From New Church Revolution:

San Jose, CA, June 27, 2008: Shortly before noon on Friday, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) voted to change ordination policies of the denomination. Up to now, requirements included “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.” The new passage simply states that candidates for ordination “pledge themselves to live lives obedient to Jesus Christ the Head of the Church, striving to follow where he leads through the witness of the Scriptures, and to understand the Scriptures through the instruction of the Confessions.” The motion will now be sent to the individual presbyteries (regional clusters of congregations) for ratification, and will need to pass by a simple majority in order to change the Book of Order (constitution).

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I know, I know: I just said I was done writing for a while. But I have had something on my mind lately and I’ve decided to write this post, so maybe I’m pulling a Barbra Streisand…

What has caught my eye lately is all of the political fuss over Geraldine Ferraro and the Clinton campaign—the allegations of sexism and racism and the furor it has generated. It seems to me that much of the same stuff gets roiled up in church politics: secular advocacy rolls over into the church because we don’t (and shouldn’t) compartmentalize our lives between what happens in the public square and what happens in our houses of worship.

Perhaps what should happen, though, that doesn’t happen as often, is that we should take our gospel values into the public square (keeping the separation of church and state distinct, for reasons I’ve discussed elsewhere). Those values, I think, shed some light on the problems that have been raised in the recent political campaigns. Namely, inequality in power and the resulting injustice cannot be solved by obtaining and using the same kind of power that originally created the inequality. To do so is a little bit like using the military to oust a military dictator in a coup, and then putting another dictator in his place. Perhaps the new dictator has a different face, but he is still a dictator. It does not fundamentally change the dynamic of the power structure. Read the rest of this entry »

From The Press Democrat

The Rev. Jane Spahr was cleared Tuesday of charges that she violated Presbyterian Church law by marrying two lesbian couples, but her right to continue the ceremonies remains in doubt, lawyers and church officials said.

For full article, click here.

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For those of you in Austin, the next performance of the Capital City Men’s Chorus has been announced…

Join the Capital City Men’s Chorus on Saturday evening, May 17, at 8 p.m., as we CCMC take a look back at some of the great award-winning songs that have inspired and entertained us from stage and screen.
From Shakespeare’s “Henry V” to “Brokeback Mountain,” we’ll cover the spectrum of popular entertainment.

This concert will also feature the world premiere of “Resurrection,” a piece commissioned especially for the CCMC through grants from the Hollyfield Foundation and GALA Choruses. With words by award-winning poet George Klawitter and music by Karl Logue, “Resurrection” is a work which reminds us that while our struggle against fear and bigotry is not over, there is hope for our future.

And who knows. . . . a few wigs may fly as well!

Come take part in history!

Tickets $15 advance/$20 door

Sold at ccmcaustin.org, 512-477-SING and exclusively at Lobo.

I had to write a hymn for a class – I thought I would share it.  It can be sung to many tunes in the hymnal — anything with the little abbreviation “CM” in the corner at the bottom for “Common Meter”. I haven’t found a tune I like yet, but when I do I’ll update it.  It is based, of course, on King David and his relationship with Saul’s son, Jonathan, and the Book of Ruth.

David and Jonathan, they met
And wept behind a stone
They kissed and said their sad farewells
Again to be alone

Away, Naomi pushed her love
And Ruth refused to leave
“Where you go, I will go,” said she
Even if death takes me

Thank you God for relationships
You bless our love with life
Through good and bad you lift us up
Deliv’ring us from strife

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Vermonters Come Around

March 27, 2008

In a sampling of Vermonters, 54% now say they support same-sex marriage.  That is the first time in Vermont’s history that a majority is in favor– showing that it takes exposure to us in order to understand and accept us.

Vermont legalized same-sex civil unions several years ago, due to a court-ordered mandate.

One wonders where equality would be in Vermont if equality had been left to fend for its own in a secular society that devaules relationship.

In the church today, it seems apparent to me that the places which are most opposed to same-sex marriage are those which place dogma over relationship.  The gospel seems to speak pretty clearly to that…

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From Changing Attitude:

Changing Attitude calls on the Primate and bishops of the Church of Nigeria to condemn attacks on homosexuals

A shocking story of mob violence has emerged which almost culminated in the death of one of the leaders of the Changing Attitude Nigeria (CAN) group in Port Harcourt. The violent attack occurred in the context of the funeral ceremony being held for the sister of Davis Mac-Iyalla, attended by six members of the Port Harcourt group on Thursday 20 March 2008.

Read the CA press release here.

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