ROCHESTER, NY: Head of Presbyterian Church (USA) Addresses Pro-LGBT Presbyterians
More Light Presbyterians Celebrate Inclusion and Plan for the Future
Top leader of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Moderator Cynthia Bolbach, addressed the first national gathering of More Light Presbyterians since the denomination began allowing the ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Meeting at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York, September 2-4, Moderator Bolbach encouraged the listeners to be the church by working together. Using the biblical story of the friends who cut a hole in the roof of a house to get a friend to Jesus to be healed of paralysis, the Moderator urged lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their allies to be as bold as the friends of the paralyzed man by helping each other and the church to get close to Jesus.
Michael Adee, Executive Director of More Light Presbyterians said, "We celebrate ordination equality in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and marriage equality in New York. With our worship, tears and laughter, we honor the decades of hopes, prayers and work that finally removed discriminatory barriers to full membership and open service by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in our Church. Standing in New York where Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass worked for freedom for all, we are inspired by the faith, hope and love that are ours in Christ to work for marriage rites for all."
A growing number of pastors serve congregations in states where marriage for gay and lesbian couples is legal. At the 2010 General Assembly, a denominational study committee brought in recommendations to allow marriages for same-gender couples but the recommendations were tabled until 2012.
Planning for the next meeting of the General Assembly, the denomination's legislative body which meets in June of 2012, included a briefing on the Heidelberg Catechism which was written in 1563 and an anti-homosexual mistranslation was added in the 20th century.
The Rev. Janet Edwards said, "The Heidelberg Catechism is one of the defining documents of Reformed traditions and must be translated correctly. Any mistranslation undermines the integrity of the document and raises questions among those standing at the margins who wonder if they are included in the love of Christ."
As the largest U.S. Presbyterian church with over two million people, in July 2011, the denomination joined The Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ as faith traditions that no longer bar LGBT people from ordination. These denominations have a collective membership of over ten million people.
More Light Presbyterians is a network of people seeking the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
VOL FOOTNOTE: The PCUSA along with the ELCA, Moravians, The United Church of Christ and ultimately the Methodists are heading down the same slippery slope as The Episcopal Church with inclusion of activist non-celibate homosexuals. It will mark the inevitable end, in time, of all these denominations. Mainline Protestantism is slowly dying, the only issue now is the rate of speed.
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