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5 pastors demand the church "repent"

Five pastors visit Louisville office, demanding the PC(USA) "repent"
[11-4-02]

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 these thoughts:

~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

 

 
 

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.
 

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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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