Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Assembly finished the last of the committee reports last night (actually this morning) at 12:30 AM. I think what we need to do after worship this morning is to adopt a final budget and per capita based on the actins taken at this Assembly. Every item proposed for action had a report included as to how much the action would cost the Church and where the money would come from.

Check the official news reports for what all we did. By in large we adopted the Social Witness reports unchanged, being against torture and asking for review of Guantanamo Bay and Ali Graib, etc. Some good things also came out of Health Issues. Many thought that the committee's action changed the denominations long standing committment to reproductive freedom when it acted on an overture on late term abortions - late term meaning past the point of viability which with today's advances in the care of premature infants can be considered as early as 20 weeks. Some changes were made to preserve in part our emphasis on supporting women in making difficult choices and not standing in condemnation of the choices that women make in these these choices, I thought we should stand by well thought out and long standing polity rather that change our policy in haste at midnight.

I am nearly packed, they will store our luggage and after the meeting the shuttles will take us to the airport. With a long lay over in Atlanta and the time change I will not be home until 9:41 tonight.

Give me some feed back both to let me know how many of you have been following this blog and would you be interesting in reading a continuing blog (probably with entries once or twice a week.)


Anonymous said...

Hi Terry,

You're probably back, by now and yes indeed, I have been following the events.

Heard there was some good news, after all.



By Verna Gates

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - The largest U.S. Presbyterian Church body approved a measure on Tuesday that would open the way for the ordination of gays and lesbians under certain circumstances.

The new policy was approved on a vote of 57-43 percent among 500 church representatives at the biennial meeting of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. It gives local church organizations more leeway in deciding if gays can be ordained as lay deacons and elders as well as clergy, provided they are faithful to the church's core values.

"It permits local governing bodies to examine candidates on a wider criterion than sexual orientation ... it allows these bodies to look at the whole person and not categorize them," said Jon Walton, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in New York's Greenwich Village and a member of the "Covenant Network of Presbyterians" which backed the change.

Kim Clayton Richter of the Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta, a member of the same group, said it's wrong to interpret the Bible literally on homosexuality.

"You cannot pick out two or three passages to prove your point. You have to look at the whole witness of Jesus Christ. We've changed our mentality on slavery and the role of women. We have to change with reality," Richter said.

But Donald Baird, a pastor from Sacramento, California, said the Bible is very specific about homosexuality, and he worried about Tuesday's vote undermining church unity.

"We used to act as one church," he said. "Now we'll have 11,000 churches ... chaos," he said.

The 2.5 million-member church is the largest body of that denomination in the United States. It's policy in the past has been against the ordination of anyone not living faithfully in a heterosexual marriage or a single chaste life.

Anonymous said...

bonjour! :) I've been following the events and feel that some good news/ some changes afterall. That's great. Thank you for writing your blog. Safe travels back to our home church, Terry, to The First Presbyterian Church of Harford.
Have a g-day,
Judy M.H. :)

Jon said...

"reproductive freedom"
Such a nice sounding euphemism to help cover up what actually happens.