Friday, June 27, 2008

Good News from San Jose!

218th Presbyterian GA votes 54% to 46% to end LGBT discrimination

More Light Presbyterians & friends ---

San Jose: This is an amazing moment in history. I give thanks to God for
all of you who have been praying, believing and working for the Presbyterian
Church (USA) to end discrimination against its own lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender daughters and sons, sisters and brothers in Christ.

Today, the 218th General Assembly of the PCUSA voted 54% to 46% to end
discrimination against LGBT members of our Church; and to provide spiritual
and ordination equality for LGBT Presbyterians.

The Assembly approved the Boston Ordination Equality Overture which called
for a deletion of the "fidelity in marriage, chastity in singleness"
requirement and lifted up our historic Constitutional questions for
ordination and installation. This part of the overture requires
ratification by the presbyteries in the next year.

The second part of the overture provides a new Authoritative Interpretation
struck down the anti-gay policy statements beginning with the 1978
Definitive Guidance and the subsequent 1979 ruling that homosexuality is not
compatible with service in the Church, sinful and not part of God's design.
These profoundly informed and homophobic statements from the past of our
Church have no further force or effect with the approval of this Boston
Ordination Overture.

More Light Presbyterians gives thanks to God for all of the Commissioners,
Youth Advisory Delegates and other delegates who are serving faithfully this
week. There is clearly a sea-change in our Church, society and world as
more people are letting go of the old beliefs and prejudice about
homosexuality, same-gender loving persons and embracing what it means to
recognize Christ and the divine image within all of God children, no

Our work of witness, education, truth-telling, sharing our stories within
our local churches, on our college and seminary campuses has just begun! We
have one year to pray and work so that this Boston Ordination Equality
Overture will be thoughtfully and prayerfully considered, heard and ratified
by our presbyteries. You can count on More Light Presbyterians having
"every hand on deck" working 24/7 by providing educational resources and
empowering local leaders so that we can honor the good work of faith,
justice and love done today.

The joyous work of being the Church and sharing our faith to achieve the
ratification of the Boston Ordination Equality Overture will begin on June
28 at the close of this Assembly. For this moment, on this day, we rejoice
in the fact that this Assembly has provided a way forward for our beloved

Together we are building a Church for all God's people!

with hope and grace,

Michael J. Adee, M.Div., Ph.D., Executive Director & Field Organizer
More Light Presbyterians, 369 Montezuma Avenue # 447, Santa Fe, New Mexico
87501 (505) 577-0086 mobile, (505) 820-7082 office,
<> , <>


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 decision
today by the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to lift
its ban on ordination for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons is
good news for Presbyterians and Christians across the country and world.

"This is a great moment affirming God's love for all people. We are
thankful to the Commissioners at this Assembly who upheld standards for
leadership and service in our Church, and at the same time eliminated
categorical discrimination that has denied ordination to LGBT persons based
simply 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 or
chastity in singleness to be eligible for ordination as deacons, elders or

"The intent of this standard, passed over a decade ago, was to bar LGBT
persons from full membership and service in our Church since marriage
equality is not yet available to most in our country," Adee said.

New language passed by the General Assembly reaffirms historic standards of
the Church that focus on faith and character which has withstood the test of
time, and did not exclude anyone based on sexual orientation, gender
identity or marital status.

Looking to the Future

"A new spirit of acceptance and the recognition that we have many different
kinds 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 serve
in our Church."

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

No comments: