* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                     MORE LIGHT UPDATE 
                                       May-June 2001 
                                    Volume 21, Number 5 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
             The Demise of 'O'. History. The Auburn Affirmation. Boy Scouts. A  
             Sassy Prophet. More Light Churches in Alabama & Kentucky.  
             Leviticus. On the Road. Getting Ready for General Assembly. New  
             Board Members. Events. Resources. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                       FULL CONTENTS 
             SEXUAL ETHICS 
             OUR COVER: First More Light Congregation in Alabama 
                  Breaking New Ground 
             OUR NATIONAL FIELD ORGANIZER: Traveling Mercies 
             GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2001 
             MLP BOARD 
                  National MLP Board Meets 
                  New Board Members Nominated 
                  Online Bluebook for Churches, Families, Others 
                  Youth and Young Adults 
                  Universal Liturgical Arts 
             FEATURE STORIES 
                  The Demise of 'O' 
                  MLP / TAMFS Respond 
                  Open Letter to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 
                  The PCUSA News story 
                  Our Korean Brothers and Sisters [NOT IN PRINT UPDATE] 
                  The Korean Council letter [NOT IN PRINT UPDATE] 
             SAME-SEX UNIONS IN HISTORY: 1700 Years of Christian Same-Sex Unions 
                  A Statement from More Light Presbyterians 
                  No Boy Scout Badge for Bigotry 
             Honoring a Sassy Prophet: George Fuller 
                  Reasons to Reject 'O' 
                  Some thoughts on the current state of the PCUSA 
                  The Early Years: Flashes of Reflection 
                  More Light Church will consider gays for leadership 
                  Sex in Leviticus: Tied to the Land 
             MLP OFFICERS 
                  MLP Board of Directors 
                  MLP National Liaisons 
             MLP CHAPTERS 
             MASTHEAD (Publication Information) 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                              *We limit not the truth of God 
                              To our poor reach of mind, 
                              By notions of our day and sect, 
                              Crude, partial and confined. 
                              No, let a new and better hope 
                              Within our hearts be stirred: 
                              for God hath yet more light and truth 
                              To break forth from the Word.* 
              -- Pastor John Robinson, sending the Pilgrims to the New World,    
             1620; paraphrased by the hymnwriter George Rawson, 1807-1889. 
                                       SEXUAL ETHICS 
                   "More Light Presbyterians (MLP) envisions that  
                   Christian sexual ethics marked by covenantal  
                   fidelity shall be the standard for all  
                   Presbyterians, irrespective of sexual orientation."  
                   -- MLP Board, September 1999. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                        For all ministers, elders, deacons, members 
                      and friends of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 
                                 More Light Presbyterians           
                              4737 County Road 101, PMB# 246 
                                 Minnetonka, MN 55345-2634 
                                     MORE LIGHT UPDATE 
                                 James D. Anderson, Editor 
                                        P.O. Box 38 
                               New Brunswick, NJ  08903-0038 
                      732-249-1016, 732-932-7501 (Rutgers University) 
                           FAX 732-932-6916 (Rutgers University) 
                             Internet: JDA@mariner.rutgers.edu 
                                (or JDA@scils.rutgers.edu) 
                                  Email Discussion List: 
                                 (To join, send email to: 
                                 to leave, send email to: 
                             MLP home page: www.mlp.org 
                  Masthead, with Publication Information at end of file. 
                 Note:  * is used to indicate italicized or boldface text. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
             Please remove John Trompen as MLP's liaison to PAN: Presbyterian  
             AIDS Network. Many thanks, John, for your many years of service! 
             Also, remove Brian Cave's address from the Update -- leave just  
             his email. 
                           New Liaisons for MLP Chapter at SFTS 
             Many thanks to Dave Brague, Bill Bess, and Sally Juarez for  
             serving as leaders of the MLP chapter at SFTS. And  
             congratulations on their up-coming graduation. Shelly Holle will  
             continue as a liaison. Here are the new SFTS liaisons: Mary  
             Davis, 563 St. Mary Dr., Santa Rosa, CA 95409, 707-537-1133,  
             mrydavis@aol.com; Pam Lupfer, 25 Richmond Rd., #303, San Anselmo,  
             CA 94960, 415-457-7906, loopslair@aol.com; Tim Shipe,  
                              McCormack Liaison: New Address 
             Update Tanya Denley's new address to: Tanya Denley, 1047 E. Hyde  
             Park Blvd., Basement, Chicago, IL 60615, tdenley@juno.com 
                                  Princeton: New liaison: 
             Christine Gannon is the new contact for BGLASS: Bisexual, Gay  
             Lesbian and Straight Seminarians at Princeton Theological  
             Seminary. Here's her listing:  Christine Gannon, SBN 430,  
             Princeton Theological Seminary, Box 5204, Princeton, NJ 08543,  
             609-497-9024, CGannon104@aol.com. 
             Grinnell, IA has a new area code, so please update listings for  
             liaisons Mike and Sylvia -- old area code is 515, new area code  
             is 641. 
             New area code also for Dick Lundy and Jeanne Meyer in Minnesota - 
             - change 612 to 952! 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
             That wonderful picture on page 20 of the January-February 2001  
             *More Light Update* got an incomplete caption. It *should have*  
             read: Our dear departed friend, *Bob Hasek*, with Mark King and  
             the pigeons in San Marcos Square, Venice (Photo from Chris  
             Glaser).  Sorry! -- JDA. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
             OUR COVER 
             Our cover (and also page 3) features our first More Light  
             Congregation in Alabama: University Presbyterian Church,  
             Tuscaloosa, the Rev. Dr. Sandy Winter, pastor. See their press  
             release just below, "Breaking New Ground." 
             Your editor is urgently seeking photos (or drawings!) of *all*  
             our More Light Churches to feature on future *Update* covers.   
             (Many thanks to those who have already responded!)  I need  
             "physical" hard-copy photos or drawings.  Sorry, we can't use  
             digital photos yet. 
             Other photos have been contributed by Michael Adee, Marilyn Nash,  
             Todd Freeman, Harold Snedeker, Chris Glaser, and Jack Hartwein- 
             **Please send us your photos!  We need real physical photos, not  
             digital pictures.** 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                    Breaking New Ground 
             February 6, 2001 -- University Presbyterian Church (UPC) of  
             Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a church of 75 members located on the edge  
             of the University of Alabama campus, has become the first More  
             Light Presbyterian church in the state of Alabama. 
             Although it had been a campus ministry and student center from  
             its beginning in 1952, UPC was chartered as a church in 1966, in  
             the midst of the Civil Rights movement. During that time, UPC not  
             only became one of the few places in Tuscaloosa where people of  
             all races could worship together, but its facility was opened to  
             speakers and activist groups who were denied meeting space  
             elsewhere in the community or on campus. UPC's mission statement  
             reflects a continuing commitment to hospitality, stating, in  
                             Since God's love excludes no one, 
                              our mission is to be inclusive. 
                      We trust that in God's time and by God's grace, 
                              God will destroy all barriers. 
                              We resolve to erect no barriers 
                         while working to overcome existing ones. 
                       This is an open church. You are welcome here. 
             In March of 1999 many Alabamians were shocked by the brutal  
             murder of Billy Jack Gaither, a gay man from Sylacauga. UPC's  
             minister spoke at his memorial service, and, in response to this  
             hate crime, the session of UPC wrote legislators urging that gays  
             and lesbians be included in anti-hate crime legislation. The  
             session also voted unanimously to join the Covenant Network.  
             Through these actions, UPC made its ever-evolving commitment to  
             inclusiveness more public. 
             In February of 2000, UPC hosted a panel of speakers from More  
             Light Presbyterians and That All May Freely Serve-South, which  
             was touring Alabama. UPC members and elders who attended the  
             meeting were very moved by the stories of the panel members.  
             After an adult education study was conducted as part of a process  
             to discern the next step, the session voted overwhelmingly to  
             affiliate with More Light Presbyterians. 
             UPC's members and leaders feel that affiliating with More Light  
             Presbyterians is a continuation of their history of civil rights  
             advocacy. The Rev. Dr. Sandra Winter, UPC's minister, commented,  
             "I feel that I can walk a little taller now. There is more  
             integrity here, in this part of the church, now that we have  
             taken this stand." UPC will have a Sunday service that includes  
             a celebration of becoming a More Light Congregation, April 8.  
             Representing National MLP will be Michael J. Adee, their National  
             Field Organizer. 
             Campus Ministry continues to be a major part of UPC's mission. In  
             February, 1999, UPC began its ambitious "Building on Faith"  
             Campaign to raise funds to build a new student center. Just  
             before Christmas, 2000, UPC was notified that "Building on Faith"  
             will be a recipient of the 2001 Birthday Offering of Presbyterian  
             Women, PCUSA. This means that they will be able to break  
             ground on the student center in May. 
             With the ground-breaking for the student center in the spring and  
             the ground-breaking decision to become the first More Light  
             Presbyterian congregation in Alabama, UPC is joyfully facing the  
             future filled with thankfulness to God for providing the vision  
             to "break new ground" in both campus ministry and social justice. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                     Traveling Mercies 
                                        On the Road 
                                     with Michael Adee 
                               MLP National Field Organizer 
             I have been thinking often of Anne Lamott's profound, insightful  
             and heart-warming book, *Traveling Mercies*, as I travel the country  
             and am at home. I am particularly encouraged by her chapter  
             entitled "Why I Make Sam Go to Church," about her seven year old  
             son and her church, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Marin City,  
             CA.  It is a More Light Church.  She says, "The main reason is  
             that I want to give him what I have found in the world, which is  
             to say a path and a little light to see by.  Most of the people I  
             know who have what I want -- which is to say, purpose, heart,  
             balance, gratitude, joy -- are people with a deep sense of  
             spirituality.  They are people in community, who pray, or  
             practice their faith; they are Buddhists, Jews, Christians --  
             people banding together to work on themselves and for human  
             rights.  They follow a brighter light than the glimmer of their  
             own candle; they are part of something beautiful."  
             Following a brighter light is what I see all across this country  
             as your national field organizer in churches, on seminary  
             campuses, over coffee with people who are seriously committed to  
             their faith and to making a difference in the world.  We are part  
             of a movement and things are moving.  Light is shining forth in  
             so many places and in some surprising places and ways.  
             The witness to faithful, loving committed relationships between  
             two women or two men was spoken of and lived out during many a  
             presbytery meeting over these past few months.  Awakenings to the  
             pastoral care needs for LGBT people, our relationships, and our  
             families became evident in church after church.  And, the anti- 
             family, anti-gay Amendment 0 was defeated.  
             I participated in my own presbytery's discussion and vote on  
             Amendment 'O' in Albuquerque.   You could almost hear a collective  
             groan when one retired pastor used the Bible as a weapon and  
             invited others to join him in his homophobia and heterosexism.   
             The tide has turned.  People of faith and of good will know and  
             believe better now.  They do not want to be part of a church that  
             closes its heart, mind, and doors to any of God's children.  
             Mid-February our **National MLP Board Meeting** and long-range  
             planning session was held at Plaza Resolana just a few miles from  
             my home.  It was so good to have special guests with us:  **Janie  
             Spahr, Doug Potter, Don Stroud** of TAMFS, with **Susan Craig**, pastor  
             of United-University Church, Los Angeles, and **David Bos**.  This is  
             a hard-working, thoughtful Board who genuinely seek to discern  
             the direction God would lead us in terms of our ministry and  
             witness within the PCUSA and to the world.  We worshipped at  
             **First Presbyterian Church, Santa Fe**, where **Mitzi Henderson** and  
             **Bill Moss** brought a message of gratitude for the church's  
             Off to the midwest, I met with the More Light Task Force of the  
             **Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church**, Cincinnati, Ohio at the home  
             of **Lynn Hailey and Susan Ingmire**.   **Steve van Kuiken**,  
             pastor and **Hal Porter**, pastor emeritus met with us to vision  
             with us the ministry and outreach of this group within its  
             presbytery and region.  Hal and I traveled together to **Central  
             Presbyterian Church**, Owensboro, KY, one of our newest More  
             Light churches.  **Dick and Pat Blanton** hosted a dinner party  
             in their home for church members and friends from the LGBT  
             community.  It was a wonderful celebration of the first welcoming  
             church in that area.  **Michael Irwin**'s pastoral leadership is  
             bringing that church alive.  Hal and I offered an Adult Christian  
             Education class where people shared stories of what it meant to  
             them for Central to have become a More Light church then I  
             preached.  After church thirty-three of us gathered for lunch at  
             a historic restaurant and the laughter and joy of our tables  
             nearly brought the house down.  
             In **Louisville**, I spoke to over 60 Presbyterian youth leaders  
             about LGBT pastoral care concerns focusing upon youth and young  
             adult suicidal risk because of the anti-gay messages from church  
             and society and the false claims and dangers of reparative  
             therapy or change therapy.  After my presentation there was much  
             interest and many questions and on the break I was swarmed with  
             more questions, stories, and support.  Clearly, youth and young  
             adults demonstrate a growing awareness, openness, and support for  
             LGBT people and concerns.  
