eLink News – EXTRA!

Day 7 of 8 at General Assembly 220                                  July 7, 2012

The plenary is running late was still in progress at 1:20 am. on Sat July 7.  The agenda was about 5 hours behind schedule.    We debated the definition of marriage, whether as written “between a man and woman” or “between two people”.   This debate lasted for several hours.  I estimate that 60 people or more spoke to it.   The assembly hall in the plenary area was sprinkled liberally with rainbow colored neck scarves by delegates trying to send a signal to others.

The outcome upheld the present Book of Order definition:  “marriage is between a man and a woman”.  The vote was 52% for and 48% against and for language “between two persons.”    I feel like this is a wonderful, but “fragile” victory and most likely to be challenged at all future Assemblies until it falls.

Our Shenango delegation (6 of us) met several fine Presbyterians from across the country and the world, many of like mind.  We had a chance to make some Commissioner Resolutions that passed committees and the Assembly.

  • CR 20-08 by David Dobi was to investigate a Board of Pensions Shared Benefits plan with other denominations.  The point was: the more the insureds the lower the risk and the lower the premiums for all insureds.
  • CR 16-08 by Dale Deist was to ask the PC(USA) Office of Evangelism to share success stories (The Great Commission) ie. of spreading Christianity in growing congregations, with the entire denomination in hopes of duplication elsewhere.

This was more political than I envisioned, and less Christian problem solving.

It was an honor representing our Presbytery, getting to know better our other commissioners from Shenango and across the country and serving the denomination.

In His Service,

Dale Deist

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