The net losses in membership in 2009 amounted to the lowest yearly drop in the last decade for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), though the 3 percent decrease to 2,077,138 members was part of a good news/bad news assessment from the denomination’s top executive.
In a familiar routine, mainline Presbyterians at their biennial General Assembly voted 373-323 to lift a ban on partnered gay clergy, sending the proposed change for the fourth time in nearly a dozen years to the denomination’s 173 regional presbyteries for ratification.
Committee members displayed "mutual forbearance toward one another"
Aug 03, 2010
As Presbyterians opened their eight-day General Assembly on the Fourth of July weekend, they faced a bitter debate over a report on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It appeared to some leading participants that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) would reenact a bruising version of Mideast confrontations “within its own body, so divided were we on all sides.”
Old habits die hard. Despite numerous attempts by mainline Protestant denominations to promote historically informed studies of Judaism, repudiate supersessionist theologies and engage in conversations wth Jews, the old habit of bearing false witness against Jewish neighbors lives on. In recent years this practice has thrived especially in mainline Protestant statements on the Middle East.
A former Presbyterian pastor and nationally known ecumenical leader has been approved for ordained ministry in Wisconsin by a presbytery which noted his declared conscientious objection to denominational standards that rule out ordaining an openly gay candidate.
Here’s a reality show I would like to see. Take 20 Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Methodists and leave them on a tropical island with these three: the recently resigned governor of Illinois, a United Church of Christ parliamentarian and David Letterman.
By the time this issue of the magazine is in your hands, the fate of health-care reform may have been decided by Congress. The legislative process, like the proverbial production of sausage, is not neat or pretty. If a bill passes, it will not be all the Obama administration hoped for and it will be a lot more than the Republican opposition wants.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America both have slashed their 2009 budgets, cutting programs and laying off scores of personnel as denominations continue to suffer from the recession.