5 pastors demand the church
|Five pastors visit Louisville office,
demanding the PC(USA) "repent"
Presbyterian News Service
has reported that five Presbyterian pastors recently visited the
Presbyterian national office in Louisville, to tape near the main
entrance their "Call to Confession and Repentance," calling
the church "irretrievably apostate under current management."
Their call for repentance, widely circulated, has so
far garnered about 100 signatures.
Some Witherspoon members have urged us to comment on
this action, and Witherspoon board member Barbara Kellam-Scott offers
It doesn't appear that the PC(USA) is quite rushing to
sign onto the "Call to Confession and Repentance" drafted by
five self-appointed pastors. Almost a month into their called-for season
of prayer, they have only 100 signatures. Unfortunately, they seem to
have been moved by this lukewarm reception to even greater
misunderstandings of the constitution they would like to reduce to the
single provision of G-6.0106b.
We hear from Presbyterian News Service that the five
pastors, on the traditional day off for pastors but a day with no other
discernable symbolism, took themselves to Louisville to accost the
servants of the whole church as they arrived to do the work they've been
called to by the voice of that church. They taped their "Call"
to the front doors and tried to support analogies to Martin Luther and
the doors of the Wittenburg church. It's rather sad that they think
that's the center of our church.
Much as we appreciate and depend on the work done so
faithfully at 100 Witherspoon Street, it is decidedly not the center of
our church, let alone the Vatican. The Presbyterian Church (USA) does
not live behind those doors, but in pews and soup kitchens and day-care
centers and literacy training and community organizing across the nation
and in missions supported around the world by undesignated mission
giving, by extra-commitment opportunities, and by special offerings such
as the Peacemaking Offering that was generally received on the first day
of the five pastors' season of prayer, the Advent Offering, or the One
Great Hour of Sharing that will be received just as this extended
self-centered season draws to a close.
PNS tells us that the top two executives of our staff,
Clifton Kirkpatrick and John Detterick, graciously invited the five
pastors to come inside and pray with them, and that the five
pastors accepted only after they'd been in the faces of as many staffers
as they could. The five told PNS that they thought they had the informal
support of the Presbyterian Lay Committee and "some" other
member organizations of the Presbyterian Coalition. It's interesting,
though, that they got no coverage from these other sources beyond links
to the PNS story.
Perhaps the Layman and others are beginning
to tumble to the realization that actions like the five pastors'
protest, their "Call to Repentance and Prayer" and its
specified actions, and the whole "Confessing Church Movement"
(the only place to find the "Call" on the Web) are without
basis in the constitution of the PC(USA). These decisions are properly
made by duly elected commissioners, ruling elders and teaching elders in
parity, and mostly in the presbyteries that the five pastors ignore or
would have some Pope of Louisville overrule.
Let's get over it and get to work.
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
We're providing resources to help inform the
reflection and debate, along with updates on the voting.
Our three areas of primary interest are:
which would remove the current ban on
lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender persons being considered as
possible candidates for ordination as elder or ministers.|
which would add the Belhar Confession to our Book of
10-1, which would adopt the new Form of Government
that was approved by the Assembly. |
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Some blogs worth visiting
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
John Harris’ Summit to
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
Got more blogs to recommend?
send a note, and we'll see what we can do!