We shared the joy and privilege of serving as co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Presbyterian Union, from 1969 to 1983. Like many of your regular readers we rejoiced in the breakdown of barriers which had stood for 122 years, and the creation of a newly reconciled church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
A connectional presbytery in this Internet culture is a wired presbytery. An underlying theological premise driving this concept is the realization that God has providentially placed us in a technologically advanced period. Not to use the communication media available to us for advancing the gospel would be like the Apostle Paul deciding not to write letters.
My mother's twin sister married a Methodist minister which, in those days, was not considered a serious disgrace.His first pastorate was in Calico Rock, Arkansas, and after a series of calls (or raises) to larger churches he was elected a bishop.Soon after this elevation, I told my uncle the only thing he could now aspire to become was any kind of Presbyterian.
Six years ago the General Assembly elected me to a new class of the Assembly's Permanent Judicial Commission. Elections occur every two years. They create, if you will, three two-year sessions for each commissioner. Every two years this transition brings an interesting change of style and personality as the new class arrives. Each new class constitutes at least a third of the membership.
Amendment A is the latest attempt to permit the ordination of practicing. homosexuals. Having failed to reinterpret the clear and consistent words of Scripture, and having failed to overthrow the church's traditional teaching on sexual behavior and marriage, proponents of homosexual ordination now turn to polity.
When you were a kid was the "True Church" the subject for a month of church school lessons? Did you hear lots of sermons on it; was there a "True Church Sunday" with a special bulletin cover and all? Did you sit around the Sunday dinner table discussing the "True Church" with Mom and Dad and perhaps Preacher Ned? Did you have the conviction as communicant class ended that soon you would be a member of the "True Church"?
In PC(USA) Polity Reflections Note 43, the stated clerk and the Constitutional Services Department answer questions that have been asked about the amendments to G-6.0106a and which the 213th General Assembly sent down to the presbyteries.
As the chair of the drafting committee that prepared the report adopted by the 1978 General Assembly (UPCUSA) on the issue of homosexual ordination, I was stunned by A. J. McKelway's claim that the definitive guidance it provided answered a question that was not asked, and thus "got us into this mess" (Outlook, June 18). Having reread the record, I beg to differ.
One of the most remarkable stories of the 213th General Assembly happened before commissioners arrived in Louisville. Advocates for 33 overtures, from 26 presbyteries, conferred among themselves in the weeks prior to the Assembly. I was one of them.
1. We have to get past the idea that we are the answer to the problems in the world, instead of Christ being the answer.
By letting go, we free ourselves to serve. Letting go of what? Fear, ego, pride, self-interest -- our own agendas. Empty yourself of these so you can receive God's gifts. We are not Christ, but we can be his hands and feet.