Presbyterian Voices for Justice 

NOTE:  This site is being retired. 
Click here
for our new official website: presbyvoicesforjustice.org

Welcome to news and networking for progressive Presbyterians 

Home page Marriage Equality Global & Social concerns    
News of the PC(USA) Immigrant rights Israel & Palestine
U S Politics, 2010-11 Inclusive ordination Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan
Occupy Wall Street The Economic Crisis Other churches, other faiths
    About us         Join us! Health Care Reform Archive
Just for fun Confronting torture Notes from your WebWeaver

What's Where

Our reports about the 219th General Assembly, July 2010

About us

The Winter 2011 issue of
Network News
is posted here
- in Adobe PDF format.

Click here for earlier issues
Adobe PDF  Click here to download (free!) Adobe Reader software to view this and all PDF files.

News of Presbyterian Voices for Justice
How to join us

CONNECTIONS

Coming events calendar 

Do you want to announce an event?
Please send a note!
Food for the spirit
Book notes

Go to  Amazon.com

LINKS

NEWS of the Presbyterian Church

Got news??
Send us a note!
Social and global concerns
The U.S. political scene, 2010-11
The Middle East conflict
Uprising in Egypt
The Economic Crisis
Health Care Reform
Working for inclusive ordination
Peacemaking & international concerns
The Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan
Israel, Palestine, and Gaza
U. S. Politics
Election 2008
Economic justice
Fair Food Campaign
Labor rights
Women's Concerns
Sexual justice
Marriage Equality
Caring for the environment
Immigrant rights
Racial concerns
Church & State
The death penalty
The media
Other churches, other faiths
Do you want regular e-mail updates when stories are added to our web site?
Just send a note!
The WebWeaver's Space
ARCHIVES
JUST FOR FUN
Want books?
Search Now:

 

Archive for May, 2011

This page lists our postings from earlier in May, 2011

For an index to all our reports and analyses
on the 219th General Assembly

Posts from earlier in June, 2011
May, 2011
April, 2011

March, 2011
February, 2011
January, 2011
December, 2010
November, 2010
October, 2010
September, 2010

August, 2010
July, 2010
June, 2010
May, 2010

April, 2010
March, 2010
February, 2010
January, 2010

For links to earlier archive pages, click here.

5/24/2011
Another presbytery shifts to vote for inclusive ordination

Missouri Union Presbytery today voted 43 to 38 to approve Amendment 10-A -- the 22nd presbytery to FLIP from no to yes.

Also, Western New York continued its support of equality and justice, approving amendment A by 77 to 44.

The current tally is 96-69.

Church of Scotland votes to allow gay ministers

Scotland's largest protestant church lifts temporary ban imposed after appointment of gay minister in 2009

The Guardian reports:

Scotland's largest protestant church has voted to allow gay men and lesbians to become ministers.

The Church of Scotland imposed a temporary ban after the appointment of Scott Rennie, a gay minister, to a church in Aberdeen in 2009.

The general assembly, the church's law-making body, voted on Monday morning [May 23] to lift that moratorium, officially allowing gay ministers to take on parishes for the first time since it was founded in 1560-1 by John Knox, a leading figure in the Scottish reformation.

The vote follows warnings that allowing gay and lesbian clergy could split the church. A special commission set up in 2009 to investigate the implications of Rennie's appointment predicted that up to a fifth of the church's ministers, deacons and elders, as well as 100,000 worshippers, could leave in protest.

The commission warned that the issue was extremely divisive, with another 1,800 church leaders and 40,000 parishioners saying they would leave if gay ministers were not admitted. The church has 445,000 communicants, or active members.   More >>

Why approve 10-A?

More on the ratification of Amendment 10-A by the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area – what people said in the floor discussion   

We reported almost two weeks ago on the action of the Twin Cities Area presbytery in approving Amendment 10–A to the Book of Order of the PC(USA). The discussion before the vote had been planned by the presbytery leaders to allow for the expression of varying views, but in a format that would minimize back-and-forth “debate” that might sharpen differences of opinion.

