God's Spirit at Work

For Immediate Release, Wednesday July 31, 2010

By Affirmation Co-spokesperson Tim Tennant-Jayne

God's Spirit was clearly at work at the 2010 General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church (USA). Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns supports their decision to ordain
gay and lesbian clergy who are in same-gender relationships. By this
action, the Presbyterian Church (USA) joins an ever growing number of
Judeo-Christian faith groups who recognize that God calls a variety of
people for the special service of ordination. More people of faith are
recognizing that God does not place limitations of race, of gender, of
physical abilities, nor of sexual orientation, on who God calls for service.
A majority of the local presbyteries still need to confirm this action.
While this confirmation has not occurred in the past, the number of
supportive presbyteries continues to increase. We pray that this time a
majority of the presbyteries will respond to God's Spirit and uphold this
decision.

Unfortunately, the General Assembly effectively tabled all discussion of the
definition of a marriage. The proposed statement would define a marriage as
being between two people, rather than the limited image of only opposite
gender individuals. The committee proposing this change approved it by a
wide margin of 47 in favor with only 8 in opposition. By this action they
neither approved nor rejected the change. They avoided the discussion. The
good news is that now the Assembly is sending both the majority opinion and
the minority opinion to all of the presbyteries to discuss. The eventual
approval of this matter is important to the ongoing ministries of the
denominational congregations and clergy. An increasing number of states are
recognizing the value of love between two adult persons, regardless of their
gender. Without the passage of this change, churches are limited in their
ministry to their members.

Affirmation is encouraged that the Assembly is sending both opinions to the
whole denomination. At least the Presbyterian Church (USA) is able to
acknowledge here that they are not of one mind. They are acknowledging a
healthy difference of opinion. We mourn that The United Methodist Church is
still not even to this point. Hopefully, the 2012 United Methodist General
Conference will be able to acknowledge that we are not all in agreement.
Perhaps, as has occurred with more and more faith groups, we will soon
celebrate God's call of service to all people and the love God gives us
between two adult people.

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As an independent voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer
people, Affirmation radically reclaims the compassionate and transforming
gospel of Jesus Christ by relentlessly pursuing full inclusion in the Church
as we journey with the Spirit in creating God's beloved community.

Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and
Queer Concerns is an activist, all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization
with no official ties to The United Methodist Church.

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