             In March, I was in **Arizona, Illinois, and Georgia**.  Being a part  
             of the national **Voices of Sophia Conference** in Tucson was an  
             extraordinary spiritual experience.  **Mieke Vandersall**, VOS Field  
             Organizer, the Central Team, and the local team put together a  
             trip for us to Nogales with the **Borderlinks Program**.  Because of  
             this trip to the border and the INS station, I can never look at  
             immigration issues and my own citizenship in the same way.   
             **Melanie Hardison** taught us about globalization, **Rebecca  
             Reyes** shared her faith journey, **Sylvia Thorson-Smith and Mike  
             Smith** challenged us to consider the sophia wisdom of Christ.   
             **Martha Juillerat** was there with the **Shower of Stoles  
             Project**.  And **"the Louisville 11"** as I affectionately named a  
             fine group of LPTS students came with **Johanna Bos**.  I facilitated  
             a small group, offered a workshop on local, grassroots organizing  
             for change, and offered a keynote about dealing with internalized  
             In **Chicago**, I preached the ordination sermon at **Steve Runholt**'s  
             ordination service at **Fourth Presbyterian Church** and enjoyed the  
             fellowship of the Fourth Forum class for LGBT people.  With **Mitzi  
             Henderson**, I participated in another of the Bible study sessions  
             with persons from **Covenant Network** and the **Presbyterian  
             Coalition**.  **Marilyn Nash and Wil Brant** put together the **10th  
             Annual LGBT Seminarians Conference** at Chicago Theological  
             Seminary.  **John Hobbs, Lisa Larges, and Erin Swenson** preached, I  
             offered a workshop on pastoral care for LGBT people and our  
             families and **Deb Mullen** and I served on a panel about the  
             welcoming movement.  **Tanya Denley**, Acts 10:15 Chapter, and **Jon  
             Bassinger**, McCormick Seminary offered strong leadership  
             throughout the conference.  
             In **Atlanta**, I met with **TAMFS evangelists, Cliff Frasier, Annie  
             Petker, Janie Spahr, and Don Stroud**.  **Ralph Carter, Susan Craig,  
             Katie Morrison, Bear Ride, Erin Swenson** and I participated in the  
             TAMFS Conference at North Decatur Presbyterian Church.  We  
             offered workshops and met with TAMFS leadership about General  
             Assembly.   A field trip with **Jim Vesper** to the Martin Luther  
             King, Jr. Center for Social Change was a remarkable and moving  
             experience. **Anna Carter Florence** preached an amazing sermon  
             inspiring us to continue being the church and to follow the  
             Spirit.  The connections, collaboration and friendships mean much  
             to me in this work of justice and love.  Such was clear the last  
             two months in Atlanta, Chicago, Tucson, Louisville, Owensboro,  
             Cincinnati, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque. -- With hope and grace,  
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                         2001 More Light Presbyterians Conference 
                                      May 25-27, 2001 
                                       Austin, Texas 
                            Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Hands 
                                    An Open Invitation 
                           "There's a freedom you begin to feel 
                     the closer you get to Austin..." -- Willie Nelson 
             You're invited to come experience the 2001 More Light  
             Presbyterians Conference and share in the fun and fellowship in  
             beautiful Austin, Texas! 
             See the March-April Update or www.mlp.org for details and  
             registration forms, or call Gerald Gafford at 512-374-0881 or  
             email to GGafford@webtv.net. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
             GENERAL ASSEMBLY 
                          Getting Ready for General Assembly 2001 
             It's time to start planning for the 2001 Presbyterian Church  
             (U.S.A.) General Assembly in Louisville, KY, Saturday, June 9  
             through Saturday, June 16.  Many MLP'ers will gather on Friday,  
             June 8 to gear up! 
             Registration, Housing and Special Events: Registration, housing,  
             and special event ticket forms are available from the Office of  
             the General Assembly.  Call 1-888-728-7228 ext 2417 or email to  
             assemblyservices@ctr.pcusa.org to request a registration packet,  
             or register online at: www.pcusa.org/ga213/default.htm.  You will  
             need to send in this form to stay in a G.A. hotel or to order  
             tickets in advance!  Deadline for housing is May 4; for events  
             tickets May 25. 
             Strategy:  Folks interested in working on MLP strategy (or already working on strategy!) 
             should contact MLP's strategy team,  
             led by Tony De La Rosa, 4545 Bedilion St., Los Angeles, CA  
             90032-2001, 213-926-2787, tonydlr@ix.netcom.com; and Bear Ride,  
             Bear Ride, 1680 N. Holliston Ave., Pasadena, CA 91104,  
             626-398-9936, bears@usc.edu. 
             Booth: Folks interested in helping to staff the MLP exhibition  
             booth should contact Ralph Carter, 111 Milburn St., Rochester, NY  
             14607-2918, 716-271-7649, rcarter@rpa.net. 
             Hospitality Suite: The joint MLP/TAMFS Hospitality  
             Suite to be at the Galt House Hotel East, 141 N. 4th Ave.,  
             Louisville, 40202, 502-589-5200.  Folks who would like to help  
             with hospitality should contact Ralph Carter, 111 Milburn St.,  
             Rochester, NY 14607-2918, 716-271-7649, rcarter@rpa.net. 
                                        MLP Events 
                                  Plus Others of Interest 
             Friday, June 8, 11 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Semper Reformanda Pre-Assembly  
             Conversation. Central Presbyterian Church, 318 W. Kentucky St.,  
             $40.00.  A discussion on "Essentials, Liberty, and Orthodoxy:  
             Must we choose between Open Ended and Closed Minded?" 
             Friday, June 8, 1-5:30 p.m., Commissioner Welcome Center, Hyatt  
             Regency Hotel. Sponsored by the Covenant Network of  
             Presbyterians.  Commissioners and others are invited to drop in  
             and meet Covenant Network leaders, former G.A. moderators, and  
             friends, and begin to get oriented to G.A. and Louisville.  Light  
             Friday, June 8, 4-5 p.m., Former Moderators' Reception, Hyatt  
             Regency Hotel. Sponsored by the Covenant Network of  
             Presbyterians. Former G.A. Moderators invite commissioners and  
             others to meet and chat in an informal atmosphere.  Candidates  
             for moderator of the 213th G.A. have been invited to attend. 
             Friday, June 8, 4-8 p.m., Meet the Moderatorial Candidates,  
             Convention Center. 
             Friday, June 8, 4-8 p.m. Exhibit Hall Preview Party, Convention  
             Center.  Live music and door prizes. 
             Friday, June 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Commissioner Convocation Dinner,  
             Hyatt Regency Hotel, $25.00. Sponsored by the Covenant Network of  
             Presbyterians. Speakers: Freda Gardner and Douglas Oldenburg.   
             Two recent Moderators of the G.A. will offer commissioners and  
             others their hopes for the 213th G.A. and reflect on the biblical  
             basis underlying our vision of a welcoming church.  Will finish  
             in time for Witherspoon G.A. orientation, next door. 
             Friday, June 8, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Witherspoon Society Pre-Assembly  
             Event, Hyatt Regency Hotel, $10.00. Designed to assist  
             commissioners and others "find their groove" as they prepare for  
             G.A. work. 
             Saturday, June 9, 1-3 p.m. Meet the Moderatorial Candidates.   
             Convention Center. 
             Saturday, June 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m. MLP / TAMPS / Shower of Stoles  
             Project Celebration Dinner. $30.00. Hyatt Regency Hotel. Join  
             with More Light Presbyterians, That All May Freely Serve and the  
             Shower of Stoles Project in celebrating our work to create a  
             truly inclusive church.  Keynote speaker is Jimmy Creech, a  
             former United Methodist Pastor who lost his ordination for  
             performing a same-sex holy union. 
             Saturday, June 9, 7:30-9:30 p.m.  Election of the Moderator of  
             the 213th General Assembly (2001).  Convention Center. 
             Every evening, Briefings with all allied groups.  Place and time  
             to be announced.  Check at the MLP booth in the Exhibition Hall,  
             Convention Center. 
             Saturday, June 9, 10:00 p.m.-Midnight.  National Cross Caucus  
             Moderator Reception. Hyatt Regency Hotel. Sponsored by the  
             National Cross Caucus, National Ministries Division, to honor the  
             newly elected Moderator. 
             Sunday, June 10, 7:00-9:00 a.m. Women of Faith Awards Breakfast.  
             $13.00. Hyatt Regency Hotel. Sponsored by the Women's Ministries  
             program area, National Ministries Division. Speakers: Three Women  
             of Faith Award Recipients. Women and men join together to  
             recognize and celebrate the witness of women under the 2001 theme  
             "Birthing Health and Wholeness." 
             Sunday, June 10, 10 a.m.-12 noon. Opening Service of Worship and  
             Holy Communion. Convention Center Arena. Preacher: Syngman Rhee,  
             Moderator of the 212th G.A.  This service will include the  
             commissioning of mission personnel. 
             Sunday, June 10, 12:15-3 p.m. Witherspoon Society Annual Awards  
             Luncheon. Hyatt Regency Hotel. $20.00. Speaker: Jane Dempsey  
             Douglas, retired professor of church history at Princeton  
             Seminary and past president of World Alliance of Reformed  
             Sunday, June 10, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Moderator's Reception, Waterfront  
             Sunday, June 10, 4:00-5:00 p.m. More Light Presbyterians / That  
             All May Freely Serve / Shower of Stoles Project Worship Service,  
             Central Presbyterian Church, 318 W. Kentucky St., followed by  
             reception. (Judging from maps, this is about 12 blocks from the  
             Convention Center.  Walkers can gather at the MLP booth by 3:30  
             Every Evening, Sunday, June 10-Friday, June 15, 6:30-7:15 p.m.  
             12-Step Meetings (AA, NA, OA, ALANON). Convention Center and  
             Hyatt Regency Hotel. Sponsored by Presbyterian Network on Alcohol  
             and Other Drug Abuse (PNAODA). 
             Monday, June 11, 7:00-8:15 a.m. General Assembly Breakfast, Group  
             Meal. $15.00. Convention Center. Speaker: The Rev. Dr. Tony  
             Campolo, author and professor emeritus of Sociology at Eastern  
             College in St. Davids, PA.  (I am listing this because Campolo  
             frequently speaks on LG topics and is a friend of Evangelicals  
             Concerned.  He has a reputation of being a relatively LG-friendly  
             evangelical, married to an even more LG-friendly evangelical! --  
             JDA).  Commissioners and advisory delegates are automatically  
             admitted to this meal. Other participants may purchase tickets. 
             Monday, June 11, 12:30-2:00 p.m. Covenant Network of  
             Presbyterians Luncheon. $18.00. Seelbach Hilton Hotel. Speaker:  
             Joanna Adams, pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Atlanta.   
             Designed to rally those working for a more inclusive church at  
             this G.A. and beyond. 
             Monday, June 11, 6:30-7:30 p.m. PHEWA Event. $6.00. Hyatt Regency  
             Hotel. Sponsored by the Presbyterian Health, Education and  
             Welfare Association. The church's grass-roots, social justice  
             network invites you to join in as the networks honor  
             congregations and individuals involved in exemplary social  
             justice ministries. 
             Tuesday, June 12, 7:00-8:15 a.m. Voices of Sophia Breakfast,  
             $18.00. Galt House Hotel. Speaker: Joan M. Martin, associate  
             professor of Christian Ethics, Episcopal Divinity School.  Martin  
             will address the struggle for justice within faith communities,  
             including issues of sexuality, race, and gender, and will  
             challenge us to stay active, informed, and joyful. 
             Tuesday, June 12, 6:00-9 p.m. Semper Reformanda Annual Dinner.  
             $28.00. Galt House Hotel. Speaker: The Rev. Herbert Valentine,  
             Moderator of the 203rd G.A., on "True Believers." 
             Tuesday, June 22, 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.  Witherspoon Society Party.  
             $16.00. Galt House Hotel. This party and dance is always a fun  
             and relaxing highlight midway through the assembly. Always a  
             friendly, lively time. Dance with anyone who wants to, of all  
             gender identities! 
             Wednesday, June 13, 10-12:00 a.m. Covenant Network of  
             Presbyterians Open Forum: Pastoral Issues for a Would-Be  
             Welcoming Church. Galt House Hotel. 
             Saturday, June 16, Noon Adjournment of the 213th G.A. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
             MLP BOARD 
                                 National MLP Board Meets 
                                by Pat Rickey, Board Member 
             The National MLP Board gathered February 16-19, 2001, at Plaza  
             Resolana in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for our winter meeting.  There  
             were remnants of snow on the ground, and the air outside was cold  
             -- by Houston standards -- but, as always, a feeling of  
             fellowship and community warmed us as we came together.  I wish  
             all of you could have the opportunity to share it. 
             The board was glad to welcome Janie Spahr, Don Stroud, and Doug  
             Potter of That All My Freely Serve (TAMFS), who met with us,  
             beginning a movement towards close cooperation of these two  
             sister organizations. 
             The Rev. David Bos also joined us to report on progress toward a  
             second Auburn Affirmation.  Considerable momentum toward this end  
             is building, and the new statement is planned for release on  
             Reformation Day, October 31, 2001. 
