In the midst of tense debates with Jewish leaders, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has fired two employees who were part of a controversial delegation that met with Hezbollah officials in Lebanon. Church officials, however, did not say immediately if the firings of Kathy Lueckert and clergyman Peter Sulyok were related to the Middle East visit.
Reeling from stinging criticism by Jewish leaders, officials of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) said that comments made by members of a church delegation meeting last month with Hezbollah leaders were “reprehensible” and the controversial visit was “misguided at best.”
A high-level summit between Jewish and Presbyterian leaders covered little new ground in a sharp, ongoing dispute over Middle East policy, but both sides promised to stay in close contact as the church considers selectively divesting from Israel.
Divestment plans, support of messianic Jews caused tension
Aug 10, 2004
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), under fire from Jewish groups for its funding of messianic Jewish congregations and a move to divest from Israel, is appealing to members of both faiths to respect whatever “fragility of trust” still exists between them.
It may have been a close vote, but the stance of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on issues of homosexuality remained unchanged in Richmond, and will stand for at least two more years as the denomination switches to biennial general assemblies.
Last year the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) suffered its biggest single-year loss in communicant members since the reunion of the “northern” and “southern” denominations in 1983. The net decline during 2003 was 46,658 members, leaving the year-end membership at barely above 2.4 million.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth will not be allowed to exhibit at the Baptist General Convention of Texas meeting this fall—further fallout from the deteriorating relationship between the Texas convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.
A Cincinnati minister has won a reversal of a 2003 Presbyterian church-court conviction for performing same-sex marriage ceremonies at a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Permanent Judicial Commission of the Synod of the Covenant made the 6-4 ruling April 30 in the case of Stephen A. Van Kuiken, reported Presbyterian News Service.