For Presbyterians, a new leader and more controversy
By William Wan
Some news over the weekend coming out of the Presbyterian conference meeting in Minneapolis: they've chosen a new moderator -- Cynthia Bolbach, an elder from National Capital Presbytery in Washington -- and they are preparing to debate the question of same-sex marriage.
And the two seemed intertwined this weekend as the general assembly listened to candidates for new moderator -- the top leadership position for the assembly. According to the PCUSA's account of the election, Bolbach was the only one of the six candidates who "expressed unqualified support for same-sex marriage."
This week, the denominational conference will consider the controversial issue of whether to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples and allowing ministers to perform same-sex weddings. If adopted, the change would come in a constitutional redefinition of marriage from "between a man and a woman" to "between two people."
The church leaders are meeting at a tough time -- with new figures showing that membership has been cut by more than half since its heyday in 1965. Some good analysis in this Courier-Journal article from Louisville where the church is based. In the most recent year alone, the membership has continued to decline by 3 percent.
In her speech, the new moderator Bolbach, from Arlington, VA., likened the church to the paralyzed man from Luke 5 who was later healed by Jesus. "Our denomination is that paralyzed man," she said, "paralyzed by fatigue, uncertainty, fear, grief over the loss of the kind of church some of us have known and loved all our lives."
In her comments, she also said: "Who poses the greatest threat - Larry King, who's been married seven times, or a gay couple [friends of hers] in Washington, D.C., who have been together for 62 years and who got married two weeks ago?"
William Wan| July 6, 2010; 11:29 AM ET | Category: God in Government Save & Share:
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Posted by: JPDG | July 7, 2010 9:35 PM
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