This Week At Old South Haven Presbyterian Church
Tuesday, July 10 7:00pm Property and Finance Commitee
Thursday, July 12 10:00am Meeting at Presbytery to "discuss how Long Island Presbytery will respond to
the plea from the General Assembly to 'enter into a season of serious study
and discernment concerning the meaning of Christian marriage'"
Sunday, July 15 10:00am Morning Worship
Sermon: "The Gospel in Hymns:
2. 'In the Garden'"
Lessons: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:8-13 John 20: 1-18
Monday, July 16 7:00pm Session Meeting
Highlights of the General Assembly Meeting June 30 - July 7 in Pittsburgh
In addition to times of worship, viewing displays from the various advocacy groups within the denomination, and the hours spent in committee work (presentations, debates, resolutions, votes, etc) the Assembly addressed roughly 800 items of business. The website (www.pc-biz.org) has it all! The following are just two items that have been given a lot of media attention..
1. Opts for 'positive investment' over "divestment", approves boycott of products made in occupied Palestinian terrotory.
The original motion before the GA, coming from the GA Committee to look at the matter, was to support the recommendation of the Mission Responsibility Through Investment Committee to divest the holdings of Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard that directly supply Israel's occupation and participate in "non-peaceful pursuits in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza... This Committee (MRTI) has engaged in conversations with these companies over an eight year period to no avail The GA voted 333 to 331, with two abstentions, to reject the divestment plan.. The Assembly voted to "devise a plan of active engagement and projects that will support collaboration among Christians, Jews, and Muslims. The Assembly also approved a boycott on "all Israeli products coming from the occupied Palestinian territories." (Pastor Tom: 1300 rabbis and 22,000 other Jews wrote to Presbyterians, falsely seeking to characterize the proposed move(divesement from three US compaines) as "the use of economic leverages against the Jewish state." However the original motion was not to "divest from Israel' nor to "boycott Israel")
2. No change in current definition of marriage nor to give ministers the discretion to perform same-gender weddings in states where it is legal.
By a very narrow margin (338 to 330 or 4%) the Assembly declined to send down an amendment to our Directory for Worship, which would have changed "a man and a woman" to "two people" So there will be no vote on the issue in the presbyteries this year. Also the Assembly declined to issue any Authoritative Interpretation of the Book of order (binding p0licy), which would have provided "protection" to Pastors who preside at same sex ceremonies that are considered marriages. ( Pastor Tom: This latter action was taken despite pleas by pastor after pastor, particuolarly from states allowing same sex marriage. Many pastors have declared that they have or will officiate at same gender marriage ceremonies. The originally elected Vice Moderator of the Assembly upon her election the first night of the Assembly indicated that she had performed a same gender wedding. Such criticism ensued that she resigned from the position to the dismay of the Moderator and many of the Commissioners. The Assembly moved that the denomination eneter into "a season of serious study and discernment concerning its meaning of Christian marriage between now and the next Assembly in 2014.
On Thursday, July 12, the Presbtery's General Council, and our commissioners to the 2012 General Assembly, will meet to discuss how our Presbytery will respond. Pastopr Tom will attend.