Each side, for and against approval of LGBT ordination, was presented first by a member of the Bills and Overtures committee, and each of them was followed by ten minutes for statements by members of the presbytery. Presentations in favor of approval were varied, but seemed to articulate many of the most important reasons for support the change. A number of the speakers have shared the written version of their remarks, which we’re happy to share with you here. Just click on the name of any presenter that looks like a link, and you’ll see that full statement.

For more on the discussion in Twin Cities Area presbytery >>

For more news and comments on Amendment 10-A

5/21/2011    'Cheer up, it's not the end of the world.'
So now’s the time to register for our PVJ Ghost Ranch seminars!

We are co-sponsoring two seminars at Ghost Ranch this summer, both of them promising to be challenging and enjoyable, and a chance to spend a week in a beautiful high-desert spot with great people.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sex, Faith, and Culture:
Understanding the Mix in Our Lives and Society [G11S742]

July 25 - 31, 2011
led by Marvin M. Ellison and Sylvia Thorson-Smith

Twenty years after the controversial report "Keeping Body and Soul Together: Sexuality, Spirituality, and Social Justice" was overwhelmingly rejected by the Presbyterian General Assembly in 1991, two of its primary authors will begin this seminar with a reflection on the development of the report and the firestorm that surrounded it. The conversation will then shift to address a variety of concerns on the "justice-love" agenda, including alternative reproductive technologies, comprehensive (vs. abstinence-only) sexuality education, equality for transgender and bisexual as well as lesbian and gay persons, same-sex marriage, the global HIV-AIDS pandemic, sexuality while living with Alzheimer's and other chronic illnesses, and the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality.  More on the seminar >>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Issues: a Faithful Response to Immigration [G11PJ812]

August 1 - 7, 2011
led by Mark Adams, Jane Hanna, Miriam Maldonado Escobar, and Julia Thorne

Jane Hanna, seminar coordinator, writes: Discerning God's call to advocate for a just immigration system requires people of faith to have a knowledgeable understanding of the issues related to modern global migration. Julia Thorne will help us understand present immigration law, how detention and deportation policies impact both migrants and our communities. We will learn about Presbyterian policy on immigration reform. Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar, PCUSA Mission co-workers, will share their experiences with the many players on the border (the undocumented, Border Patrol agents, faith communities, rich and poor, humanitarians, landowners and communities on both sides of the border.) As momentum builds to reform U.S. immigration, our voice as informed faith communities advocating just policies and practices is the challenge we face. Learning about the newcomers in our communities and how to create environments to serve everyone follows a biblical mandate to be church together      More on the seminar >>

 
bullet

For the Ghost Ranch website home page >>

bullet

For the whole summer catalog (in PDF) >>

bullet

To view all the courses online >>

bullet

For registration information >>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Can you help support these great events?

Unfortunately, these experiences are expensive. We are sadly aware of that! But we would like to help people join in on them even if their funds are limited. Can you contribute a little to help someone else attend one of these seminars?

Just click here to send your gift via PayPal, using your credit card. Fill in the donation form, and in the :additional comments" box at the bottom, just write in "Ghost Ranch."  If you wish, you can designate your support for either of the seminars, or for a particular person whom you may want to encourage to attend. We thank you!

5/19/2011
Two more presbyteries support 10-A

The Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley, by a vote of 80 to 52), joined the other two presbyteries in Alabama to support inclusive ordination.

And one more! Homestead Presbytery, in Nebraska, voted 46-29 in favor of Amendment A.

Not everybody is joining in, though. Los Ranchos voted today also, and again voted no, 51-131. so the tally is 94-69.

Thanks to blogger John Shuck

Added on 5-20-11 --

Tricia Dykers Koenig, Covenant Network National Organizer, observes that Amendment 10-A has now been approved by all the presbyteries in the states of Alabama, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Also all those in Illinois and Indiana (the entire Synod of Lincoln Trails!). That’s not counting non-geographical presbyteries, or states with only one presbytery.

