Presbyterian turnabout

Delegates urge gay ordination

Presbyterian moderator Jack Rogers has an unenviable task over the next 12 months. As a part of the General Assembly’s surprising recommendation, by a 317-208 vote, to allow gay and lesbian ministers, elders and deacons, Rogers was directed to write a pastoral letter to congregations “interpreting” the turnabout proposal endorsed by 60 percent of those who met in Louisville, Kentucky, in June. In addition, the new moderator must travel about the country, as is customary, to speak in many of the 173 presbyteries as they prepare to vote on whether indeed the denomination should remove barriers to ordaining gay and lesbian Presbyterians.

The church’s progressive wing sees the General Assembly action as a breakthrough after a quarter-century of often-heated resistance. But some conservatives fear a falling away of members, even if the majority of presbyteries eventually reject and thereby nullify the General Assembly action.

 

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