Anaconda Statement of Conscience

A Statement of Conscience

Respectfully submitted to the Presbytery of Yellowstone

By the Session of 1st Presbyterian Church

Anaconda, Montana

March 4, 2002

We, the Session of 1st Presbyterian Church of Anaconda, Montana, after careful study and prayerful reflection, respectfully inform the Presbytery of Yellowstone that we cannot in good conscience comply with any interpretation of Book of Order provision G-6.0106b that restricts the rights of governing bodies to discern the will of Christ in choosing leaders. Therefore, we declare:

The Faith of the Church

The faith of the church is not something we formulate but which, instead, has been given to us through Godís self-disclosure in Jesus Christ, the Holy Scriptures and the confessions of the church ó ancient and modern ó and the preaching of the church. Faith, most fundamentally, is the childlike trust in the goodness and faithfulness of God, but equally important it is our understanding about who God is, who we are and Godís intention for the redemption of fallen humanity in the good creation.

A Running Behind

In democratic America every person is supposed to be equal to every other person.  However, in spite of this quondam theory, a lot of people regard themselves as superior not equal.  They prefer to be leaders rather than followers.  This is a perfectly understandable desire because on a sled run, only the lead dog gets to look at the scenery.  All the other dogs are looking at something else.  In fact, what the other dogs see and what they do can both be described as a "running behind."

What Constitutes the Church in Its Confession?

The church is constituted — i.e., is brought into being — by its participation in the reality of what God has done in Jesus Christ. This reality is embodied and proclaimed in the narrative of God for us, Christ with us and the Spirit among us. It is this reality — this dynamic story of God’s engagement to be our God — to which the Scriptures, as the Word of God written, bear witness.

The Peacable Kingdom

One of the great images of the Old Testament is the prophet Isaiah’s peaceable kingdom, of the holy mountain where all the beasts that tear at each other and destroy one another in real life find perfect harmony through the will and power of God.

As we enter the Lenten season, it is appropriate that we consider the biblical vision of peace — shalom — which is God’s goal for the good creation.

More Light Presbyterians respond to defeat of Amendment A

The National Board of More Light Presbyterians recognizes with regret that Amendment A has been defeated. We are profoundly grateful for the 29 presbyteries and overture advocates, the Ordination Standards committee and the 212th General Assembly that sent Amendment A by a margin of 60 percent to all of our presbyteries for discernment and consideration.

Presbyterians for Renewal respond to defeat of Amendment A

With the vote of South Louisiana Presbytery on Feb. 19, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has obtained the simple majority needed for the defeat of Amendment A, maintaining the "fidelity/chastity" provisions regarding ordination standards in the Book of Order. Should the current voting patterns continue in the presbyteries remaining to vote, where the pro-gay proposal is being rejected by a two-to-one margin, the defeat will signal the strongest affirmation to date on the part of the vast majority of Presbyterians in preserving the biblical witness to marriage between a man and a woman, and in upholding those standards for ordained leadership. This is an encouraging sign of renewal.

Recommit to the Third Person of the Trinity

With the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seeking a way forward in these times of theological and political conflict, some have suggested a "third way," and now The Presbyterian Outlook has urged a "third force." Presbyterians for Renewal believes what is really needed is a recommitment to the Third Person of the Trinity.