             A topic of high interest was the progress on the Amendment 'O'  
             voting.  A spirit of cautious optimism on the outcome prevailed,  
             with enthusiasm over some of the presbyteries who switched their  
             votes, compared to the Amendment B vote a few years ago.  I was  
             sad to report how the New Covenant vote had gone, but I believe  
             our efforts in preparing for the vote were outstanding and will  
             bear fruit in the future.  The board approved an open letter to  
             be circulated should Amendment O be defeated.  Significantly, no  
             action was prepared for the opposite result! 
             MLP will be hiring a second Field Organizer soon, perhaps as  
             early as April.  Marco Grimaldo reported for the Search Committee  
             that ten applications have been received, including some  
             excellent candidates.  Filling this position will greatly  
             increase the work that MLP can do, with this new person working  
             along with Michael Adee.  As we all can attest, Michael is truly  
             outstanding, and he continues to spread information, resources,  
             advice, support, and his own special brand of good will across  
             the country.  We will all need to work to provide the funding  
             level necessary to support this new, full-time position. 
             Arguably the most important work at this board meeting focused on  
             arrangements and strategy for the General Assembly meeting in  
             Louisville this June.  Board member Tony De La Rosa led us in a  
             review of upcoming overtures, chiefly aimed at eliminating G- 
             6.0601b (former Amendment B) from the *Book of Order*.  Our top  
             choice is supporting the New York City overture, which would  
             eliminate G-6.0106b and rescind the authoritative interpretation  
             preventing ordination of LGBT persons. 
             The board dubbed this overture "The Whole Enchilada."  We also  
             agreed that we could support lesser overtures that would either  
             only eliminate G-6.0106b or even change its wording to  
             effectively remove the present restrictions, should that be what  
             the committee could approve for a floor vote. 
             We all left with the strong feeling, perhaps most eloquently  
             expressed by board member Bear Ride, that we are part of a strong  
             and growing movement, which will surely prevail.  We pray that it  
             will be soon! 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                New Board Members Nominated 
                              MLP Nominating Committee Report 
                                for the MLP Annual Meeting 
                                May 26, 2001, Austin Texas 
             The Nominating Committee this year has been composed of Tony De  
             La Rosa, Tanya Denley, Patrick Evans, Donna Riley and Gene Huff,  
             The committee is especially proud to present the names of the  
             following persons to serve in the Class of 2004 for the board of  
             More Light Presbyterians: 
             Mitzi Henderson, who currently serves as one of our co-moderators,  
             is a long time activist in the movement, having been national  
             president of PFLAG at one time. She is an elder at First Presbyterian  
             of Palo Alto CA and has already served our organization in many  
             useful and distinguished ways. 
             Bill Moss, who also serves currently as one of our co-moderators,  
             is also a veteran member of the movement and an elder at Old  
             First Church in San Francisco For MLP he has been responsible  
             for much of the recently effective financial development success  
             for the organization. 
             John McNeese currently serves as Treasurer of MLP and has done a  
             marvelous job of helping get our finances in fine shape, with  
             valuable budget and management processes and excellent reporting.  
             John is an elder at St. Andrew^'s Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma  
             City and on the staff of Indian Nations Presbytery 
             The committee also presents the names of two new nominees for  
             the Class of 2004: 
             Katie Ricks, 212 Adair St. Apt. E-7, Decatur, GA 30030. (404)  
             377-9531, auntkatier@aol.com 
             Katie is a member of Ormewood Park Presbyterian Church in  
             Atlanta, GA, and an inquirer under care of the Greater Atlanta  
             Presbytery. She is a life-long Presbyterian. She has been very  
             active in the church most of her life and has been ordained and  
             served as a deacon and elder, and also as a Sunday school teacher  
             and youth advisor. 
             Katie graduated from DePauw University in 1992 with a B.A. in  
             Sociology and from Indiana State University in 1994 with a M.S. in  
             College Student Personnel. She worked for four years in  
             residence life and counseling at two colleges in Georgia before  
             listening to God's call to enter seminary. She began at Columbia  
             Seminary in the summer of 1998 and has had that call affirmed  
             ever since. As a student, she has been active in campus life as  
             a co-founder and co-facilitator of Imago Dei -- the More Light  
             Campus Chapter at Columbia, as the student government vice  
             president, and currently as the student member of the Board of  
             Trustees of Columbia Seminary. In addition, she has worked in  
             several internships at Central Presbyterian (Atlanta) over the  
             past 1-1/2 years, and is currently serving as the full-time  
             education ministry intern for this year. Katie lives with her  
             partner, Paula, their cats, Kody and Dylan, and their puppy. 
             Deborah Mullen, 5050 South East End Ave. Apt 14C, Chicago IL  
             60615, 727-947-6271 Mullen@McCormick.edu 
             Deborah joined the staff of McCormick Theological Seminary,  
             Chicago, Illinois in 1989 as Associate Dean of Masters Programs  
             for Experiential Education and Field Studies, was appointed  
             Assistant Professor of Ministry and Historical Studies in 1993.  
             In 1996, Deborah was elected Dean of Masters Level Programs, the  
             administrative post she currently holds. Still a member of  
             Genesee Valley Presbytery, while in Rochester, she was a member  
             of Calvary St. Andrew's Parish before being called to a four-year  
             appointment as Stated Supply Pastor of Trinity Emmanuel  
             Presbyterian Church. During her pastorate Deborah was active  
             ecumenically and a collaborator with the pastors of Westminster  
             Presbyterian Church in the development of ministries for families  
             and youth on the Southwest side. 
             Deborah has represented the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. on the  
             Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches  
             since 1988. She has served the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. in a  
             variety of national leadership roles and internationally at  
             ecumenical gatherings sponsored by the World Council of Churches.  
             She is completing her second term as one of seven elected members  
             on the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation's Board of Directors. 
             Deborah holds degrees from the University of Rochester (B.A.),  
             Colgate Rochester Divinity School/Bexley Hall/Crozer Theological  
             Seminary (M.Div.) and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of  
             Chicago Divinity School. 
             In addition, the Committee nominated Tony De La Rosa for a one- 
             year term.  Tony, one of our chief strategists, is currently  
             filling out the 2001 term of Tricia Dykers Koenig.  If elected,  
             he will now fill out the 2002 term of Rob Cummings. 
             The board also honored Jim Anderson, who is leaving the board after  
             serving as a PLGC/MLP officer and/or board member continuously  
             from 1980! 
                             Next Year's Nominating Committee 
             Next years' nominating committee will consist of Gene Huff, Ralph  
             Carter, and Bear Ride from the MLP Board and Michael Smith and  
             Katie Morrison from the membership.  Send them suggestions for  
             nominees!  Contact information for Gene, Ralph and Bear are  
             listed at the end of the *Update*. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
             May 18-20, 2001, Friday-Sunday. Gender PAC, 1st National  
             Conference on Gender, Washington, DC.  Contact NCG@gpac.org,  
             www.gpac.org/NCG, GenderPAC NCG, 1638 R St. NW, Ste. 100,  
             Washington, DC 20009, 202-462-6610. 
             May 25-27, 2001, Friday-Sunday. Annual More Light Conference,  
             Austin, TX. See the March-April Update or www.mlp.org for details  
             and registration forms, or call Gerald Gafford at 512-374-0881 or  
             email to GGafford@webtv.net. 
             June 7-10, 2001, Thursday-Sunday. Celebrating Our Milestones:  
             Christian People of the Rainbow, led by Eric Law, Carter Heyward,  
             John McNeil & Virginia Mollenkott. 6:30 Thursday dinner-Sunday  
             lunch. $350 ($150 registration deposit), Kirkridge Retreat and  
             Study Center, 2495 Fox Gap Rd., Bangor, PA 18013, 610-588-1793,  
             June 9-16, 2001, Saturday-Saturday. 213th General Assembly of the  
             Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY. 
             June 10, 2001, Sunday, 3 p.m. Gay Theologian Chris Glaser  
             discusses his work at the James C. Hormel Center at  
             the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin  
             Street, 3rd floor. Glaser will read and will also engage the  
             audience in dialogue around the themes of his books, including  
             gay and lesbian liberation theology and spirituality. The event  
             is free and open to the public. For more information, or to  
             receive regular email updates about programs at the Hormel  
             Center, contact Jim Mitulski at 415.557.4251 or  
             July 14-21, 2001, Saturday-Saturday. Thornfield 29th Annual  
             Workshop on Sexuality. Thornfield Conference Center, Cazenovia,  
             NY. Designed for every person, regardless of profession, who  
             wishes to become more knowledgeable and comfortable with the  
             multiple aspects and expressions of human sexuality. Contact  
             Carol Dropp, Coordinator, P.O. Box 3158, Oakton, VA 22124,  
             www.sexualityworkshop.com, 703-532-3702. 
             August 9-12, 2001, Thursday-Sunday. "Your Silence Will Not  
             Protect You: Celebrating Spirit, Seeking Racial Justice," annual  
             conference of CLOUT: Christian Lesbians OUT, Christmount  
             Christian Assembly national conference center, near Asheville,  
             NC. For info. contact CLOUT, P.O. Box 5853, Athens, OH 45701,  
             740-448-6424, clout@seorf.ohiou.edu. 
             August 25, 2001, Saturday. Homophobia, Religion and Ideology:  
             International Lesbian & Gay Association (ILGA) Working Party Pre- 
             Conference Program (Tentative), 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Oakland, CA.   
             Led by the Rev. Dr. Tom Hanks, our MLP liaison in Latin America.   
             For more info., contact thanks@thanks.wamani.apc.org, tel/fax:  
             (54-11) 4314-5989 (Buenos Aires, Argentina). 
             November 1-3, 2001, Thursday-Saturday. Covenant Network  
             Conference: "The Church: Living Faithfully in the World,"  
             Pasadena, CA. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                      Online Bluebook for Churches, Families, Others 
             The First Tuesday Group (a group in our church that actively  
             advocates for gay and lesbian issues) has produced a terrific  
             work to upgrade American family, church and cultural  
             understanding. We call it "The Bluebook" -- since it's blue --  
             but the longer title is "What we Wish We Had Known." The book has  
             gotten great reception in high schools, university and seminary  
             libraries, and will be covered more extensively in an article in  
             the *New York Times* on Sunday, April 1. 
             It's an easy read, plainly accessible for people of common  
             sense and passion, and gentle on the soul. We've spent the  
             last 5 weeks filling orders sent by the helping professions,  
             shipping cartons of books to national conferences for family  
             therapists, pastoral therapists, and public school educators. 
             Then it occurred to us to put it online, free of charge, in hopes  
             of making more truth available to more people. And saving  
             ourselves from insanity. 
             It's 70 pages, and the online version makes it quick and easy  
             to browse and jump from topic to topic, avoiding the stuff that  
             doesn't interest you. It's a compilation of data, pithy  
             insights and quotes about the cultural, religious and personal  
             prejudices that break down family, church and society. 
             It's got Biblical stuff galore and writers like Bruce Bawer,  
             Andrew Tobias (author and current Treasurer of Democratic  
             National Committee), Keith Boykin, Peter Gomes, Anna Quindlen,  
             etc., etc. 
             It's great stuff for our own Presbyterian Clergy, Elders and  
             Christian Educators -- because we found religious educators are  
             often the carriers of the most profound and perfectly acceptable  
             damage done to kids today. But it's equally important for  
             any person who wants to wire the American workplace for diversity  
             and inclusiveness. 
             Basically, it's for ANYONE who's starting at ground zero,  
             and for those who should be. We found, for example, that most  
             people don't even know what "sexual orientation" means. So we  
             started there. It's written for families, friends and for all of  
             us who've been hurt through the years by ignorance and  
             It's free on our website: www.mkpc.org. Click "Education," and go  
             to "TheBluebook." Enjoy! -- Jack Miller, Pastor, The Presbyterian  
             Church, Mount Kisco, New York. 
             **Gene Huff, one of our favorite *Update* reviewers, writes:** 
             I have just finished reading this very effective piece of work  
             produced by this dedicated local More Light church group. We  
             should all express our deep gratitude to them. 
             It is down to earth, practical and responds to all the typical  
             questions with brief but accurate information. It is a  
             tremendous resource and I urge all MLP'ers to get it into their  
             hands and use it. 
             This is a marvelous result of the ministry of Jack Miller over  
             the years at Mt Kisco, one of our earliest ML congregations. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                  Youth and Young Adults 
             We have created a yahoogroup list for youth and young adults. So  
             if you know of any Y/YA in your presbytery that want to get more  
             involved, please have them email me at ClemsonBC74@aol.com. It  
             would be great to have a youth for every adult liaison we have  
             for MLP. So please be on the look out. This is a list for those  
             who are between that ages of 15 and 25. Thanks, Brian Cave,  
             MLP Liaison for Youth and Young Adults, clemsonbc74@aol.com 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                 Universal Liturgical Arts 
             MLP'er Marilyn Nash is design specialist for Universal Liturgical  
             Arts (ULA).  She writes:  "Visit our new website featuring liturgical  
             stoles and banners ;.  
