Saturday, June 28, 2008

Good News from the Presybyterian USA General Assembly

This just in from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). It still needs to be ratified by the local presbyteries, but it is GOOD NEWS for today and a time to thank God that the spirit is moving among us.

Here's the press release:

More Light Presbyterians Applaud General Assembly Action
PCUSA Welcomes All to Service in the Church

SAN JOSE, CA - June 27, 2008 - More Light Presbyterians said a decisiontoday by the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to liftits ban on ordination for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons isgood news for Presbyterians and Christians across the country and world.

"This is a great moment affirming God's love for all people. We arethankful to the Commissioners at this Assembly who upheld standards forleadership and service in our Church, and at the same time eliminatedcategorical discrimination that has denied ordination to LGBT persons basedsimply on who they are and who they fall in love with," said Michael J.Adee, Executive Director and Field Organizer for the organization.

The action by the General Assembly removes G.60106b from its Book of Order,the Constitution which governs the Church and replaces it with new language.Formerly, it required fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman orchastity in singleness to be eligible for ordination as deacons, elders orministers.

"The intent of this standard, passed over a decade ago, was to bar LGBTpersons from full membership and service in our Church since marriageequality is not yet available to most in our country," Adee said.
New language passed by the General Assembly reaffirms historic standards ofthe Church that focus on faith and character which has withstood the test oftime, and did not exclude anyone based on sexual orientation, genderidentity or marital status.

Looking to the Future

"A new spirit of acceptance and the recognition that we have many differentkinds of families in our churches has taken hold," said Vikki Dearing,Co-Moderator. "This reflects the hearts and spirits of people in the pews.We rejoice with the many that will now be able to answer God's call to servein our Church."

We believe that God is doing a new thing in our Church. We believe that amore loving and welcoming Church is where the Spirit is taking us. Weinvite everyone who wants to know how to become a more welcoming andaffirming place for all God's children to contact us. Together we arebuilding a Church for all God's people!

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