From Coordinating Presbyter Rev. Dr. Ted Land, re: Amendment 14-F
Greetings in Christ Jesus!
Stories in the news media and traffic on the internet are announcing the approval of the same-gender marriage amendment to the Directory of Worship, part of the Book of Order, our Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
At its January meeting, the Presbytery of Florida prayerfully and tearfully considered this change, and voted in favor of it.
This made the issue such “old business” that, when the Presbytery Leadership Team met on Saint Patrick’s Day, it was not even an item on the agenda. We spent our time that day on the agenda of reflecting on our past meeting and planning for the future of our Presbytery, a future that seems brighter than our recent past.
Ruling and teaching elders in the Presbytery of Florida, as well as members of our churches, are astute enough to know that the amendment specifically retains the right of our local church Sessions and each individual teaching elder to decline to participate in any wedding ceremony that violates conscience.
Thus, for most of our local churches, and for most of our pastors, nothing has changed.
For those churches and pastors who choose to participate in same gender wedding ceremonies, the door is now open.
We do not always understand the changes that are wrought in God’s church. But we know that God is still in control.
In this Lenten Season, may we lift high the cross, and may we honor and celebrate our Risen Lord, who alone is Head of the Church.
Blessings to all who read these words!
Ted Land, Coordinating Presbyter
Here are links (click on the highlighted area) to several documents from different perspectives, which you may find helpful:
1. A news release from Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the PCUSA
2. A pastoral letter from Moderator Heath Rada and Vice Moderator Larissa Kwong Abazia of the General Assembly about the passage of Amendment 14-F.
3. A statement by the Covenant Network.
4. A statement by the Fellowship Community.
5. An advisory opinion from the Office of the General Assembly on the impact of the marriage amendment, in question and answer format. The full text of the marriage amendment is on page two of this document.