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!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Redwoods Presbytery Refuses to Rebuke Rev. Jane Spahr

Good on the Presbytery of Redwoods for refusing to impose a rebuke on Rev. Jane Adams Spahr.  Rev. Spahr was found guilty by the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission in February of violating her ordination vows by marrying 16 same-sex couples, even though doing so was legal in California at the time.   The presbytery stood up for her and said:
THAT the Presbytery oppose imposition of the rebuke as set forth in the decision of the Presbytery Permanent  Judicial Commission, dated August 27, 2010 (which was stayed by its terms until the present day), by declaring and resolving as follows:

WHEREAS, our primary ordination vow as Ruling and Teaching Elders is to be obedient to Jesus Christ, the Word of God, as the Scriptures bear witness to him, (F-1.02; W-4.4003(a);

WHEREAS, the love of God in Jesus Christ is for all people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people;

WHEREAS, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the constitution require that full inclusion and pastoral care be extended to all members of the church;

WHEREAS, this Presbytery called the Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr to a ministry in outreach to – and in community among and with – lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people;

WHEREAS, the 38-year ministry of the Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr has been faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to her calling;

WHEREAS, the decision of August 27, 2010, by its terms, acknowledges and apologizes (1) that the rules of the church “are against the Gospel,” and (2) that the decision and rebuke continue the grievous harm “that has been, and continues to be, done” by the church to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people “in the name of Jesus Christ”;

Be it RESOLVED that the Presbytery of the Redwoods opposes imposition of the rebuke set forth in the decision dated August 27, 2010, as inconsistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the faithful life of ministry lived out in this Presbytery. 
Rev. Spahr points out that the issue is violence.  Whenever you treat people as second-class citizens you invite and encourage violence on them.  She said this a number of times in her interview with me on Religion For Life.  If you haven't heard the interview yet, check it out.  

Rev. Jane Adams Spahr and Marriage Equality

Here is an article about the decision in the L.A. Times.