             ULA specializes in creating unique custom banners and stoles.  By  
             choosing your own fabrics and various appliques, you can create  
             your own customized stole or banner right on line." 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
             FEATURE STORIES 
                                     The Demise of 'O' 
                                    MLP / TAMFS Respond 
                          Presbyteries Reject Ban on Holy Unions 
                                    Amendment 'O' Fails 
             March 14, 2001 -- The leadership of More Light Presbyterians  
             (MLP) and That All May Freely Serve (TAMFS) is pleased with the  
             decisions of a majority of presbyteries to vote down Amendment O,  
             which had the potential to seriously limit the ways in which  
             churches and pastors engage in ministry. Passed by a deeply  
             divided 212th General Assembly in June, 2000, it was intended to  
             ban pastors from conducting same-gender blessings as well as the  
             use of church property in offering such blessings. Eighty-seven  
             of the 173 presbyteries have voted against the measure to date,  
             sending a clear message that the previous General Assembly  
             proposed an unacceptable intrusion into pastoral ministry. 
             Mitzi Henderson, MLP Co-moderator, explained the proposed ban  
             saying, "If the church is serious about the importance of faith  
             to family life, to wholeness of relationships, it cannot continue  
             to ignore the commitments of same-gender couples. The public  
             blessing of love and fidelity, before family and friends, has a  
             profoundly spiritual significance." 
             Local pastors were among the strongest opponents to Amendment O.  
             Pastor Tom Davis of Hanover Street Presbyterian Church in  
             Wilmington, Delaware, put it this way, "I think this was just  
             another measure to exclude people who are in genuinely loving and  
             committed relationships from receiving the blessings of God and  
             the recognition of the church. I am in favor of blessing same- 
             gender unions because it encourages fidelity and brings lesbian  
             and gay people into closer relationship with our church." 
             Same-gender commitment ceremonies are an important ministry of  
             many congregations reaching out to the LGBT community. Martha  
             Juillerat of Minneapolis, MN, a former Presbyterian minister,  
             talked about the significance of her commitment ceremony with her  
             life partner of thirteen years, Tammy Lindahl. "A holy union is  
             important to me not only because I am a lesbian, but even more so  
             because I am a person of faith. As a person of faith I commit all  
             of my life to God -- my work, my family, my friendships, my  
             service. How can I not commit the most important human  
             relationship in my life to God? As a pastor, how can I ever deny  
             this to others to commit their life and love in this way?" 
             More Light Presbyterians and That All May Freely Serve hope to  
             work together with others in our church to strengthen our  
             covenantal and family relationships. These groups have joined  
             together in an open letter to say that they are ready to work  
             along with the broader church, "toward stronger, more faithful,  
             and meaningful relationships for all church members." The letter  
             re-affirms a commitment to work for the inclusion of all people  
             in the church and to recognize the blessings that God has to  
             offer lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith who  
             are in loving and committed relationships. "Our families and our  
             friends join with us to stand in support and to honor our  
             commitments in deeply sacred moments for all present. We call on  
             our Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to create venues in which we may  
             learn from each other and work toward healthy human  
             relationships, in all their forms." 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                      Open Letter to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 
                         In response to the failure of Amendment O 
             After our experience with Amendment O, More Light Presbyterians  
             and That All May Freely Serve hope to work together with others  
             in our church to strengthen our covenantal and family  
             relationships. We hope to work with you toward stronger,  
             faithful, and meaningful relationships for all church members.  
             Many of us as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of  
             faith are grateful -- as our heterosexual sisters and brothers  
             are -- for the opportunity to have our committed relationships  
             recognized in the faith community of which we are an integral  
             part. Our families and our friends join with us to stand in  
             support, and to honor our commitments in deeply sacred moments  
             for all present. 
             We hope that the defeat of Amendment O is not only about  
             preserving the historic right of sessions and ministers to  
             fulfill pastoral responsibilities, but also about celebrating and  
             supporting mutual and healthy relationships. We live in a time  
             when many heterosexual and non-heterosexual relationships are in  
             trouble, due in part to a lack of support from the Church. This  
             lack of support has come both from a failure to undertake  
             serious, forthright education on human sexuality and from a  
             failure to instill in church members a sexual ethic that is  
             honest and practical. We call on our Presbyterian Church (USA) to  
             create venues in which we may learn from each other and work  
             toward healthy human relationships, in all their forms. -- Mitzi  
             Henderson, Co-Moderator, and Bill Moss, Co-Moderator, More Light  
             Presbyterians; Jane Adams Spahr, Minister Director, That All May  
             Freely Serve. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
             The PCUSA News story 
                                  Amendment O is defeated 
                        Deciding 87th "No" vote is cast on March 13 
                                  by Jerry L. Van Marter 
                                 Presbyterian News Service 
             LOUISVILLE, 14 March 2001 -- The decisive "no" vote on Amendment  
             O was cast March 13, marking the second time in seven years the  
             presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have refused to  
             place an ironclad prohibition on same-sex unions into the  
             church's constitution. 
             Unofficial tallies after seven presbyteries voted March 13 show  
             the amendment trailing 63 to 87. Kiskiminetas, Missouri Union and  
             San Gabriel voted "yes" on Tuesday, while Cincinnati, New  
             Brunswick, Pacific and Utica voted "no." Twenty-three  
             presbyteries have yet to vote or record their votes taken earlier. 
             The proposed amendment -- approved by a narrow margin at last  
             year's General Assembly -- would have added a new section, W- 
             4.9007, to the *Book of Order*: "Scripture and our Confessions  
             teach that God's intention for all people is to live either in  
             fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a  
             woman or in chastity in singleness. Church property shall not be  
             used for, and church officers shall not take part in conducting,  
             any ceremony or event that pronounces blessing or gives approval  
             of the church or invokes the blessing of God upon any  
             relationship that is inconsistent with God's intention as  
             expressed in the preceding sentence." 
             A more explicit amendment barring same-sex-union ceremonies in  
             the PCUSA, sent to the presbyteries by the 1994 General  
             Assembly, was also defeated. 
             Defeat of the proposed amendment doesn't mean that the PCUSA  
             "approves" of same-sex unions. The church's constitution defines  
             marriage as "between a man and a woman." 
             However, a General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission ruling  
             last spring said same-sex union ceremonies are not specifically  
             prohibited by the constitution as long as they "are not  
             considered the same as a marriage ceremony." 
             It was this loophole that opponents of same-sex unions sought to  
             close through Amendment O. 
             "We are left now with a very confused situation, an ambiguous  
             witness," said the Rev. Joe Rightmyer, executive director of  
             Presbyterians for Renewal, which supported the amendment. 
             But voting patterns in the presbyteries indicated early on that  
             many considered Amendment O a flawed solution. A number of  
             special interest web sites compared presbyteries' votes on  
             Amendment O with their votes on Amendment B (now G-6.0106b of the  
             *Book of Order*), a 1996 measure, which requires church officers  
             to practice "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a  
             man and a woman or chastity in singleness." Amendment B passed  
             Twenty-eight of the 87 presbyteries that have voted against  
             Amendment O voted in favor of Amendment B. 
             Opponents of the measure argue that it is so vaguely worded as to  
             possibly proscribe other ceremonies, such as baptisms, funerals  
             and the Lord's Supper for same-sex couples; that it is  
             unnecessary because the *Book of Order* already defines marriage as  
             between a man and a woman; and that it unduly infringes upon the  
             pastoral responsibilities of pastors and sessions. Rightmyer  
             called those concerns "unintended consequences" and said he  
             believes fears about them contributed to the amendment's defeat. 
             The Rev. Deborah Block, co-moderator of the Covenant Network of  
             Presbyterians -- which opposed the amendment -- said she thought  
             Presbyterians around the country carefully considered the  
             amendment and concluded it was bad polity. "I think (the vote) is  
             an affirmation of trust in our process of electing elders and  
             ministers and giving to them these decisions for the life of a  
             More Light Presbyterians, a group that supports gay and lesbian  
             ordination as well as same-sex unions, called the defeat of the  
             amendment a victory for family life. "If the church is serious  
             about the importance of faith to family life, to wholeness of  
             relationships, it cannot continue to ignore the commitments of  
             same-gender couples," said Mitzi Henderson, co-moderator of the  
             group. "The public blessing of love and fidelity, before family  
             and friends, has a profoundly spiritual significance." 
             Twelve members of the Presbyterian Renewal Leaders Network  
             condemned the defeat of the amendment and said "church leaders  
             who openly defy Biblical faith and ethics are pushing our  
             denomination perilously towards schism." 
             The statement, received by the Presbyterian News Service from the  
             office of The Presbyterian Layman, said: "Until and unless God's  
             people take a definitive stand against them, these efforts will  
             not cease until that union instituted by God and blessed by our  
             Lord Jesus Christ has been stripped of all special honor and  
             Despite the defeat of Amendment O, a recent Presbyterian Panel  
             poll indicates that a majority of Presbyterians favors a ban on  
             same-sex unions in the PCUSA. 
             The statistically valid poll of church members, elders, pastors  
             and specialized clergy (ordained ministers not serving  
             congregations), conducted last August by the PCUSA's Research  
             Services office, found that 57 percent of members, 61 percent of  
             elders, 50 percent of pastors and 30 percent of specialized  
             clergy agree that "Presbyterian ministers should be prohibited  
             from performing a ceremony that blesses the union between two  
             people of the same sex." 
             Similar majorities -- 67 percent of members, 66 percent of elders  
             and 53 percent of pastors -- along with one-third of specialized  
             clergy, agree that same-sex union ceremonies should not take  
             place in Presbyterian churches. 
             Block said the church needs to "put a new pair of glasses on to  
             look at this issue." Saying that resolution of issues such as  
             same-sex unions requires "good polity as well as good theology --  
             it is a matter of how we live together and who makes the  
             "We need to change hearts and minds," Rightmyer told the  
             Presbyterian News Service. "Legislation won't solve this, only  
             divine intervention will," he added. "But I'm a believer and  
             Jesus is my hope. We'll find a way." (Evan Silverstein also  
             contributed to this report) 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                              Our Korean Brothers and Sisters 
             In the midst of voting on Amendment 'O,' TAMFS, MLP and the  
             Shower of Stoles Project responded to a rather harsh letter from  
             the National Korean Presbyterian Council: 
                An Open Letter to the National Korean Presbyterian Council 
             February 18, 2001 -- Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, 
             It is with great sadness that we read your December letter  
             calling for the passage of Amendment O. You have encountered a  
             great struggle against the racism and xenophobia of our church  
             and society. We had hoped this experience would have led you to  
             understand our struggle, in which we too have been stereotyped  
             and misrepresented. Together we could challenge all systems of  
             oppression that seek to scapegoat and mythologize us, when we are  
             simply persons who love Jesus and seek to be faithful Christians. 
             We too want to serve our Church with integrity. We are your  
             brothers and sisters in the Faith. We too have been raised in the  
             Church. We come in all shapes, abilities, races and ethnicities.  
             Many of us are Korean and are members of your families. Your  
             letter only adds to the stereotypes that give some people license  
             to malign, and others to do physical and spiritual violence to  
             We would be glad to sit with you, to share our faith stories with  
             you, to listen and come together. In so doing, we will serve God  
             with a greater faithfulness. 
             May we together ask Moderator Rhee to help us meet in order that  
             we have the opportunity to see one another as people of faith? 
             We would look forward to this time together. To set up this  
             meeting please call The Reverend Dr. Spahr at 415-457-8004. 
             Yours in the Love of Christ, the Reverend Dr. Jane Adams Spahr,  
             Minister Director,  Douglas H. Potter, M.D., Co-Moderator, That  
             All May Freely Serve; William H. Moss, Co-Moderator, Mitzi G.  
             Henderson, Co-Moderator, More Light Presbyterians; Martha  
             Juillerat, Director, The Shower of Stoles Project; cc: Syngman  
             Rhee, Moderator, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                            Here is the Korean Council letter: 
             Dear Presbyterian brothers and sisters in Christ, 
             On behalf of 350 Korean-American congregations in the  
             Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Executive Committee of National  
             Korean Presbyterian Council greets you in the name of our Lord  
             and Savior Jesus Christ. We give thanks to Almighty God for his  
             wondrous grace and love for redeeming us for his own. We give  
             thanks to this denomination that sent missionaries whose shed  
             blood and broken bodies stirred our sleeping forefathers in the  
             Land of Morning Calm (Korea) to call the great name of Jesus  
             Christ in their fervent early morning prayer. In recent decades,  
             many Koreans came to this blessed land with the legacy of  
             the Presbyterian Church and built churches and worshipped the true  
             and only God wherever they settled. Again, we give thanks to this  
             denomination for helping us settle and worship in a foreign land.  
             Our appreciation is engraved in the dedication plaque at the  
             entrance of the Chapel in the Presbyterian Center in Louisville. 
             Presbyterian brothers and sisters in Christ, out of deep concern  
             and heart-aching love for this denomination, thirty-seven  
             thousand Korean-American Presbyterians are pleading to you to  
             support the proposed Amendment of same-sex union ban (Amendment  
             O) as you deliberate the amendment in your presbyteries in the  
             coming months. We also plead to you to uphold the current  
             constitutional requirement that church officers practice  
             "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a  
             woman or chastity in singleness" (G-6.0106b). 
