In 1961, Margaret Flory started a new kind of mission program.
Today, 30 LGBT-affirming African religion scholars and faith leaders begin meeting in South Africa. The purpose of the consultation is to build an African faith foundation for the acceptance of LGBT people. It was organized by Kapya Kaoma of Political Research Associates and Michael Adee of the Horizons Foundation’s Global Faith and Justice Project. Kaoma is an Anglican priest from Zambia; Adee is an elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The PCUSA now officially stands with the LGBT people who are criminalized in 78 countries.
The conflict over divestment seems to divide Presbyterians more deeply than past struggles. Old friends are barely speaking to one another.
"I've been given an opportunity to color outside the lines," says Nanette Sawyer of Grace Commons and St James Presbyterian Church in Chicago, "the permission and charge to be creative and experimental."
The struggle to choose the hymns for the small rural congregation I serve is a microcosm of the challenges faced by members of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song (PCOCS) as it decides what hymns and songs to include in the next Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) hymnal and electronic resources.