Upcoming votes: 

bulleton Saturday, May 21, San Juan
bulleton Tuesday, May 24, Missouri Union, Western New York
bulleton Thursday, May 26, Hanmi, Peace River
5/17/2011
More presbyteries support 10-A and inclusive ordination

On Saturday, May 14, the Presbytery of Boise voted 37-27 to approve the amendment for inclusive ordination. Boise was the 20th presbytery to flip from a no to a YES.

And today, Tuesday May 17, the Presbytery of Des Moines strengthened its past support Amendment 10-A, by a vote of 64 yes, 29 no, with 2 abstaining. Three other presbyteries also continued their support of 10-A: Charlotte, Des Moines, and New York.

The current tally is 92-66.

Thanks to John Shuck and Bill Le Mosy

More on Amendment 10-A

Standing in Pain

Jenny Stone, a former member of the Witherspoon Society Board, reminds us of the pain that the exclusion of LGBT people has caused over the years, and invites us to see our church from their point of view, even as we move toward changing it.  Click here for her reflections >>

5/12/2011

More comments on the ratification of Amendment 10-A
For more on 10-A

How transformative inclusion fits within the larger vision of global justice

Sylvia Thorson-Smith, a member of the Coordinating Team of PVJ and long active in Voices of Sophia, was asked to participate in a press conference the day after the required number of presbyteries acted to approve Amendment 10-A for inclusive ordination.   She preparing this as her opening comment in that press conference:

I represent a group that’s the recent merger of a passionate feminist organization and the oldest liberal issues organization in the Presbyterian Church. We’re not connected with the official structures of the church – just like the other groups on this call.

Feminists have long made the connection between issues of sex and gender – and all of the other “isms” that plague us. When we strike a blow at any oppression, we undermine the entire structure of oppression.

Twenty years ago, the Presbyterian Church soundly rejected a report I helped write -- that said that patriarchal sex bolsters patriarchal injustice. Compulsory heterosexuality – the social mandate that everyone be heterosexual – also requires that all men dominate all women, and the world. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons undermine the fundamental structures of domination because they proudly refuse to conform to these traditional norms.

I believe that this movement has the power to shake the world. Every country, some more than others, punishes LGBT experience and behavior. And every victory to make institutions less punitive moves us closer to more freedom for all.

This is a profoundly historic moment, not only for the Presbyterian Church, but for the liberating energies at work all over the world. We stand on the shoulders of people who have worked not only for sex and gender justice but racial, environmental, and other justice issues. What we celebrate today is part of the world’s groanings for peace and freedom! Which is why we call for More Light, more love, more justice!

Sylvia Thorson-Smith

One observer comments on the action of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities.

"There was a confidence in the air tonight. It was tangible and good."

Susan Robertson wrote this observation for the MLP website, after attending the Twin Cities presbytery meeting on Tuesday.  Susan has been the bookkeeper for PVJ for the past few years, and does the same invaluable job for MLP.

I was asked to write about my experience tonight as the Twin Cities Presbytery became the 87th presbytery to vote in favor of 10-A. I am not clergy, I am no longer a deacon in a church. In fact, I haven't even walked into a church for many years, with the exception of a Christmas Eve service.

I wanted to attend this presbytery meeting so that I could witness history and be a part of the wave of change in the Presbyterian Church and in society. I was struck by something that the Vice Moderator of the presbytery said during her address to the group. She talked about fear; the fear of not being able to be who you are, the fear of not being treated the way you would like to be treated, and the fear of someone else changing a world that doesn't really need to be changed.

The Vice Moderator went on to talk about how love casts out that fear. She reminded us that we should attempt to displace the fear with acts of love. She challenged us to see what we can do to show our love to those who are fearful.

I would believe that by this time, she had captured all of our attention.

Having never been to a presbytery meeting before, everything was new and different. The people that were in favor of 10-A spoke first. One person mentioned that 10-A is not about a group of people to be ordained, but rather about God's call to a group of people to be ordained. There was much talk about "latitude" in scriptural interpretation. Only one "youth" was represented and spoke about God's radical and inclusive love.

Those against 10-A, who were far fewer in number, rose and voiced their opinions against 10-A.

