217th Assembly of Presbyterians

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Day of Listening

It was a day of listening. I do not know how many eventually signed up for the open hearing for my committee. Apparently, there were more than can be accommodated. So our committee leadership cut up all the names, placed them in a bowl and picked 60 names. They were divided equally between the those who were for or against the report of the Taskforce on the Peace, Unity, and Purity of the Church. They had 2 minutes each.

Those who were against the report preached at the committee, in effect saying that it will bring fire and hellstorm to PC (USA) and warned that it will not only split the church but increase the decline in our membership. There were even 5 ex-gays (2 of whom I later learned were not Presbyterians and do it for cash) who obviously did not read even the summary of the report and railed against the ordination of homosexuals. Others railed against the ordination of women.

Those who were for the report testified in a calm but passionate manner. They expressed great joy that the taskforce -- diverse as it is -- were able to unanimously support the report. They emphasized the need for churches to use the discernment process the report recommended to find solutions to conflict. They also emphasized that the taskforce was a taskforce on the church, not a taskforce charged with resolving sexuality issues.

Among the speakers were former moderators and presidents of Presbyterian seminaries -- all of them urging the committee to adopt the report. We also heard from the taskforce members who worked for four years to craft the report.

The first part of the day was also useful in testing the committee moderators' parliamentary skills and giving us a taste of the conservatives' strategy to gut the report.

1 Comments:

  • Interesting observation.
    People who were aginst the report are characterized as "preaching".

    People who are for the report are characterized as "calm but passionate".

    You must be for the report because you put all of those in a positive light and all those opposed in a negative light.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:21 PM  

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