A note from the Pittsburgh General Assembly by David Dawson (7/5/12)
Pastors, elders and members of the churches of Shenango Presbytery.
Your commissioners and advisory delegates are doing faithful work at the General Assembly meeting in Pittsburgh this week. You can expect to see a couple notes from them on Friday and Saturday
I will send a brief summary note on Saturday and then write a longer report on eLink on Monday, June 23.
Please continue to pray for your church.
Recommended Reading from Clark Cowden’s Blog
Note from the Pittsburgh General Assembly Elder Commissioner Dale Deist (7/5/12)
Well we have had a fire cracker of a day at GA. The outside temperature was hot and so was it on the inside. In Plenary session 1, after 4 ballots, the commissioners voted in Rev. Neal Presa of New Jersey. Rev. Presa had designated Tara Spuhler McCabe as his choice of vice moderator. McCabe was voted in at the next plenary session. However, it was discovered prior to the vote that McCabe performed a same sex marriage a year or so earlier, which is not permitted in our Book of Order. This continued to cause increasing controversy among many commissioners. Our committee discussed the “elephant in the corner” issue at length. Our informal discussions centered around, “what ‘role model’ message does this send, if our vice moderator breaks the constitution and gets away with it? Are we to disregard the constitution? Are we wasting our time being there?”
It is evident that many commissioners and congregations are conflicted over this same sex marriage issue based on “feelings” and not scripture. Apparently the social network tweets and blogs ran rampant on this, plus one commissioner was rumored to being looking into Presbyterian Judicial legal action against McCabe.
Long story short, at the beginning of today’s plenary session, the Moderator accepted the vice moderators resignation. Many of the commissioners were relieved that this was the right thing to do, while many others were upset that this should matter at all. In an attempt to pass a motion which would bring this back up for discussion to further vilify the situation. The vote taken to allow this was lost by one vote(which was good: 322=yes and 323=no more discussion and 17 abstain. Wow, Wow, the Holy Spirit was at work for the moment, was my evaluation.
More to report tomorrow
General Assembly 220 plenary session day 6
9 pm Thursday July 5, 2012
A report from Dale Deist, Commissioner
The plenary is running late and still in progress at 9 pm. The agenda is about 3 hours behind schedule. We are debating whether to divest of Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Motorola, because their products are being used in the Israeli and Palestine situation in the West Bank. The total Presbyterian holdings are at most a 0.00018 fraction of all outstanding shares of stock of that company. We seem to be discussing whether to, financially, kill a gnat on an elephant. Currently, 36 people are standing to have a turn to talk for 2 minutes each.
Several voting decisions today were shocking and made me question what Biblical interpretation is being used by the majority decisions. On several items I was so offended from a values and Biblical interpretation, that I asked to file written dissent votes.
- Item 11-01 (Occupy Wall Street –my name for this)-which paraphrased says that corporate prosperity is greed and a moral sin causing and undermining the condition of those who have lost their homes, jobs… [they could give no definition of when does profit equal greed] (passed 69% to 27% opposed and 4% abstained)
- Item 20-02 Provide a Medical Plan that will NOT pay for Abortions, unless the life of the mother is at risk… (Lost by 70% to 28% for)
- 11-05 Don’t spank children, one swat or at all. (51% for 47% against and 2% abstain)
I wonder who these people are? They look like you and I. I wonder how God is working through this for His good in the world. I wonder where the Presbyterians live (other than Shenango) who think and believe like me?