There was a confidence in the air tonight. It was tangible and good. The highlight for me, other than the outcome, was when a woman for 10-A rose and spoke about how we were all knitted in God's womb. She paused and then asked, "Has God ever dropped a stitch?"

"Now I can hold my head up high and proclaim to the world who I am!! "

We received this note yesterday from Pamela Ann Reed, who now lives in Columbus, Ohio.

I finally feel that my role as a deacon has been accepted by the whole church! Oh! I know that there are still those who do not accept me!! But the church itself now does and that feels so uplifting!! As a person who fits 2 of the letters in GLBT (T and L) I feel vindicated in my role in the church!! I have been very lucky to be part of two wonderful communities in the Presbyterian Church! First at First Presbyterian in Palo Alto, California and now at Broad Street Presbyterian in Columbus, Ohio. I was just elected to be a deacon at Broad Street and will soon be active as a deacon.

Now I can hold my head up high and proclaim to the world who I am!! No more worrying that I will be told that I am not worthy and can not follow my calling!! This is a most wondrous time in our church!! Hallelujah!!! 

Pamela Ann Reed

Got something to add? 
Please send a note with your thoughts
-- hopes, questions, concerns --
so we can add your voice to the conversation!

5/11/2011
"... today, we give thanks that a major form of injustice has been righted in our church."

A statement from Presbyterian Voices for Justice

For over thirty years, Presbyterians have debated the will of God and refused to allow lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons to serve God in all ordained capacities in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Whenever injustice is perpetuated, it feels like a recurrence of the captivity of the Israelites in Egypt. Like them, LGBT persons and their allies have cried to God for justice, and our prayers have been answered. The Holy Spirit has been praying with us in sighs too deep for words, and that Spirit has touched human hearts in a massive movement for change.

Praise be to God that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has taken a giant leap of freedom and removed a major barrier to equality among us. There is yet much to do to make the PC(USA) a fully just and egalitarian community for all of its members. But today, we give thanks that a major form of injustice has been righted in our church.

The Coordinating Team of Presbyterian Voices for Justice
May 11, 2011

 

5/10/2011
Amendment 10-A is ratified!

Late this afternoon, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area became the 87th presbytery to approve of the constitutional amendment that drops from the church’s rule a ban on the possibility of ordination (as minister or elder) for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. The responsibility for discerning persons’ suitability for ordination is now placed where it was in the beginning of the Reformed churches: in the hands of the ordaining body – i.e. the presbytery for ministers, and the local church session for elders.

The vote was strongly supportive of the change: out of 264 ballots cast, 205 were for the amendment, and just 56 against it, with 3 abstentions.

The discussion of the action was set up in a way to minimize conflict and oppositional thinking about the subject. First one member of the Committee on Bills and Overtures (Gordon Dosher, who as a commissioner to the 2010 General Assembly was assigned to the committee that dealt with the ordination question) spoke for about ten minutes; he was followed by ten supporters of the amendment, each being give just one minute to make his or her point. Then a member for the Bills and Overtures Committee spoke for ten minutes explaining his reasons for opposing the change, after which ten others gave their reasons for opposing it.

I’ll try to summarize some of the points that were made, and post some of the speeches in their entirety, after I get a bit of sleep tonight.

In the meantime, here are some reports already posted >>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ll be back tomorrow with more details and commentary on this great step forward for the PC(USA).

And if you have news or thoughts to share, please send a note and enrich our discussion!

5/7/2011
Plains and Peaks shifts to support an inclusive church

Just one more affirmative vote will ratify Amendment 10-A

Earlier today, Saturday, May 7, the Presbytery of Plains and Peaks approved amendment 10-A by a vote of 73-51 moving us to just one vote from ratifying this important change! This is a magnificent shift from their vote two years ago, rejecting Amendment 08-B by 41 to 60.

Dakota Presbytery was also scheduled to meet this weekend, but we don't yet have a report.

