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.
Ending a long legal battle, the largest congregation to break its ties with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in the past two years has voted narrowly to pay $1.75 million for the land and buildings it occupies in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
A Presbyterian court in Pittsburgh ruled October 2 that a minister did not violate scripture or church law by performing a union ceremony for two lesbians, since the ceremony was not a marriage under church or state law.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) permits ministers to preside over same-sex unions as long as they are not purported to be marriages.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is inviting its members to participate in a monthly churchwide fast for “repentance, reflection, and coordinated actions” to empathize with those suffering from hunger and famine around the world.
A New Testament scholar at Vanderbilt University Divinity School has been nominated to become senior minister of New York’s Riverside Church, one of the nation’s most prestigious pulpits. Brad R. Braxton would succeed James A. Forbes, who served at Riverside 18 years until his retirement last year.
More than any other mainline Protestant executive in the past dozen years, Clifton Kirkpatrick of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been on the hot seat almost annually over church disputes, usually concerning the ordination of noncelibate gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions.
Because the blessings of two lesbian couples were called “unions” or “weddings,” not “marriages,” the highest court in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has reversed a lower court’s censure of lesbian clergywoman Jane Spahr, who performed the rites in California.
A national Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) committee has nominated Gradye Parsons, a former Tennessee pastor and presbytery executive, to succeed Clifton Kirkpatrick as stated clerk, the denomination’s top executive, at the June 17 election during the PCUSA’s biennial General Assembly in San Jose, California.