Friday, June 27, 2008

The Way from San Jose

It is with joy and humility that we receive the news, via streaming video, that the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has just voted (54%-46%) to send to the Presbyteries an amendment to the Book of Order, the church's constitution, that will replace G-6.0106b with this language:
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 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.
This language is essentially the same as that recommended by our session last fall. The proposed amendment now returns to the Presbyteries for voting. If it is approved by a majority of the Presbyteries, then G-6.0106b will no longer stand as a stumbling block to the ordination of faithful gay and lesbian brothers and sisters called to ordained ministry in our denomination.
As GA Moderator Bruce Reyes-Chow prayed at the close of the vote this morning in San Jose, "open our hearts and minds to each other that we might be drawn closer to You."

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