             Presbyterian friends in Christ, we Christians are called to offer  
             our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God and not  
             to conform to the pattern of this world (Romans 12: 1-2). We can  
             truly enjoy blessings and liberation only when we obey and please  
             Him, and His will is clearly and unambiguously written in the  
             Scripture, our "only rule of faith and life." Scripture defines  
             the marriage God instituted in terms of heterosexual monogamy.  
             Scripture envisages no other kind of marriage or sexual  
             intercourse, for God provided no alternative. Any sexual behavior  
             outside of this definition, whether heterosexual or homosexual,  
             is displeasing to God. Thus, there is no doubt that modern loving  
             homosexual partnerships are incompatible with God's created  
             order. It is not a matter of whether same-sex relationships are  
             as loving and fulfilling as heterosexual relationships, but a  
             matter of obedience to the revealed will of God no matter how  
             painful it is to obey it. When Jesus Christ, the author and  
             perfecter of our faith, obeyed the will of the father to the  
             shameful cross, he was raised from the dead and seated at the  
             right hand of the throne of God. Pastorally, we recognize that  
             all people are "in process" moving toward the goal of conformity  
             to Christ's image. It is inconsistent with this goal for church  
             officers to counsel folks to remain outside the will of God. It  
             is not pastoral to bless behavior that is contrary to God's  
             revealed will. 
             Aside from all these theological disputes, the blessing of same- 
             sex unions, whether it is considered to be a marriage or not, will  
             have an exacerbating impact on the declining membership of our  
             denomination. Korean-American constituency, which has experienced  
             50% increase in membership and 90% increase in per capita during  
             the last ten years, will see a devastating blow in its membership  
             growth because Koreans, particularly young people, are  
             conservative and evangelical in their faith and will turn away  
             from our denomination. In a word, the blessing of same-sex unions  
             would bring our demise as a church of Jesus Christ. While we have  
             been involved in a dispute over sexuality and ordination  
             standards for the past two decades, we have almost lost our  
             identity and mission as a church of Christ. Where do we stand  
             today on our mission of "The Great Ends of the Church?" Why are  
             spiritually thirsty and hungry young people not coming to the  
             churches of this denomination? Why do other independent and  
             evangelical churches grow by leaps and bounds? Are we deaf to the  
             sermon of Jesus, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt  
             loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no  
             longer good for anything, excepts to be thrown out and trampled  
             by men" (Mt. 5:13). Does this denomination want to be the salt  
             that loses its saltiness? 
             Presbyterian friends in Christ, let us not deceive ourselves. The  
             blessing of same-sex unions is not a blessing but a curse on our  
             homosexual brothers and sisters in our church. It is an unjust  
             act to take away the opportunity of being healed and transformed  
             by the love and truth of Jesus Christ. Our merciful God calls us  
             to turn away from our brokenness to His wholeness and holiness  
             through faith in Jesus Christ who came to heal the sick and to  
             forgive our sins. To say this is not to minimize the pastoral  
             responsibility of ministering to those caught in the moral  
             confusion of our time. This responsibility requires great care,  
             love and sensitivity. As we share the sufferings of our  
             homosexual brothers and sisters, we will continue to pray with  
             compassion by holding out the hope we have in Jesus Christ for a  
             new life empowered by His Spirit. We do not despair in this  
             struggle because our Lord Jesus said, "With man this is  
             impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Mt 19: 26). 
             Presbyterian friends in Christ, how much more do we have to say?  
             Let us offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to  
             God. Let us strive to become the pure and beautiful bride of our  
             Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray together for the transforming and  
             healing power of the Holy Spirit. And let us get on with our  
             business, "The Great Ends of the Church." 
             The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the  
             communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all! Amen. -- National  
             Korean Presbyterian Council PCUSA, Rev. Kwan Sik Shim, Moderator,  
             Dr. Yushin Lee, General Secretary. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                          1700 Years of Christian Same-Sex Unions 
                                       by Don Stroud 
                          Minister of Outreach and Reconciliation 
                           That All May Freely Serve, Baltimore 
             John Boswell (the author of the pre-eminent book, *Christianity,  
             Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality*) in his book, *Same-Sex  
             Unions in Premodern Europe,* published in 1994 by Villard Books,  
             New York, does a masterful job of "re-educating" modern people to  
             the fact that same-sex ceremonies have a long history in the  
             Christian Church dating back over 1700 years. 
             In his meticulously documented study Boswell uncovered 100  
             manuscripts of a Same-Sex Union Ceremony that was in use as early  
             as the 4th century. The ceremony is still in use today in some  
             remote areas of Europe. It was performed originally almost  
             exclusively in Greek and Slavic speaking areas primarily within  
             the Western (not Eastern Orthodox) Roman Catholic Tradition. 
             It was being performed in Rome during the 17th and 18th centuries  
             according to the writings of Venetian ambassadors. 
             It is important to compare and contrast the development of  
             heterosexual marriage and homosexual Holy Union/Marriage  
             The heterosexual marriage ceremony used by Christians derived  
             from Roman law and culture, not a specially designed Christian  
             ritual. That is, Christians simply adopted the Roman legal  
             custom. There was no Christian tradition. The ceremony was  
             performed in an open space. In the 11th century it was moved to  
             the front door of the church (not in the church). In the 11th  
             century a "Declaration of Consent" by the woman became part of the  
             heterosexual ceremony. Heterosexual marriage was becoming  
             sacramental (celebrated along with Holy Communion) in the 12th  
             century. It was not declared a sacrament by the Vatican until  
             By contrast, Same-Sex Union/Marriage Ceremony was celebrated  
             from the very beginning in the church and was always sacramental.  
             It was always a Christian ceremony devised specifically for  
             Christian same-sex partners. (A specific Christian heterosexual  
             marriage ceremony developed in the 6th century.) The Scriptural  
             basis of heterosexual marriage was procreative texts or pairs  
             such as Abraham and Sarah. The Scriptural basis for the Same-Sex  
             Ceremonies was more faith and love-based texts, such as I  
             Corinthians 13. The Same-Sex Ceremony has as its model the love  
             of celebrated early pairs of martyred saints: two male lovers  
             were Roman solders executed for being Christians, Serge and  
             Bacchus; and the love of the two Christian women martyrs, Saints  
             Perpetua and Felicitas. 
             As it turns out, a lot in the Christian heterosexual marriage  
             ceremony is derivative from the earlier Christian Same-Sex  
             Union/Marriage Ceremonies. And further still, the "Declaration of  
             Consent" that became so much a part of heterosexual marriage had  
             its origin in an ancient BCE Male Same-Sex "Abduction Marriage"  
             performed on Crete. The young man who is taken as the lover of  
             another man, after what could only now be described as a one  
             month honeymoon, had to declare at a public banquet given after  
             their return if he was pleased and consented to the relationship  
             with his lover. This was a legal requirement so that if any force  
             was used for the "abduction" the man could extricate himself from  
             the relationship. This aspect of consent was adopted by  
             Read Boswell's book!  It is excellent for understanding the  
             development and history of marriage and same-sex holy unions. It  
             is the tragic case of us modern people having convenient  
             historical amnesia to coincide with our preconceived prejudice  
             that "our way is the best" and "it's always been done this way  
             so nothing can change." Actually Same-Sex Holy Unions are nothing  
             new. Prejudice caused the ceremony to fall into disuse. We must  
             become reacquainted with the facts and our history. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                  The Auburn Declaration 
                                   Reclaiming the Church 
                               Sermon for September 3, 2000, 
                    Downtown United Presbyterian Church, Rochester, NY 
                                   by the Rev. David Bos 
                      Scripture: Deuteronomy 4:1-8, Mark 7:1-2, 5-13. 
             Text: Mark 7-9, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment  
             of God in order to keep your tradition." 
             The hero of this sermon is a document -- the Auburn Affirmation --  
             written mainly by a native of this city, conceived at a meeting  
             of 33 ministers and one ruling elder in Syracuse and published in  
             Auburn, New York shortly after the 1923 General Assembly. The  
             Auburn Affirmation rallied the progressive forces of the  
             Presbyterian Church to take back control of the church from a  
             group of fundamentalists who had forced a doctrinal standard,  
             alien to Reformed and Presbyterian principles, upon the ministers  
             and officers of the church. The Auburn Affirmation reclaimed the  
             Presbyterian Church for the unadorned Gospel of Jesus Christ. I  
             am going to say that very soon, now, we will need another Auburn  
             Every so often the church has to be reclaimed for the principles  
             and the person, Jesus Christ, on which it was founded. Because  
             there is a strong animus to conserve in almost every expression  
             of religion, in each generation there are those who find it  
             convenient and tempting to try to use the devotion of Christ and  
             the institutions of the church to advance a reactionary political  
             and religious agenda. These persons are really not interested in  
             exposing their agenda to the light of the unadorned Gospel of  
             Christ and the basic charter of their faith any more than they  
             are interested in hearing the commentary of scientists and other  
             intellectuals. They want it assumed that their reactionary  
             version of the faith is true so that they can get on with their  
             political agenda. They see the coherence of reactionary religion  
             with reactionary politics as evidence of the truth of each. 
             Experience has proven that it is useless to attempt to argue,  
             make peace or moderate this unholy alliance. They will simply  
             ignore or not admit anything that will question or interfere with  
             their agenda. That Jesus understood this reality and tendency  
             among the religionists of his day is revealed by his words in  
             this text: "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of  
             God in order to keep your tradition."  Can you imagine a better  
             description of a closed mind? -- to knowingly reject even a  
             commandment of God in order to hold on to some thing or practice  
             or theory or prejudice or idea or system? If their mind is that  
             closed, what could or who could possibly persuade them  
             otherwise; and to what ends might they not go to keep their  
             reactionary hopes alive? Elsewhere, Jesus instructs the  
             disciples, when they encounter a certain kind of rejection, not  
             to persist but to "shake the dust off their feet" and leave that  
             In the past few years, we have some wonderful examples of  
             unpersuadable, closed minds in our own Presbyterian Church. For  
             example, it has been shown, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the  
             one phrase in all of our *Book of Confessions* that condemns  
             homosexuality is a purposely mistranslated line of the original  
             document. Under the influence of fundamentalists, our church has  
             refused to retranslate that phrase. Of course, those  
             fundamentalists keep referring to the *Book of Confessions* as if  
             it represented a blanket condemnation of homosexuality though  
             they know the truth of the matter. But you see, its not a  
             question of what is the truth. That's irrelevant. They want the  
             *Book of Confessions* to condemn homosexuality. Therefore they will  
             continue to, untruthfully, portray it that way for the sake of  
             their ecclesiastical and political agenda. They will even reject  
             a commandment of God in order to maintain their homophobia. In  
             the words of Jesus: "This people honors me with their lips, but  
             their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me,  
             teaching human precepts as doctrines. You abandon the commandment  
             of God and hold to human tradition." 
             One more glaring example: our fundamentalists assume in every  
             public and private forum that the scriptures condemn  
             homosexuality as such. They just ignore the testimony of the  
             overwhelming majority of the biblical scholars on the faculties  
             of our presbyterian seminaries. In fact I do not believe that of  
             all the biblical faculty members of all our seminaries, there is  
             one that would unambiguously support the view that the Bible  
             condemns homosexuality. But, of course, the fundamentalists  
             listen to other voices -- even voices that have no real scholarly  
             apprehension of what the Bible actually says; because those other  
             voices tell them what they want to hear; and give them the fuel  
             they need to pursue their reactionary agenda. 
             I said that the attempt of reactionary forces to use faith in God  
             as a means to advance their agenda appears in every generation.  
             The last attempted takeover before the one that we are at this  
             moment trying to turn back occurred in the 1920's. Then, as now,  
             all the denominations, including our own, faced well-funded  
             reactionary forces that appeared within their ranks and that  
             attempted to change the basic character of the denomination.  
             Then, as now, there was an attempt made to purge the church of  
             those individuals -- especially those in positions of leadership  
             -- who did not conform to a narrow and unfounded view of what it  
             meant to be a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of the  
             Christian church. 
             In that day, the method was one of thought control. Every  
             Presbyterian was expected to be able to prove their orthodoxy by  
             giving evidence that they believed in five so-called essential  
             tenets of faith; those who wished to be ordained or to obtain a  
             staff position in the offices of the General Assembly might be  
             asked to subscribe to the five essentials as a condition for  
             their ordination or their employment. The ostensible agenda of  
             the fundamentalists was to install the five essentials as a kind  
             of addition to the simple profession of faith in Christ which was  
             all that was required for generations. But we can be sure that  
             the larger agenda for them and for the wealthy men that supported  
             them went far beyond these five essentials. The five essentials  
             were only a means to gain control of the denomination. So by  
             promulgating them at the level of the General Assembly without  
             asking for concurrence by the presbyteries and their  
             congregations, they were asserting a new and centralized authority  
             for the General Assembly through which they could try to control  
             the entire church as well as to use the church to pursue their  
             reactionary agenda. And they almost succeeded. 
