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Topics of interest to Clerks of Session, Session Moderators and others who are interested in Presbyterian local-church governance.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

“No” to a Return to the Former Ordination Standards

The Church Orders and Ministry Committee brought this item to the floor, approving an overture sent from Sacramento Presbytery that calls for no constitutional change, but is rather a sort of resolution.  The last paragraph is as follows:

“The 220th General Assembly (2012) acknowledges that faithful Presbyterians earnestly seeking to follow Jesus Christ hold different views about what the Scriptures teach concerning the morality of committed, same-gender relationships. Therefore, while holding persons in ordered ministry to high standards of covenant fidelity in the exercise of their sexuality, as in all aspects of life, we acknowledge that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) does not have one interpretation of Scripture in this matter. We commit ourselves to continue respectful dialogue with those who hold differing convictions, to welcome one another for God’s glory, and not to vilify those whose convictions we believe to be in error. We call on all Presbyterians to join us in this commitment.”

There was an attempt by conservatives to replace this statement with one that would essentially have reversed the change in ordination standards.  The substitute motion failed, and the item itself subsequently passed by 63% to 36%.

Once again, the “Can’t Everyone Just Get Along?” Assembly proved true to its most deeply-felt value: avoiding conflict.

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