It is a question the General Assembly Special Committee to Study Issues of Civil Union and Christian Marriage is posing to the church for input (see below for instructions on sending a response to the committee).
It is also one piece of the mandate the 218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gave the committee. The full mandate calls for the committee to study “the history of the laws governing marriage and civil union, including current policy debates; how the theology and practice of marriage have developed in the Reformed and broader Christian tradition; the relationship between civil union and Christian marriage; the effects of current laws on same-gender partners and their children, and the place of covenanted same-gender partnerships in the Christian community.”
“We not only covet the prayers of folks across the church as we do our work,” said Jim Szeyller (Charlotte Presbytery), “but we also want as much input as possible.”
Szeyller, who chairs the special committee, continued, “While we have divided ourselves into sub-groups to address the other issues within our mandate, it is that piece in particular — the place of covenanted same-gender partnerships in the Christian community — that we’d like to hear thoughts on.”
Guidelines for input to the special committee include a maximum of 1,000 words and a deadline of August 16, 2009.
Responses can be sent electronically ([email protected]) or mailed to Civil Union and Christian Marriage Committee, Office of the General Assembly, Room 4621, 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202-1396.