add some sort of "I don't have a vote, but if I did . . ." disclaimer, be sure to title it, "PresbyMEME: Why I am voting yes on Amendment 10a" and thanks!
UPDATE 11.03.10 – This link has been shared with me by a few folks. This document basically answers common arguments against LGBTQ ordination and making our own in favor of inclusion. It is pretty darn good: [Blog Post] [PDF]
First off, apologies to all of my non-Presbyterian readers, but as you know I am deeply committed to the place I call my spiritual home, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and its future impact in the world. Unfortunately, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, there are still parts of our governance that need to be changed in order to be more fully who God intends. Without going into the complexities of the debate at this point in our life, LGBTQ people are not currently given the privilege of being "ordained" into church leadership without creatively navigating the system. And while a valid and effective strategy, some of us would like to be able to validate someones calling to ministry not based on an ability to work the system nor his/her sexual orientation, but by the nature of the call itself, basically being able to answer the question, "Is this person called to ordained ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA)?"
For this reason, our denomination votes again on constitutional changes that would no longer make "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness" determining factors in judging the fitness of ones call to ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA). The exact language is at the end of this post and you can track the voting results HERE.
One of the tensions that we live in is the fact that we believe that the Holy Spirit can move people in the midst of debate and at the same time, many of us think most folks have their mind made up. So . . . taken with an understanding that the Spirit moves in many ways, it is my hope that these responses will help in the greater discernment of the mind of Christ and the will of God in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Here is your challenge.
- Answer the following questions in a few sentences, keeping in mind the attention span of most blog readers.
- Post somewhere on facebook or your blog with the title "PresbyMEME: Why I am voting yes on Amendment 10a" and be sure there is a link back to this post.
- Post a link here or send me a reply via twitter and I'll try to keep a running list here.
- Track other responses and pass them along!
Questions for the PresbyMEME:
- Name, City, State
- Twitter and Facebook profiles
- Presbytery and 10a voting date
- Reason ONE that you are voting "yes" on 10a is…
- Reason TWO that you are voting "yes" on 10a is…
- Reason THREE that you are voting "yes" on 10a is…
- What are your greatest hopes for the 10a debate that will take place on the floor of your Presbytery?
- How would you respond to those that say that if we pass 10a individuals and congregations will leave the PC(USA)?
- What should the Presbyterian Church focus on after Amendment 10a passes?
- How does your understanding of Scripture frame your position on 10a?
PresbyMEME Participants: Alphabetical by Presbytery w/vote date .
- Devon Berry, Boston, 11.01.10
- Tina Cargill, Charlotte tba
- William Westmoreland, Cincinatti, tba
- Sylvia Thorson-Smith, de Cristo, 04.30.11
- John Shuck, Holston, 12.07.10
- Mark Smith, New Brunswick, 03.08.11
- Carol Tompkins, New Covenant, 11.13.10
- Ray Bagnuolo, New York, Spring 2011
- Janet Edwards, Pittsburg, 11.18.10
- Sonnie Swenston, San Gabriel 03.08.11
- Rocky Supinger, San Gabriel 03.08.11
- Robert Barrett, Southern Kansas, tba
- Katie Mulligan, West Jersey, tba
- your name here
AMENDMENT LANGUAGE IS AS FOLLOWS:
Shall G-6.0106b be amended by striking the current text and inserting new text in its place as follows:
STRIKING: “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.
AND INSERTING: Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life (G-1.0000). The governing body responsible for ordination and/or installation (G.14.0240; G-14.0450) shall examine each candidate’s calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W-4.4003). Governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.”