Oh how I dreaded going to Presbytery today! We had before us an overture from the sessions of three of our congregations which sought to "clarify ordination standards" by declaring that all the ordination standards in G-6 of our Book of Order are "essential." This was, of course, very controversial and I expected there to be some fireworks at today's meeting. However, that is not what happened, thank God!
The wisdom of the Presbytery (53-30) was to postpone voting on this motion for one year and charge our Connecting Congregations committee to develop a plan for us to engage in the work that General Assembly has charged us to do in adopting the recommendations of the Theological Task Force on the Peace, Unity and Purity of the Church. So, in the next year, we will be creating theologically diverse groups to join together in worship, bible study, prayer, sharing our stories, and listening to one another. In other words, we'll do our best, with God's help, to move beyond our "positions" and see each other as sisters and brothers in Christ as we discuss these issues that we all believe to be very important.
I know that there are those who are very disappointed and angry that the Presbytery took this action, and I pray that they will be willing to enter into this time of discernment with the rest of us. We need their voices and experiences. I know that I will need to be reminded of this fact time and time and time again!
Thank God, there is hope for us yet!