Friends, I direct your attention to Psalms Modern: a Presbyterian Welcome Devotional, by sharing with you this snippet of a recent post, responding to the Permanent Judicial Commission's recent ruling.
Open Letter to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Date: March 2008
From: Your Candidates and Inquirers for the Ministry of Word and Sacrament who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer
Re: Bush vs. Presbytery of Pittsburgh PJC Ruling Regarding Ordination Standards and G-6.0106b
We, your sisters and brothers in Christ, your colleagues in ministry, faithful members of Presbyterian churches are saddened by the recent ruling of the Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) which singles out the requirement of fidelity in heterosexual marriage and chastity in singleness as an essential tenet of Reformed faith. This ruling contradicts some of the most important work of the Peace Unity and Purity Task Force, which put forward a more gracious and open way for us to live together as the body of Christ in the midst of our differences.
This PJC decision puts a wedge between theology and practice, belief and action, being and doing. It demeans the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer persons by again reducing our lives to sexual acts. It fails to recognize God’s ability to choose whomever God wills to serve the Church. It perpetuates the mythology that sexual orientation is simply a matter of behavior. It says that we are not filled with God’s grace.
Our Reformed understanding of Scripture teaches that the way in which we live our lives as responsible, faithful Christians is intimately connected to our faith. Our love, commitment, and indeed our manner of life is an inescapable expression of our faith as we seek to both know God’s will and to live into it. We are filled with the Spirit, a Spirit made manifest in our Christian discipleship and acts of Christian witness: by teaching Sunday School; giving our time, talent and treasure to our congregations; working in soup kitchens; financially supporting ourselves and paying tuition to Presbyterian seminaries; visiting the sick and shut-ins; working for justice; being present with individuals in their last days of life on earth; singing in choirs; tutoring children; yearning to preach the Word and administer the Sacraments; proclaiming the liberating and good news of Jesus Christ, and welcoming and raising new disciples to serve Him...
I recommend it highly. It is of the Spirit. Let the people say, Amen.