Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Seeking Light: Updated

Hold National Capital Presbytery in the light today. We meet this afternoon and evening to vote on the proposed amendment to change our Book of Order (church constitution) to remove its current implied ban (G-6.0106b) on ordaining partnered gay or lesbian church officers (deacons, elders and ministers). I anticipate that the vote here will support the change. At the same time, I also anticipate what poet (and Presbyterian) Ann Weems might call a "meeting at which very little meeting takes place." I hope that my guess on the vote is accurate but that my prediction on the tenor of the meeting is wrong.
Presbytery met, and did as good a job as possible at creating space and time for Bible study and conversation. The parliamentary part of the meeting was not crafted with as much care and some chaos ensued. In a more closely divided body I suspect there would have been considerable anger, but patience prevailed. A "no action" motion from the Bills and Overtures Committee was defeated, and the Presbytery voted 222-102 to affirm the motion to amend G-6.106b to remove the language about fidelity and chastity.
At the same time, however, the vote nationally moved a bit closer to defeat of the amendment. While more than two dozen presbyteries have switched their votes from the most recent (2001) time the issue came before them, it is all but certain that this amendment will not prevail in the necessary 87 presbyteries. No doubt, we will be voting on this again.


Anonymous said...

"to remove its current implied ban (G-6.0106b) on ordaining *partnered* gay or lesbian church officers (deacons, elders and ministers). "

How odd.

Why include the word "partnered" here?

Are you suggesting that only people who are "partnered" should be ordained? Or, if someone is not "partnered", should they be celebate? Could someone who is not "partnered", and has multiple sex partners (of the same or opposite gender) be ordained?

Wouldn't the language of the proposed amendment allow, for instance, a person who, though married, cheats on his or her spouse to be ordained?

Anonymous said...


The National Capital Presbytery voted to change the ordination standards!

I suppose the presbytery will vote on this again. And I sure hope it passes the next time.

I can hardly wait until the presbyterians are able to ordain men and women who live together without being married. It's just so unfair and unloving to exclude people who shack-up from the ordained ministry.

Anonymous said...

Hm ... was there a lot of that going on in the Presbyterian church before G-6.0106b was added to the Book of Order in the mid-90s?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous, 1:19 p.m.:

I'm not sure whether or not there was or was not "a lot of that going on in the Presbyterian church before G-6.0106b was added to the Book of Order in the mid-90s."

What I do know, however, is that the current ordination stanards would prevent any person who is shacking up with someone -- and who refuses to repent of doing so -- from being ordained in the Presbyterian Church.

I also know that the proposed ordination standards would permit people who shack-up to be ordained.

As I said, I can hardly wait for the glorious day when the Presbyterian Church will no longer exclude people who shack up from being ordained, and will see the error of its terribly hateful, discriminatory ways.