The next presbyteries to vote:

Tuesday, May 10: New Harmony, Pacific, Prospect Hill, San Gabriel, Twin Cities Area, Western Kentucky. Of these presbyteries, Pacific and Twin Cities Area have previously approved the inclusive church amendment two years ago.

Saturday, May 14: Boise.

We encourage you to do whatever you can – by your prayers, your phone calls, your own speaking in your own presbytery – to move us one giant step toward greater justice and inclusive love in our church.

For more on Amendment 10-A >>

Thanks to blogger John Shuck, and Tricia Dykers Koenig, Covenant Network National Organizer

5/5/2011
Middle Tennessee Presbytery flips to support 10-A

Of the presbyteries voting this week on Amendment 10-A, to open the possibility of ordination for LGBT Presbyterians, three have again rejected the change, two of them (Foothills and Peaks) by narrower margins than two years ago. St. Andrew maintained the same percentage vote, though with fewer presbyters voting.

But the big news – the good news – is that Middle Tennessee Presbytery voted today by 93 to 86 with 1 abstention, for a more inclusive church. This is the 18th transformed presbytery, having voted 95 to 139 against 08-B.

The national count is now 85 to 62. Two more YES votes will ratify the constitutional change.

With Plains and Peaks voting on Saturday, and possibly shifting to support the change, and Pacific and Twin Cities voting on Tuesday (both of which supported inclusion in two years ago, we are in sight of 87, and the change so many of us have worked and prayed for, for so long!

Thanks to blogger John Shuck, and Tricia Dykers Koenig, Covenant Network National Organizer
 

One quick comment on this report, from David Oliver-Holder of Bayfield, Wisconsin::

HOOO RAYYY!!
 

And click here for more details on the action by Middle Tennessee Presbytery >>

5/4/2011

The Rev. Trina Zelle called to serve as the new Lead Organizer for the Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA)

Trina Zelle

A press release from the Presbyterian Health, Education & Welfare Association (PHEWA)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — May 2, 2011 – The Rev. Trina Zelle has accepted the newly-formed position of Lead Organizer for the Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA), a ministry of Compassion, Peace, and Justice Ministry, General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC), Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Rev. Zelle writes, “I am excited at the prospect of collaboration with experienced and committed leadership in strengthening and expanding this incredible organization.”

Ordained in 1980 by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Rev. Trina Zelle has served congregations in Connecticut, Minnesota, Hawaii, Texas, and Arizona. She also worked for ten years as a community organizer in partnership with immigrant women living along the Texas/New Mexico/Mexico border. Together they established a day care business, a community center, and Cristo Rey Outreach, a nonprofit organization that continues to provide technical assistance to grassroots groups along the border.

Since 2006 she has served as founding director of Arizona Interfaith Alliance for Worker Justice, Arizona’s only worker rights center.Serving as a clergy commissioner to the 219th (2010) General Assembly, Rev. Zelle is familiar with the current hopes and challenges of the denomination. She has also been a long-time friend of PHEWA, having served as the featured preacher for the 2003 PHEWA Biennial Conference, bringing the message “God is About to Do a New Thing.” Rev. Zelle looks forward to being PHEWA’s new Lead Organizer: “I see PHEWA and its networks continuing to transform the lives of individuals and communities through work that is collaborative, respectful, and creative. I see a flexible organization capable of responding to what will surely be an ever-changing landscape of need.”

Rev. Zelle graduated from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio and received her Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. She lives with her clergy spouse (Rev. Philip Reller, UCC) in Tempe, AZ. They have four grown children.

While PHEWA is a ministry of the Compassion, Peace & Justice Ministry, GAMC, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), it is also a 501(c) 3 membership organization serving the entire church. This new PHEWA Lead Organizer position is entirely funded by PHEWA, with the PHEWA Board of Directors serving as employer. Learn more about PHEWA at http://gamc.pcusa.org/ministries/phewa/.

NOTE: Presbyterian Voices for Justice is proud to note that Trina Zelle has also served as a member of the Board of the Witherspoon Society – a predecessor of PVJ -- and as a co-moderator of the group. We congratulate PHEWA on finding an excellent new staff person, and we wish her well in that challenging role.

