FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
John Shuck, Minister
Southminster Presbyterian Church
Southminster Presbyterian Church of Beaverton Instrumental in the Presbyterian Church (USA) Decision on Marriage Equality
BEAVERTON, OR. On March 17 Presbyterians approved marriages for same-gender couples in the first ever nationwide, grassroots vote on marriage equality by a faith tradition. The Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA) now holds that marriage is between “two persons” rather than “a man and a woman.”
Beaverton’s Southminster Presbyterian Church initiated the amendment after a series of courses studying marriage and sermons reviewing the issue. The study group drafted an Overture on the subject which was approved by Southminster's session and ultimately by the Presbytery of the Cascades. With a 71% vote last summer at the national General Assembly, the PC(USA) governing body voted to change the description of marriage. However, the amendment required 51% of the 171 regional bodies called presbyteries to affirm the change. That threshold was crossed on March 17, as 85th and 86th presbyteries voted yes.
The change aligns the church’s constitution with a reality that has long been true: both same-gender and opposite-gender couples have been living in relationships that demonstrate covenant faithfulness, shared discipleship, and mutual love.
The Beaverton congregation, at the corner of Hall and Denney Roads, is a progressive congregation which is inclusive and welcoming to all communities with a worship service on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. Southminster has supported LBGTQ rights for decades with the marriage equality measure simply being the latest action taken by the congregation. We believe that we honor God by following the teaching of Jesus as we understand them leading us to fight for social justice for all groups including women, the poor and the planet as a whole. Recently installed Pastor John Shuck brings decades of fighting for equality and social justice to the Portland area forming a partnership with the congregation to do even more in the future on poverty, environmental and LBGTQ issues.
In response to this decision, Shuck said:
“It is hard to believe that this historic day has arrived. We stand on the shoulders of so many faithful people who told their truths with courage and tears for many, many years. All of us at Southminster rejoice that all couples can now have their relationships solemnized before God and the Christian community in marriage.
Presbyteries will continue to vote on the amendment over the next few months, and the change will become effective June 21, 2015.
Southminster Presbyterian Church is an inclusive, welcoming community of Christian faith. Southminster people come from all kinds of religious backgrounds, and all are seekers. Southminster has been affiliated with the "More Light" Network since 1995 and is a member of the Welcoming Congregations of Portland. Our goal is to include, not exclude.
For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact John Shuck, Minister, Southminster Presbyterian Church, at 503-644-2073.