Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gay 'Clergy' in Withering Presbyterian PCUSA

[Pastors say that most] Presbyterian churches have been seeing more funerals than infant baptisms, that internal disputes over such issues as homosexual ordination have been paralyzing their ministry, and that the only unity they seem to have left "is contained in the property clause and the pension plan."

UPDATE 5/10/11: Presbyterians Vote Yea on Gay 'Clergy'

UPDATE 3/1/11: Judicial commission acquits 'married' homosexual 'pastor' who dismisses Bible

-- From "Majority of local Presbytery supports homosexual clergy" by Chad Dally, Wausau Daily Herald, 2/13/11

A majority of central Wisconsin Presbyterian leaders believe homosexuals should be allowed to serve as pastors, deacons and elders, according to a Saturday vote.

The Presbytery's approval -- which came on a show of hands among the more than 50 leaders present -- marked the 28th vote among more than 170 Presbyteries nationwide in favor of opening up the ordination process to gays and lesbians. Twenty-five Presbyteries have voted against, and a majority of more than 170 U.S. Presbyteries must vote in favor for the change to take effect.

Tom Willadsen, pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Oshkosh, also supported the change, and said he was "bored and weary" after debating the issue for more than a decade. He also said the Presbyterian Book of Order that guides the church lists so many sins, including "stubbornness," that few people would be able to serve if strictly followed.

But the Rev. Richard Marcy from Faith Presbyterian Church in Crivitz, Marinette County, said he was opposed to changing the ordination process because it "does not solve the issue of homosexuality in the church" and whether the church considers homosexuality a sin. He also said the amendment change does not provide for "graceful separation" away from the Presbytery without repercussions for any churches that might object to homosexual clergy.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Church body approves ordaining gays, lesbians" by David Yonke, Toledo Blade Religion Editor 2/16/11

The [Bowling Green, Ohio] regional body of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted 67-39 Tuesday in favor of ordaining openly gay or lesbian pastors, but the proposed amendment must be approved by a majority of the nation's 173 presbyteries to take effect.

[In 2009, a similar] amendment was defeated nationally with 95 presbyteries voting against it and 78 in favor.

Pam Byers, executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, said Tuesday that, of the 67 presbyteries that have voted on the amendment thus far, 37 have approved it and 30 have voted it down. Six of those presbyteries shifted from "no" votes in 2009 to "yes" votes this time, while one went from a "yes" vote in 2009 to a "no" this year.

The Rev. Clint Tolbert of First Presbyterian of Maumee was one of a handful of speakers opposing the amendment.

"My concern is not primarily what this amendment may say or may not say about issues of sexuality. My concern foremost is about what this amendment may or may not say about our relationship, both personally and the church, to Scripture," Mr. Tolbert said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "PCUSA Pastors in Talks of a New Future" by Lillian Kwon, Christian Post Reporter 2/16/11

A group of [175 PCUSA pastors] believes the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is "deathly ill" and will not survive without "drastic intervention."

"Our divisions revolve around differing understandings of Scripture, authority, Christology, the extent of salvation amidst creeping universalism, and a broader set of moral issues," they noted. "Outside of presbytery meetings, we mostly exist in separate worlds, with opposing sides reading different books and journals, attending different conferences, and supporting different causes. There is no longer common understanding of what is meant by being 'Reformed.'"

And while they plan to continue conversations within the PC(USA), the group is also considering possibly forming a new Reformed body, an entity that would be outside the PC(USA).

. . . they noted, "for many this outcome simply acknowledges that fighting is not the way we choose to proceed; our goal is not institutional survival but effective faithfulness as full participants in the worldwide Church. We hope to discover and model what a new 'Reformed body' looks like in the coming years."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Read also, Liberal 'Churches' Continue to Wither