5/3/2011
PPF responds to the death of Osama bin Laden

What if we had responded to terrorism with courage and love, instead of fear?

from The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship Email Newsletter, May 3, 2011

On this day, reflecting on the death of Osama bin Laden during a U.S. military operation in Pakistan, we turn to Paul’s Letter to the Church in Rome . . .

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:19-21)

On this day, we mourn the loss of life experienced by so many on September 11, 2001, and we stand in compassion with our sisters and brothers for whom that loss of life remains a daily reality. We are deeply moved by the service of so many who risked their own lives on that day and in the days that followed.

On this day, aware that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have now gone on for almost a decade, we are keenly aware of the continued sacrifice borne by U.S. families as tens of thousands of our soldiers have been wounded or killed.

On this day, we know of the suffering of countless—truly countless—numbers of families in both of those countries who also have lost loved ones because of the wars, or who have been displaced by the violence, and whose lives will never be the same again. We say, again, it is time to bring the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq swiftly to an end, bring all U.S. soldiers and military contractors home to their families, and commit to the hard work of partnering to rebuild those communities devastated by the wars.

On this day, with many other sisters and brothers across our country and around the world, we dare to ask . . .

bulletWhat might the world look like today had we responded to our own fear with the courage to love those of whom we are most afraid?
bulletWhat if the billions upon billions of dollars spent to wage war had been spent instead on food and potable water and schools and development projects—the things that make for peace?
bulletWhat if we prepared our young people to wage peace rather than to wage war?

We follow the Prince of Peace. We are a people of hope. We will seek common ground with sisters and brothers who share our commitment to peace in all religious traditions.

Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, May 2, 2011

5/2/2011
Two thoughtful reflections on the death of Osama bin Laden

Robert Neiman, policy director at Just Foreign Policy, writes on Truthout:

The War Is Over. Start Packing!

"We got our man. Wave the flag, kiss a nurse (or a sailor) and start packing the equipment. It's time to plan to bring all our boys and girls home from Afghanistan. When the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks rolls around, let the world see that we are on a clear path to bringing home our troops from Afghanistan and handing back sovereignty to the Afghan people."    More >>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After Bin Laden, People of Faith Must Transcend Triumphalism

Charles Kimball, a Baptist minister, and director of the religious studies program at the University of Oklahoma, writes on God’s Politics, a blog by “Jim Wallis and friends”

Excerpts:

This dramatic development highlights many critically important factors that converge at the intersection of religion and politics today. Two connected issues stand out for all of us who seek a more healthy and hopeful future. First, we must recognize that the conditions that helped create and sustain Osama bin Laden’s extremism continue to exist: unrepresentative, autocratic rulers in many predominantly Islamic lands, perceived heavy-handed and predatory U.S. political, military, and economic involvement in many of these same countries, and the deep frustrations with the plight of Palestinians after more than 40 years of military occupation. While the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims have rejected Bin Laden’s violent extremism, the “Arab spring” upheavals throughout the Middle East and the urgent need for real progress in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict underscore the sources of frustration that must be addressed constructively. ...

President Obama correctly emphasized a crucial, related issue: Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader and the ongoing conflict is not with Islam. Osama bin Laden used religion to recruit, incite, and justify murder. His lethal corruption of religion must be named and rejected without indicting Islam and the 1.5 billion Muslims.

Now, more than ever, it is essential that people of faith and goodwill transcend the temptations of triumphalism and redouble efforts at education, dialogue, and cooperation across religious lines.   More >>

A quick response has come from Shirley Nelson, of Amherst, Massachusetts:

Hi, Doug: Glad to see the Wallis reference. Let's hope churches come through with sane and wise responses, and further outreach to peace-seeking Muslim people.
Shirley Nelson

[5-3-11]

Two more presbyteries voted Saturday on Amendment A.  Both voted YES.

National Capital continued its strong support for equality by approving the change to G-6.0106b by a vote of 204-80-3.

And Missouri River Valley (Omaha and environs) increased its pro-equality margin and approved A, 52-39-4.