             For twelve long years they controlled the General Assemblies of  
             the denomination, issuing statement after statement lifting up  
             the five essential tenets of belief, bringing suit against  
             ministers and presbyteries who publicly opposed one or more of  
             the essentials, and generally making the church completely  
             irrelevant to the intellectual life of the United States. 
             But then, along came the Auburn Affirmation, which saved the  
             church from the pit of reactionary thinking. But before  
             describing the Auburn Affirmation and the reclaiming of the  
             Presbyterian church for Jesus Christ, I want to tell you about  
             another reactionary attempt to take over the churches which was  
             taking a place at about the same time and a little bit later in  
             (Oh, by the way, you want to know what the five essentials were!  
             Here they are: (1) the inerrancy of scripture -- a doctrine which  
             was never before and never since a part of Reformed and  
             Presbyterian faith -- that the scriptures were completely  
             free of any error whatever. (2) The virgin birth of Jesus. (3)  
             Christ saved us by offering himself up as a sacrifice to satisfy  
             divine justice -- the so-called substitutionary theory of the  
             atonement. (4) the bodily or physical resurrection of Christ. (5)  
             Christ performed miracles that superseded the laws of nature. As  
             for the substitutionary theory of the atonement and the bodily  
             resurrection of Christ, these doctrines were enshrined in the  
             Westminster Confession of the Church but never before had  
             ministers been asked to subscribe to a particular theory of how  
             Christ saved us and mediated God's love to us or just how Christ  
             was raised from the dead.) 
             Now in Germany, in line with the spirit of the times, there was  
             also an attempt at thought control. This was an attempt to  
             capture the churches for the racist ideology of the National  
             Socialist Party -- the party of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. This  
             movement, called the German Christians, had the backing of some  
             prominent members of the German intelligentsia including some  
             theology professors. 
             The German Christians also had their essentials that they wanted  
             to add on to the simple profession of faith in Jesus Christ: that  
             purity of religion was historically related to the purity of  
             race; that the Christian owes absolute obedience to the state in  
             all matters that pertain to the state (You would be surprised at  
             how many theology professors subscribed to that one.); that the  
             standards by which the church is ordered and governed may be  
             altered by the state according to prevailing ideological and  
             political convictions; that the fulfillment of the mission of the  
             church might be accomplished by the mission of a totalitarian  
             state. Now these points make the American fundamentalist five  
             essentials look quite benign, don't they? But the same principle  
             is involved -- whether it concerns the American fundamentalists or  
             the German Christians. At this point, if time permitted, I would  
             speak about the second verse of the fourth chapter of Deuteronomy  
             which was read to you: "You must neither add anything to what I  
             command you, not take away anything from it, but keep the  
             commandments of the Holy One your God with which I am charging  
             you." But they wanted to add something to the simple profession  
             of Jesus Christ in order to create an elite and indoctrinated  
             leadership, to control the church from above, and to guide it  
             into reactionary directions . 
             You know there was an opposition movement to the German Christians  
             called The Confessing Church. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of its  
             founders. The Barmen Declaration, like the Auburn Affirmation, was  
             drawn up to rally the people against the German Christians. The  
             trouble was: the Barmen Declaration, unlike the Auburn  
             Affirmation, came too late. By 1933 and 34 the main essentials of  
             the German Christians had gained acceptance among a preponderance  
             of both Protestants and Catholics in Germany. The unspeakable  
             atrocities of the Nazi regime were already visible and  
             predictable to anyone whose eyes were open. 
             The Confessing Church, and we thank God for it, could only become  
             a resisting minority among Christians of Germany. It did not have  
             the effect, as did the Auburn Affirmation, of reclaiming the  
             church for the unadorned Gospel of Jesus Christ. Alas! The German  
             Church was pretty much lost to the German Christians and became  
             part of the problem rather than part of the solution. We may be  
             grateful that the Auburn Affirmation, which was a rallying cry  
             for a much wider circle than the Presbyterian Church, stemmed the  
             tide of reaction in the churches before the forces of religious  
             and political reaction could join forces in the United States as  
             they did in Germany. 
             Just a few more words about the Auburn Affirmation. It was mostly  
             written by James Hastings Nichols, a native of Rochester and a  
             Professor of Church History at Auburn Theological Seminary, which  
             then was located in Auburn, New York. He got some crucial help  
             from Henry Sloan Coffin of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in  
             New York City. The immediate occasion for the meeting which  
             produced the Affirmation was the action of the 1923 General  
             Assembly that required the Presbytery of New York City to  
             administer a doctrinal examination to the preacher at First  
             Presbyterian Church there, Harry Emerson Fosdick. Fosdick had  
             expressed doubts about all five of the fundamentalists'  
             essentials; and he directly confronted the fundamentalists in a  
             blockbuster of a sermon called, "Shall the Fundamentalists Win?"  
             If Fosdick were not able to pass the exam on the five points, the  
             Presbytery was to sever the relation between him and First  
             Church. Within weeks after that General Assembly an emergency  
             meeting was called in Syracuse. 
             The arguments of the Auburn Affirmation are amazingly pertinent  
             to our situation today as once again the forces of reaction have  
             gained control of the denomination to the extent that they have  
             convinced several General Assemblies to adopt policies on  
             ordination that we believe (in the words of Barbara Wheeler --  
             current President of Auburn Seminary) "are wrong: not only  
             misguided, but unfaithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and  
             therefore theologically false and damaging to the mission of God  
             in the contemporary world." 
             In the first place, the Affirmation argues that the Presbyterian  
             Church must safeguard the liberty of thought and teaching of its  
             ministers. The vows that they take at their ordination should be  
             regarded as sufficient. The Confession of Faith itself does not  
             require assent to the very words of the Confession and American  
             Presbyterianism provided for dissent by individuals from portions  
             of the confession. Our church has been careful not to enjoin  
             uniformity of belief. When it adopted the Westminster Confession  
             of Faith, it stated that "There are truths and forms, with  
             respect to which people of good characters and principles may  
             differ. And in all these they think it their duty, both of  
             private Christians and Societies, to exercise mutual forbearance  
             towards each other." 
             Secondly, the Affirmation argues against the fundamentalist  
             position on the authority of the Bible. It says the supreme guide  
             in the interpretation of Scriptures is not, as it is with Roman  
             Catholics, ecclesiastical Authority, but the Spirit of God,  
             speaking to the Christian believer. There is no assertion in the  
             Scriptures that their writers were kept from error. The  
             Confession of Faith does not make this assertion and it is not to  
             be found in any of the great Reformation confessions. In general  
             the affirmationists, as they called themselves, argued that the  
             Holy Spirit continues to speak through the scriptures to each new  
             generation, shedding new light upon our human condition,  
             contemporizing the eternal truths of scripture to fit the age in  
             they are read. 
             Finally, the Affirmation argued against any attempt to elevate  
             five doctrinal statements, or any such statements, to the  
             position of tests for ordination or for good standing in the  
             church. It argues against any attempt to commit our church to  
             certain theories concerning the inspiration of the Bible and  
             other matters as if they were the "only theories allowed by  
             Scripture and our standards as facts and doctrines of our  
             Taken together all of these arguments are a declaration that no  
             General Assembly, or any other governing body of the church, may  
             appropriately try to legislate uniformity of belief or practice  
             within its bounds beyond the basic evangelical commitment to the  
             unadorned Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the second to last paragraph  
             of the Affirmation, we read these words: "We do not desire  
             liberty to go beyond the teachings of evangelical Christianity.  
             But we maintain that it is our constitutional right and our  
             Christian duty within these limits to exercise liberty of thought  
             and teaching, that we may more effectively preach the gospel of  
             Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World." 
             It is time for another Affirmation such as this. It is time to  
             reclaim our church from those who would hold it captive to a  
             certain ecclesiastical and political agenda. It is time to rescue  
             the church from those who would impose an unseemly uniformity  
             upon it. It is time to restore the liberty that is our rightful  
             legacy of the Reformation. It is time to let the Holy Spirit  
             speak through the scriptures and through other means as well. One  
             of those means might be a convocation to be held in Auburn, NY  
             following shortly upon the General Assembly of 2001. I herewith  
             propose and call for such a convocation. May we not delay. May we  
             joyfully affirm these dearly held convictions, that the people of  
             God in the Presbyterian Church might be edified, encouraged and  
             given hope. And to God alone be the glory. Amen 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
             A Statement from More Light Presbyterians: 
                                Scouts Biased Against Gays 
                            What Should Religious Sponsors Do? 
             March 7, 2001 -- With a U. S. Supreme Court decision allowing the  
             Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to continue its policy of  
             discrimination against gay persons' participation in the scouting  
             movement, many questions are being raised -- by scouts, their  
             families, and by local scouting leaders. Serious questions are  
             also emerging concerning the continued sponsorship and financial  
             support for the BSA by religious organizations, United Way  
             programs, and school boards around the country. 
             What should religious groups that sponsor scout troops, yet care  
             deeply about justice and inclusiveness, do in view of this biased  
             stance of the BSA? There appear to be two basic positions to  
                         1. Stay and Protest While Seeking Change 
             Religious leaders of sponsoring institutions should contact the  
             leaders of affiliated scout troops or cub packs to discuss the  
             implications of the discriminatory policy. They should explain  
             the faith community's commitment to inclusiveness and encourage  
             the scout unit to consider either a protest of the policy within  
             scouting, or moving out of scouting altogether. If he unit is  
             willing to join the sponsoring religious group in a protest, then  
             at the time of the next annual charter renewal or sooner the  
             scout unit and/or its religious sponsor should issue a public  
             statement protesting the BSA policy with regard to gays'  
             participation and declaring that the troop will not adhere to  
             this discriminatory policy. They should also call for the policy  
             to be rescinded. No one knows what actions might ensue or whether  
             the troop or sponsor might be disciplined in some way. But the  
             more protests of this kind that are generated the better the  
             possibility that the message might get through to the BSA  
             national leadership with at least an outside chance of reversal  
             of the policy. 
               2. Leave the Boy Scouts of America for an Alternative Program 
             It is quite feasible to arrange an alternative lodgment of the  
             local troop or pack in a program similar to scouting. This would  
             also be a way to go if the BSA does terminate the charters of  
             troops which officially protest the policy or declare their  
             intention of ignoring it. Already in certain parts of the country  
             several former scout troops and cub packs have transferred to  
             membership in the national program known as Camp Fire Boys and  
             Girls (http://www.campfire.org). Established in 1910, Camp Fire  
             Boys and Girls states as one of its core values: "We are  
             inclusive, welcoming children, youth and adults, regardless of  
             race, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual  
             orientation or other aspect of diversity." The YMCA Indian Guides  
             program could be another alternative. Whenever such a transfer is  
             arranged, notice of that action needs to be communicated to the  
             national and local headquarters of the BSA and publicized  
             Remaining in scouting without advocating change means colluding  
             with the discrimination of the BSA. Inclusive faith communities  
             can not in good conscience do that. 
                             What Are Religious Groups Doing? 
             Scouting is strongly intertwined with religious organizations. In  
             1998 61% of its units were sponsored by religious institutions.  
             Around the country many religious institutions have taken action  
             to protest the scouting policy. The House of Bishops of the  
             Episcopal Church has officially encouraged the BSA to allow  
             membership to youth and adult leaders irrespective of their  
             sexual orientation and has asked churches which host scout units  
             to open a dialogue with unit leaders, scouts and their parents  
             regarding discrimination against scouts and leaders on the basis  
             of sexual orientation. Both the Unitarian Universalists and the  
             United Church of Christ have raised concerns about the  
             irreconcilable differences in the values of the BSA and the  
             congregations which offer sponsorship. Reformed Jewish leaders  
             have urged parents to withdraw their children from Boy Scout  
             troops and packs and encourage synagogues to end their  
             sponsorship because of the exclusion of gays. 
                       What Are Communities and School Boards Doing? 
             In many areas of the nation, United Way and similar community  
             funding agencies have taken action making scouting units no  
             longer eligible for receiving funding through their programs.  
             School boards have also withdrawn from making their facilities  
             available for scouting use in a number of localities. 
                              The "Scouting for All" Movement 
             A well organized and useful resource coordinating protests of the  
             scout policy is available in support of those wishing to work to  
             change the policy or otherwise to protest or find workable  
             alternatives. It is called Scouting For All  
             (http://www.scoutingforall.org), based in Petaluma California and  
             organized by Steven Cozza, a teen-aged eagle scout and his dad,  
             Scott Cozza. Protests at scout headquarters have been organized  
             widely over recent months and many adults who had achieved the  
             coveted rank of eagle scout as young men have turned in their  
             eagle badges in protest. 
             While staying and protesting is certainly a valid approach, many  
             in the know see little hope of turning the national BSA  
             leadership around.  After all, they spent many years and a  
             tremendous amount of money to fight their discriminatory case all  
             the way to the U. S. Supreme Court. Thus religious sponsors and  
             their troops and packs may well want to give serious attention to  
             finding a satisfactory alternative. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                              No Boy Scout Badge for Bigotry 
                       Speech delivered at Scouting for All Protest 
                             August 21, 2000, San Leandro, CA 
             My name is Roger Scott Powers and I'm the Associate Pastor of  
             Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland. 
