Presbyterian Voices for Justice 

A union of The Witherspoon Society and Voices of Sophia

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Our reports about the 219th General Assembly, July 2010

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The 212th General Assembly, Long Beach

Here you'll find reports and comments from the General Assembly -- and after its close -- mostly reflecting the progressive interests of the Witherspoon Society.

For dependable reports on particular GA events and legislative actions, click here to visit the official PC(USA) web site.

Added on Nov. 8
For some thoughts from GeneTeSelle on dealing with Amendment O in our presbyteries, click here.
Added on Sept. 11
Lew Daly, the author of A Moment to Decide, has prepared a careful analysis of the 212th General Assembly which applies the analysis of the book to our latest national meeting.
Added on Friday, August 25
Two amendments to the Book of Order should receive special attention as they go to the presbyteries during the months ahead.
Attorney Doug Nave offers a thoughtful critique of Amendment O -- the ban on holy unions.
Added on Tuesday, July 11
And here are links to some reports on the Assembly from other groups:
bulletMichael Adee, field organizer for More Light Presbyterians, calls the Assembly a roller coaster, with some votes for justice, others going the other way. 
bulletMore Light Update has issued its General Assembly Supplement, headed

Highlights (and Low Lights) from General Assembly
Go Away, Go Away, Go Away, Says Our Church
But the Church Needs Us More Than Ever!

This page also includes a letter from Mitzi Henderson, MLP Co-Moderator, and the MLP Press Release after passage of the ban on Same Gender Commitment Ceremonies

bulletMieke Vandersall, staffer for Voices of Sophia, has offered a report which sees the Assembly as affirming the work of the Women's Ministry Program Area, and the roles and authority of women in general.
For the full text of Barrie Shepherd's address to the Covenant Network Luncheon -- a text worth reading -- click here to visit the Covenant Network web site.

Click here for our report on his address and the Covenant Network luncheon.

Gene Huff returns his Eagle Scout medal

MLP board member and retired executive presbyter Gene Huff has written to the Boy Scouts of America: "While this medal was once a precious symbol of how much scouting meant to my personal growth and development as a young man, I am now returning it to the Boy Scouts of America because I can no longer acknowledge any ties with the scouting movement due to its now court sanctioned discrimination against those who acknowledge themselves to be gay."

Additions on Friday, July 7
Semper Reformanda dinner heard call for a spirituality "that draws us into the muck and mess of real community"

Internship funding presented to Washington Office

Yes, GA can be fun!  For some humor from the Assembly, and especially from the Witherspoon party, click here.
Additions on Wednesday, July 5
Witherspoon responds to criticisms of our publication of two documents criticizing Vice-Moderator Rebecca McElroy.  
More visitor comments have been added.
Late additions on Monday, July 3
The prayers at the beginning and end of the Witherspoon pre-Assembly event were greatly appreciated. Click here to read them -- and join in them. 
Surely many sermons on Sunday, July 2, reflected on the just-concluded Assembly.  Mark Koenig shares one, called "God Has Only Started."
During and since the Long Beach Assembly, we have received numerous comments responding to things reported here.  Please let us hear from you, too!
Reports on Friday, June 30
By a narrow margin, GA approves ban on holy unions 
Overture 60 -- to affirm an inclusive church -- is defeated
Reports on Thursday, June 29
Witherspoon president comments on concerns about Vice Moderator's anti-gay bias, calls for clarification
NCC general Secretary addresses Presbyterian Washington Office dinner, calls for political action, lobbying
Reports on Wednesday, June 28
Moderator Syngman Rhee calls on Peace Fellowship to help build bridges, responds to concerns of a "deal" with the Lay Committee

Kathy Kelly describes "getting in the way" of US violence in Iraq

In another effort to cross the great divide, groups from right and left gather, pledge to continue talking.

Click here for a report from Presbyterian Outlook

And here for a report from Presbyterian News Service

Reports on Tuesday, June 27
Voices of Sophia hears Delores Williams urge women to "hear each other into speech," work for an open canon
Mary Jane Patterson shares her meditation on Psalm 139
A quiet protester with a sense of humor
Reports on Monday, June 26
Witherspoon luncheon speaker Rep. Maxine Waters calls for reform of criminal justice system, criticizes World Trade Organization

Click here for the opening prayer at the luncheon

Barrie Shepherd talks to Covenant Network luncheon about the soft side of God
What has Covenant Network been learning from their conversations with conservatives?
Sylvia Thorson-Smith offered commissioners and others some helpful hints for being effective in the politics of the Assembly.  Click here for the full text.
We can now offer the full text of former Stated Clerk William P. Thompson's comments at the Soulforce vigil, moments before he accepted arrest as part of action.
William Bennett spoke to a pre-Assembly event sponsored by the Lay Committee.  A Witherspoon observer comments that the context made all the difference.
Reports on Sunday, June 25
Soulforce rallies for justice -- 81 arrested and released
Barbara Dua's talk at the Witherspoon pre-Assembly orientation offers
Reports on Saturday, June 24
Syngman Rhee elected moderator on first ballot
More Light Presbyterians honor Grayson Tucker and a Houston church
"Amendment B" overtures are referred to next year
Witherspoon pre-Assembly event draws interested, enthusiastic crowd to hear moderator candidates, Barbara Dua, and more
Bills and Overtures Committee begins work; 
to deal with referrals of "Amendment B" overtures on Saturday
GAC endorses Laura Mendenhall as president of Columbia Seminary, calls for lifting of sanctions against Iraq
Reports from Friday, June 23
Semper Reformanda highlights efforts for justice through labor movement and through congregations

Welcome to the 212th General Assembly, on Friday, June 23 in Long  Beach

6/23/00, at 10 AM -- About a dozen Witherspoon officers and friends arrived here yesterday, and we're beginning to find our way around.

Some of us are now busy setting up the Witherspoon booth, and others are about a variety of tasks.

There is little to say about the look of the Assembly yet, but as commissioners begin arriving and a few of the committees start meeting, we may know more.

The General Assembly Nominating Committee is meeting this morning, and various other groups are engaged in business both official and otherwise.

This is not high drama, but more will follow.  So y'all come back!

And if you have items to report, questions to ask, opinions to offer ...

from your Webweaver

Click here for reports and analyses that were published here leading up to the 212th General Assembly.

GA actions ratified (or not) by  the presbyteries   

A number of the most important actions of the 219th General Assembly are now being sent to the presbyteries for their action, to confirm or reject them as amendments to the PC(USA) Book of Order.

We're providing resources to help inform the reflection and debate, along with updates on the voting.

Our three areas of primary interest are:

bullet Amendment 10-A, which would remove the current ban on lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender persons being considered as possible candidates for ordination as elder or ministers.

bullet Amendment 10-2, which would add the Belhar Confession to our Book of Confessions.

bullet Amendment 10-1, which would adopt the new Form of Government that was approved by the Assembly.

If you like what you find here,
we hope you'll help us keep Voices for Justice going ... and growing!

Please consider making a special contribution -- large or small -- to help us continue and improve this service.

Click here to send a gift online, using your credit card, through PayPal.

Or send your check, made out to "Presbyterian Voices for Justice" and marked "web site," to our PVJ Treasurer:

Darcy Hawk
4007 Gibsonia Road
Gibsonia, PA  15044-8312


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.


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.


John Harris’ Summit to Shore blogspot

Theological and philosophical reflections on everything between summit to shore, including kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology, politics, culture, travel, 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.


John Shuck’s Shuck and Jive

A Presbyterian minister, currently serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, Tenn., blogs about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and lightening up.


Got more blogs to recommend?

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


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