Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Voting on Amendment B is Fast and Furious

According to Presbyweb, the score is 19-9 against the new amendment B. So far, all of the presbyteries have voted along previous lines. To pass the new B, some of those yellow presbyteries need to see the light of blue.

A heartbreaker was Carlisle. A yellow presbytery that failed to pass the new B by three votes, 74-71. It is that close. This means that we need to keep talking and to get out the vote. It can still happen. In many cases more individual commissioners are voting for the new B than in the past.

One of my old presbyteries, Utica, wowed 'em with a vote of 70-3. I didn't know there were that many commissioners there. Quit hogging all the progressives, Utica. Spread them out. We could use a few more in Tennessee.

Chit chats are the order of the day. Check out 1000 conversations and this article about it in Presbyterian Outlook.

“It is really time to use this voting process as an opportunity for the church to grow into something more whole, more healthy, and more vibrant,” Larges says, in reflecting upon her motivation to foster these conversations. “We sensed a different spirit about this year’s General Assembly,” she added. “It was a spirit that came from new voices, and not just the ‘usual suspects’ surrounding the debate.” This sense of a new spirit and feeling it at work prompted both Larges and Vandersall to create something that would continue to foster that spirit.
My presbytery (Holston) votes on March 7th. We are having a chit chat on February 8th. Hearts and minds do change. Even though I am in a presbytery that historically has voted 3-1 against inclusivity, these conversations help us to build relationships across divides and to understand from whence we all come.

What is at stake? Here is a fine article by Lisa Larges of That All May Freely Serve:

Lisa Larges, director of That All May Freely Serve said, "The church is realizing that gay candidates with outstanding qualifications for ordination, as well as their supporters, will leave the church for more accepting denominations if Presbyterians continue to require celibacy for gay clergy."

David Paul, candidate for ministry in New Hope Presbytery (Eastern NC) said, "Although actions taken in June 2008 at our national policy-setting meeting now allow gay people to seek ordination by submitting a written conscientious objection to their Presbytery in hopes of being accepted without celibacy, it is time for our church to proclaim that all people are equal before God rather than bending the rules to let a few of us through."
Presbyterian Welcome has a great website with resources about this amendment. They have an up-to-date tally as well.

Of course, I have more resources on the sidebar. More Light Presbyterians is doing a swell job of reporting on the progress.

If you are an ally, Ray thinks you are a saint! Go get your badge.

Let's not fritter away this opportunity to witness to the inclusive gospel!

Do I have a witness?