In a Sunday meeting the Presbytery of the Foothills voted 64 to 95 against the amendment – still a No, but by a narrower margin than two years ago, when it was 34 to 99.

The tally is now 84-60.

That means only three more YESes to reach 87 and take a big step forward for equality!

Click here for a listing of the presbyteries that have yet to vote >>

Thanks to John Shuck (of Shuck and Jive) and Pam Byers (of Covenant Network)

Three former Moderators of the PCUSA have written to the church expressing their support for 10-A

The three former Moderators -- Freda Gardner, Rick Ufford-Chase, and Bruce Reyes-Chow -- have sent their letter to the church as a whole.  They begin:  

“...We've been asked what we think about 10-A, so we decided to share our thoughts and hope with you in this way. We also know that some in our Church are anxious about 10-A and its passage. We imagine similar fears were expressed about women's ordination. All of us are aware of the natural kaleidoscope of feelings in the midst of change.

We believe that Amendment 10-A will be profoundly helpful to the mission, future and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA)... “

Read the full letter >>

And here it is in easy-to-print PDF format >>

Calling for a “Circle of Protection” for the poor

Presbyterians Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk, and Gradye Parsons and Carlos Malave, Associate for Ecumenical Relationships, join in letter calling for a “Circle of Protection” for programs that aid the poor

Jim Wallis, of Sojourners, reports:

What is the Circle of Protection?

Yesterday, the leaders of more than 50 Christian denominations and organizations drew a line in the sand of the budget debate, and asked our political leaders to do the same. We united around the basic principle that those who are already suffering should not be made to suffer even more in order to reduce the deficit. Evangelical, Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, black, and Hispanic church leaders came together to say that Christians will form a "Circle of Protection" around programs that assist poor and vulnerable people.

Click here for the full text of the letter >>

And we encourage you to click here to sign on to the letter yourself >>

Big Tent to stay in Indianapolis

Location finalized after examination of new Indiana immigration bill

from the Office of the General Assembly

The Big Tent – the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s biennial celebration of ministry and mission – will be pitched in Indianapolis June 30-July 2.

The decision to keep the Big Tent event in Indianapolis this summer was made after church leaders examined the final text of the newly passed Indiana immigration bill (Senate Bill 590) and confirmed that it does not contain elements that would have necessitated a change of venue.

More >>

Visit the Big Tent website for more information and to register.

For an index to all our reports and analyses
on the 219th General Assembly

Posts from earlier in June, 2011
May, 2011
April, 2011

March, 2011
February, 2011
January, 2011
December, 2010
November, 2010
October, 2010
September, 2010

August, 2010
July, 2010
June, 2010
May, 2010

April, 2010
March, 2010
February, 2010
January, 2010

For links to earlier archive pages, click here.

 

Some blogs worth visiting

PVJ's Facebook page

Mitch Trigger, PVJ's Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!

You can post your own news and views, or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.

 

John Shuck’s new "Religion for Life" website

Long-time and stimulating blogger John Shuck, a Presbyterian minister currently serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, Tenn., writes about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and lightening up.

Click here for his blog posts.

Click here for podcasts of his radio program, which "explores the intersection of religion, social justice and public life."

 

John Harris’ Summit to Shore blogspot

Theological and philosophical reflections on everything between summit to shore, including kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New York City and the Queens neighborhood of Ridgewood -- by a progressive New York City Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the Witherspoon board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian Church in Flushing, NY.

 

Voices of Sophia blog

Heather Reichgott, who has created this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:

After fifteen years of scholarship and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy, students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and thoughtful community.

 

Got more blogs to recommend?

Please send a note, and we'll see what we can do!

 

To top

© 2012 by Presbyterian Voices for Justice.  All material on this site is the responsibility of the WebWeaver unless other sources are acknowledged.  Unless otherwise noted, material on this site may be copied for personal use and sharing in small groups.  For permission to reproduce material for wider publication, please contact the WebWeaver, Doug King.  Any material reached by links on this site is outside the control and responsibility of the WebWeaver and Presbyterian Voices for Justice.  Questions or comments?  Please send a note!