             I'm here today to join my voice with yours in calling for the Boy  
             Scouts of America to end its discrimination against gay youth and  
             I'm here because I believe in a God who loves all people -- male  
             and female, young and old, rich and poor, abled and disabled,  
             liberal and conservative, black, brown, and white, and yes, gay  
             and straight, bisexual and transgendered. 
             I'm here because I believe that we are all children of God --  
             created by God, in the image and likeness of God -- and that we  
             are all precious in God's sight, whatever our sexual orientation. 
             I'm here because I'm a follower of Jesus. And Jesus welcomed all  
             people into fellowship with him. He broke down barriers between  
             men and women, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile. His ministry was  
             radically inclusive. He reached out to the poor, the  
             marginalized, the outcasts of society, and said you are all  
             Now, of course, you will hear some people argue that the Bible  
             says homosexuality is wrong. But we must be very careful how we  
             use the Bible. How often have we heard those words: "the Bible  
             says?" The Bible says slaves shall be subject to their masters.  
             So the church justified slavery and segregation. The Bible says  
             women should be subject to their husbands. So the church  
             justified sexism and patriarchy. The Bible says women should be  
             silent in church. So the church said women have no business  
             being ordained. 
             Today, these Bible passages are interpreted differently -- at  
             least by some people. Most people today wouldn't dream of using  
             the Bible to justify slavery. And growing numbers of people  
             would no longer use the Bible to justify the oppression of women.  
             It's high time we stopped using the Bible to justify the  
             oppression of people simply because of their sexual orientation. 
             The Boy Scouts of America claim that homosexuality is  
             incompatible with being morally straight. Let's be clear. A  
             person's sexual orientation has nothing to do with morality.  
             Whether we are gay or straight or bisexual is part of who we are.  
             It's a part of our very being, like having brown eyes or being  
             left-handed. Our sexual orientation is not something we choose.  
             And as it is not a matter of choice, it is not a matter of  
             morality. It is not a matter of right or wrong. 
             What is a matter of morality is discrimination, in this case the  
             oppression of people based on their sexual orientation. The sin  
             of heterosexism is alive and well in America. That is what the  
             religious community and our society as a whole need to repent  
             of. When we condemn homosexuality, when we say its OK to  
             discriminate against gay youth and leaders, when we ostracize  
             people because of their sexual orientation, we foster a social  
             climate that only encourages hate violence and pushes gay youth  
             to suicide. 
             We are here today to say with one voice: Homophobia is wrong!  
             Heterosexism is wrong! Discrimination is wrong! It's time we  
             joined together to demand that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and  
             transgendered persons are given the same rights and privileges  
             that heterosexuals enjoy. We're not asking for special rights.  
             We're demanding human rights. 
             I have fond memories of my years as a Cub Scout. I would like to  
             think that who I am today is due, in part, to the positive  
             influence that program of the Boy Scouts of America had on me.  
             But now the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America has  
             nailed a sign on its door that says "For Heterosexuals Only."  
             That isn't the Boy Scouts of America I remember. 
             I don't remember there being a merit badge for bigotry. I don't  
             recall discrimination being part of the Scout Promise. When did  
             intolerance become part of the Scout Law? No, that's not the Boy  
             Scouts of America I remember. 
             The Boy Scouts I remember encouraged mutual understanding and  
             respect for people who were different from me. The Boy Scouts I  
             remember taught tolerance. The Boy Scouts I remember practiced  
             the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto  
             So, today the Boy Scouts of America have a choice to make. They  
             can choose to keep their doors closed to gay youth and leaders  
             and thereby teach our children bigotry and intolerance. Or they  
             can choose to open their doors to all persons regardless of  
             sexual orientation and thereby teach our children the real  
             meaning of "justice for all." 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                 Honoring a Sassy Prophet 
             My new pastor, Harold Brockus, long-time pastor of the More Light  
             Good Samaritan Church in Pinellas Park, FL, recently preached a  
             sermon he called "The Sass of a Prophet, the Lament of a Lover."  
             Based on Luke 13:31-35, it tells a wonderful story about Jesus  
             being a little sassy toward the powers that be -- he calls Herod  
             "that fox." Some Good Samaritan folks suggested that "pip-squeak"  
             might be a better modern translation. 
             In this *Update,* in the aftermath of Amendment 'O,' which he  
             vigorously opposed, we honor another Sassy Prophet, George  
             Some folks have apparently suggested that George is a little too  
             sassy. In response, George has written: 
             "If my position makes me dysfunctional in my role as an MLP  
             liaison, then find someone else. If it makes me unacceptable to  
             the Committees on which I serve the Presbytery, throw me off. If  
             it makes me an outlaw in this denomination, use your legalistic  
             tools to get rid of me, for you cannot use them to marginalize  
             me, stigmatize me, oppress me or box me in, or do the same to  
             other LGBT people like me. As long as I am a member of this  
             denomination I will not be bound by its illegitimate rules. I  
             will witness to God's call as a gay person as I see it, and if  
             you don't like it I challenge you to stop me. 
             I say this is full appreciation of those who have supported me  
             and those like me. I believe in the sincerity of your witness,  
             but I have my own task to perform and not many days left to do  
             We begin with George's "unedited version of the five minute  
             talk I was asked to give at North Puget Sound Presbytery. I  
             softened it a bit in the presentation and five minutes meant it  
             was cut a bit at the end." -- JDA. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                   Reasons to Reject 'O' 
             Brother's and Sister's in Christ, I as an ordained man address  
             you as my only congregational home, and offer the following  
             reasons to reject Amendment 0: 
             God called a humble, unknown Abraham to a journey of  
             faithfulness. Centuries later God freed Abraham's descendants  
             from slavery, led them 40 years in the wilderness, to a new  
             land, a royal kingdom, a temple sanctuary on Zion where they  
             worshipped secure in the reward of their chosen status. 
             Suddenly, they were overrun, made slaves again, the temple  
             destroyed. Just when they thought it was God's nature to  
             preserve what God had created, God showed God's absolute freedom,  
             and Israel learned her true hope lay precisely in this freedom to  
             transcend all human efforts to appropriate God. 
             Centuries later, after a remarkable witness, people sought to  
             make Jesus a royal Davidic style king. Instead, God gave us a  
             crucifixion, death, and an ever mysterious resurrection. 
             Reason 1 for Rejection: The lesson of this history is that the  
             essence of our Biblical Canon is its diversity and refusal to  
             absolutize any single stance as God's only sovereign position.  
             It teaches of God's overwhelming freedom from any creed or  
             doctrine, freedom over any of our efforts to enshrine in writing  
             what God's final word on any particular issue may be. This  
             amendment labeled "Prohibiting Same-Sex Unions" flies squarely in  
             the face of this lesson by raising a few obscure and  
             contradictory scriptural passages to the level of God's absolute  
             word, thus it should fail. 
             Reason 2 for Rejection: As the father of three Black sons and  
             three White daughters I have seen the end of the use of the Bible  
             to justify the slavery and racism that would victimize them; seen  
             the end of Scriptural justification for the oppression of women,  
             to justify anti-Semitism, and for labeling of other cultures as  
             pagans and idolaters. If we have overcome Scriptural  
             interpretation that for centuries was justified, then these same  
             biblical lessons apply equally well to reject our prejudice  
             against persons of same-sex attraction, for the diversity of  
             God's creation is greater than we can ask or imagine, and thus  
             the amendment should be rejected. 
             Reason 3 for Rejection: To those who insist on interpreting the  
             Bible to condemn people with same-sex attraction, I assert that  
             it is contrary to the Gospel to use money, power politics and  
             denominational legalism to impose their particular view of  
             Biblical interpretation on the approximately 50% of the  
             membership with different, but equally legitimate, interpretive  
             standards, leading to very different conclusions. To give  
             any one voice in scripture or tradition authority to silence  
             other voices quite simply distorts the text. The underlying  
             message of the Word of God is that love in fellowship requires  
             more tolerance of textual liveliness and diversity. We are "all  
             one in Christ." Let us heed the warning of Paul in Galatians 5  
             when he says, "But if you bite and devour one another take heed  
             that you are not consumed by one another" Thus it should fail. 
             Reason 4 for Rejection: As a lawyer I know it is basic that when  
             legal restrictions are place on fundamental freedoms for public  
             policy reasons, the law must be narrowly and precisely drafted.  
             Overly broad laws are fatally flawed because they they reach  
             beyond the specific prohibited conduct to impact conduct that is  
             clearly legitimate. The wording of this amendment is so broad  
             that it clearly can be used to proscribe the historic freedom of  
             pastors, church officers, and congregations to witness by  
             choosing what ceremonies or events they may conduct, when and in  
             what circumstances God's blessing may be invoked, and for what  
             purposes their property may be used, even when their actions are  
             totally unrelated to same-sex issues. In a fractious climate  
             this can lead to an atmosphere of distrust and repression like  
             Senator McCarthy's witch hunts. Pastors and congregations will  
             have to fear the possibility of someone looking over their  
             shoulder, second guessing them, and filing charges against them.  
             This alone is enough to reject it. 
             Reason 5 for Rejection: Some claim that failure to pass this will  
             cause us to lose members. Today, the majority of people have  
             abandoned organized religion and are suspicious of and fear its  
             judgmentalism. Passing this amendment will increase public  
             distrust of Christianity, particularly among the younger  
             generation who are far more open and accepting. It will also  
             alienate current members who are its targets, as well as gay  
             children of current members trapped to grow up in an atmosphere  
             of repression. 
             In closing, as a gay ordained minister of word and sacrament, I  
             exhort you not to forget, in our internal squabbling, that the  
             reading of Scripture is primarily for the sake of the missional  
             testimony of the church to the God News of God's love for the  
             whole of humanity. May the way that we live with each other not  
             destroy, but enhance our mission to witness to God's love for  
             all. (I borrowed from Walter Bruggeman for some wording.) 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                       Some thoughts 
                   on the current state of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 
                   for consideration of the North Puget Sound Presbytery 
                           by the Rev. George T. H. Fuller, H.R. 
             Speaking personally as an ordained gay man: I was not born into  
             this denomination. I chose to be ordained in it primarily  
             because, at the time that I was in seminary, I found it was  
             involved in many social justice causes, it was open to  
             contemporary biblical scholarship, the Reformed tradition seemed  
             open, always capable of change and able to support more than  
             Biblical Fundamentalism, and it had what appeared to be a very  
             flexible and representative form of government. 
             I was actually raised as a Roman Catholic, but after an  
             adolescent conflict with the parish priest the night before  
             confirmation, I slept in the next day, was never confirmed and  
             gradually left. When in grade 12, my first time attending an  
             American school, there was a visiting summer chaplain, named  
             James Clelland (a Scotsman) who I believe was the chaplain at  
             Duke University and was well known on the college circuit. His  
             reason and passion really impressed me as a young teen, and kept  
             my interest in Christianity. 
             During our first years of marriage, my wife and I were truly  
             blessed to find a congregational home in Rochester, New York, at  
             First Presbyterian Church where the pastor was The Reverend  
             Murray A. Cayley, a wonderfully open, intelligent, passionate  
             Christian man who nurtured our youthful naivete and fed our  
             passion for Gospel-driven social justice. My wife Lois  
             Blatchford's family had a long tradition of Christian witness,  
             with the first Blatchford in North America, The Rev. Samuel,  
             having arrived in 1797 as a Congregational minister, and other  
             family members being founders of the American University in Beirut,  
             My theological education was received at Union Theological  
             Seminary in New York City, an institution whose history as a non- 
             denominational institution has its roots in past Presbyterian  
             heresy trials directly related to controversies over the  
             legitimacy of various forms of scriptural interpretation. (Union  
             has, of course, within its walls Auburn Theological Seminary, a  
             wonderful Presbyterian institution for Continuing Theological  
             Education.) It was a marvelously open-minded and profoundly  
             ecumenical Christian environment in which to be nurtured. I make  
             no claims to being much of a scholar, but to have had an array of  
             teachers including James Muilenberg, Krister Stendahl, Reinhold  
             Niebuhr, John Knox, Robert MacAfee Brown, Paul Tillich, John  
             Bennett, John McQuarrie, D.T. Niles, W.D. Davies, Robert Handy,  
             Tom Driver, Roger Shinn, Beverly Harrison, Mary Tully and George  
             Webber was just a mind blowing experience. Furthermore, to have  
             had Phyllis Trible and Douglas Hall as tutors, and be nurtured in  
             an environment with students such as Walter Wink, Walter  
             Bruggeman, Kenneth Kuntz, John Hoffman, Alan T. Davies, Terry  
             Anderson, Doris Dyke, Howie Mills, Rabbi Everett Gendler,  
             Frederick Wood, Nelson Thayer, James Forbes, Sidney Skirvin,  
             Donald Dawe, John Collins, Kam Yan Ing and others too numerous to  
             mention was unforgettable. 
             During the periods in my career when I served in church positions  
             or in church approved work, I found my denominational choice to be  
             a good one. My wife and I were quite involved in the African- 
             American community during the Civil Rights Movement, including  
             helping to raise and educate two young men of African-American  
             heritage as well as our own adopted son of the same heritage plus  
             three daughters born to us. The church was very supportive of  
             our efforts at the time and worked actively to reinterpret its  
             past to overcome its racist history. It also was strongly  
             supportive of inner city urban ministry in which I had become  
             involved. The Board of National Missions staff with people like  
             Gayraud Wilmore, Gene Huff [a current MLP board member!], George  
             Todd and Daniel Little were remarkable leaders. 
             Outside the denomination, particular tribute is due to William  
             Stringfellow, the lawyer-theologian, for encouraging me to combine  
             my legal and theological training to work with a major mentor and  
             friend, the Baptist minister the Rev. Melvin E. Schoonover, with  
             whom I served for a number of years in the Harlem-East Harlem  
             area. Here liberation theology and practice merged indelibly. 
             We were also involved in the women's movement, and found the  
             denomination capable of being supportive of the changing role of  
             women both theologically and in society generally in spite of  
             its past history of male domination, equally Biblically  
             No doubt with a background such as this, there will be people in  
             this denomination who will view me a radical leftist liberal.  
             There will, of course, be others who know nothing of this rich  
             heritage. Such is the result of the passage of time as well as  
             the division in and evolution of our church, and its current  
             preoccupation with conflict and power struggles. 
             Owing to a variety of personal and family factors, most of my  
             career was spent in secular work, primarily legal practice, city  
             planning and related work, and latterly we have been living  
             outside of the country in Canada, though close to the USA border.  
             During this time I kept in touch with events within the  
             denomination, but did not become involved with the geographically  
             closest judicatory, North Puget Sound Presbytery, until my  
             retirement eight years ago. 
             Coming to terms with myself as a gay man is something that  
             gradually took place over most of my life, with its beginnings as  
             early as grade 7, where I clearly felt myself a victim. During  
             most of my life, beginning in grade 10, I suppressed, avoided  
             and assumed I had rid myself of this issue. While generally  
             supportive of gay and lesbians drives for civil rights and  
             freedom from oppression, it was not an issue that had the  
             priority of our other civil rights concerns. 
             As the years passed and the tempo of gays' and lesbians'  
             striving for civil rights increased, I found myself and my wife  
             becoming more involved. Probably one of the most significant  
             catalysts was the movement in the United Church of Canada for the  
             ordination of gays and lesbians, for we were both involved with  
             this denomination. In addition, my wife was active with the  
             American Psychiatric Association, whose regular meetings we both  
             attended for many years. We were familiar from the earliest days  
             with the decision to remove homosexuality from the category of  
             mental illness, and attended meetings of the Gay and Lesbian  
             Psychiatrists Association (an affiliate of the APA) virtually from its  
             inception. My wife had many gay and lesbian patients and was  
             involved in palliative care and the treatment of AIDS patients.  
             Over the years she became aware of my own past and orientation,  
             and she was very supportive. I gradually became increasingly  
             involved in the gay community, and my taking part in the Third  
             International Gay Games here in Vancouver, where I played ice  
             hockey and squash and my family cheered me on, and where my wife  
             and I attended many of the celebrations, was a major step in my  
             'coming out' process. 
             However, it was not until after Lois' death in 1996 that I  
             decided to affirmatively and publicly declare my position as a  
             gay man. This happened primarily through my joining the Rainy  
             City Gay Men's Chorus, an openly gay group that puts on Broadway  
             style shows, as well as engaging in a number of activities where  
             declaration seemed both valuable and necessary. This included my  
             activities in wonderfully gay-friendly Christ Church Anglican  
             Cathedral here in Vancouver, where my wife and I had moved after  
             the homicide of our oldest daughter. The witness of Bishop  
             Michael Ingham has become a real beacon of light to me. I also  
             need to give tribute to an old friend Professor Lloyd Gaston of  
             Vancouver School of Theology and a member of this Presbytery for  
             his personal and intellectual support. 
             It was during the debate on what is popularly known as  
             "Amendment B," that I felt it was time to make a public stand  
             in the Presbyterian church, so, in speaking against the amendment  
             before Presbytery, I spoke personally as an ordained gay member. 
             Since that time I have involved myself, as I have been able, with  
             the LGBT and More Light communities in the church, though  
             distance, international travel and illness have intervened to  
             make my involvement much less than I might have hoped. The  
             involvement I have had has made me painfully aware of how divided  
             this denomination has become over the status and acceptability of  
             same-sex oriented gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered  
             people. Indeed, the tenor of the conflict and the assumptions  
             underlying it have led me to question its validity as a community  
             bearing the name Christian. I sometimes think that, at my age, I  
             do not need to continue to fight another major battle. I am  
             retired, therefore really pretty much irrelevant and  
             unthreatening as far as the denomination is concerned. I live  
             outside of the bounds of my Presbytery and in fact outside of the  
             country, I am 72 years old and have a lot of other interests I  
             want to pursue. It would be so easy just to drop out. Yet, I  
             have to admit that I have seen some magnificent Christian witness  
             both within this denomination's bounds and to the world it serves,  
             and I cannot dismiss this. 
             I have listened to a lot of conversations dealing with the  
             options for gays of staying or leaving this denomination.  It's  
             interesting that the issue of blessing same-sex unions should  
             arise at just this time. It led me to examine the whole issue of  
             Blessing. It was not easy to find a lot of material, but I  
             stumbled across a writing by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner entitled *Let  
             One Hundred Blessings Bloom: Enhancing the Spiritual Dimension of  
             Everyday Life*. In it he differentiates the Jewish approach to  
             life from that of Buddhists and Christians stating: 
             "For us life is neither fundamentally miserable, nor is this  
             world second best. For us Jews, this life and this world may be  
             difficult, painful, and even agonizing, but they are good. You  
             might say that for us, life is a blessing, one blessing after  
             another. We Jews structure our universe from blessing to  
             Well, Jesus was a Jew who did not reject his Jewish heritage, and  
             I imagine he shared this world view. Who am I to reject it. So I  
             guess I decided that there must be a blessing, apparent or not,  
             for me to be an ordained gay member (no matter how despised) of  
             this denomination. **I sometimes wonder in amazement at the extent  
             that our presence as same-sex oriented people, who are so small  
             in number and of such an item of Biblical insignificance, can be  
             objects of such amazing passion, import and fear. Surely there  
             must be some sort of blessing in this.**  Surely, too, in the long  
             run the Holy Spirit will lead us to more critical issues in our  
             faithful witness, once we are fully affirmed. 
             To the extent that I can discern it, perhaps my presence may be  
             of some support to other same-sex oriented people in this  
             denomination seeking to overcome unequal status as humans and  
             God's people within its fold. Perhaps by being here the world  
             outside of this denomination may see Christianity as being  
             something more than just the victimizer of gay, lesbian, bisexual  
             and transgendered people. Perhaps there is the possibility that  
             from me, along with so many others of like sexuality, this  
             denomination may learn enough to recognize us as fully God's  
             creatures. So, acknowledging that nothing is forever, I accept  
             the blessing, at least for now. 
             Meanwhile, I find myself a member of a denomination which by a  
             narrow majority vote has determined that people like me are not  
             worthy of full inclusion as members. In fact, using narrow and  
             particularist methods of Biblical and Confessional  
             interpretation, and refusing to acknowledge any other methods in  
             spite of the historic Reformed tradition to do otherwise, it has  
             been determined that God universally condemns homosexuality and  
             considers those who live lives as such to be condemned by God. 
             I find that these same methods for scriptural and confessional  
             interpretation are those which have previously been used to  
             justify slavery, the oppression of women, the marginalization of  
             of persons of African heritage to second class status, the  
             objectification as heathen and pagans of North American Native  
             Peoples and peoples of many other faiths and cultures as well.  
             The lessons learned through the overcoming of these heresies have  
             been universally ignored by the proponents of this direction for  
             the denomination. In fact, there are even some clear parallels  
             between the vilification of gays and the oppression of women,  
             specifically one being the "macho man" image that males carry  
             of themselves which leads them to see any man who might be  
             oriented to loving someone of the same sex as a feminized  
             (therefore despised) male. I am convinced that underlying this  
             whole conflict is the church's failure to come to terms with  
             sex, something that is absolutely necessary in this world today. 
             I find that the descriptions of same-sex oriented persons by the  
             proponents of their marginalization to be filled with ignorance  
             of and based primarily on culturally acquired prejudice of gays.  
             There seems to be an unwillingness to immerse themselves in our  
             lives so that they could cease objectifying us, perhaps because  
             to do so might reveal their ignorance, and ignite their  
             internalized fears of encountering normality in difference. In  
             my own life, living and working as a minority in Harlem for a  
             number of years was the most profound way to confront my hidden  
             These people who are determined to stigmatize us appear to be  
             ignorant of both the theology of the Reformed tradition as well  
             as all of the lessons which our history has to teach us. Further,  
             they have somehow, in their fear of change, become driven to use  
             money and the denominational structure to achieve sufficient  
             power to make their view of what they consider "normative  
             Presbyterianism" legally binding on the entire church. 
             I like the words of a seminary friend, Rabbi Everett Gendler,  
             speaking of his own faith, as my personal response to those  
             seeking this route: 
             "Surely one of the most important discoveries of Jewish  
             scholarship during the past century has been that constructions  
             of 'normative Judaism' are precisely that, constructions, and  
             are in great danger of failing to recognize the de facto variety  
             of opinions, ideas, insights, and inclinations that together  
             constitute the reality of Judaism as a living world view." --  
             From: Everett Gendler, "A Reflection on Environment, Sentience,  
             and Jewish Liturgy," chapter. 5 in *Worlds of Jewish Prayer: a  
             Festschrift in Honor of Rabbi Zalman M. Schacter-Shalomi*, ed. by Shohama  
             Harris Wiener & Jonathan Omer-Man (Northvale, NJ: Jason  
             Aranson, c1993). 
             This quite eloquently speaks to the current position of this  
             denomination as well. (I sometimes think that a major reason for  
             the fundamentalist thrust in this denomination is our ordaining  
             of people educated in seminaries with this orientation and  
             ignorant of the basics of the Reformed Tradition.) 
             To be fair, none of us sit easily with uncertainty. As finite  
             creatures we are forever seeking answers to the reasons for life,  
             to clear answers for right conduct, to ways of balancing the  
             scales of justice, to ways to tame our evil impulses, to ways to  
             survive our legacies of mistakes and vicious conduct. Which of  
             us does not at times rage at God in our fears, our frustrations,  
             our wounds, humiliations and tragedies. Yet, in the end, aren't  
             we all left with nothing more than the cry "Blessed Art Thou  
             Creator of the Universe, Holy is Your Name, thanks be to You for  
             giving us Your Son Jesus, for the continuing gift of Your Holy  
             So, we can sympathize with and understand those who, in their  
             search for security and certainty, have problems overcoming the  
             long in-built tradition of vilifying same-sex oriented people  
             like us. However, in recognizing our common human impulses, we  
             are not bound to submit to what we see as an autocratic use of  
             power combined with an illegitimately narrow and particularist  
             interpretation of Scripture, the Confessions and the Historic  
             Reformed Faith Tradition, to justify the demonization of gays and  
             to make their position legally binding in the manuals of  
             government of the denomination. 
             **So long as there is hope that the authority of scripture, the  
             Confessions and the historic tradition of this denomination are  
             taken seriously, so that the inherent diversity of interpretation  
             is recognized; so long as there is hope that the governmental  
             structure of this denomination will be allowed to protect and  
             legitimize a variety of views among its its membership; for that  
             period of time we are assured that the unpredictable freedom of  
             our Loving God will be allowed free reign to surprise us with  
             For that length of time I believe there is still hope that those  
             of us, who understand our same-sex orientation to be a God-given  
             gift, will be able to take our rightful place as full members of  
             this religious community. 
             However, speaking for myself, the moment that this denomination  
             attempts the idolatrous act of trying to encapsule God's word in  
             finite human institutions of structure, legalisms and power, then  
             I cannot justify remaining a part of it. I will not stay and be  
             vilified and marginalized. I will not stay while others like me  
             have no hope for change. I will not remain a visible member of  
             a religious community that is known to be the public enemy of,  
             and in complicity with other victimizers of, my fellow gay,  
             lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. For, to do so at that  
             point, would be to betray the very faith in Jesus Christ that  
             sustains me. For, at that point this denomination will cease to  
             be a legitimate organ of the Christian community and revert to  
             the existence of a heretical sect. That is precisely where the  
             approved amendment 'B' is taking us. By such tactics and  
             edicts I will not be bound. 
             In setting forth my thoughts, always admittedly tentative, I  
             admit to being a relative newcomer to this cause. There are many  
             who have been around for eons before and have the benefit of  
             experience and wisdom that I lack. So I state my position with  
             humility and with respect for all with whom I find myself allied. 
             It is in the light of these reflections on my own ministry that I  
             have attempted to set forth my opposition, both to the current  
             Overtures before us, as well as those of similar intent that have  
             been adopted to date. With regard to the call to cease conflict  
             and find a "Third Way' that was sent forth by the organization  
             of Presbytery Executives, there is much merit in this, but they  
             cannot expect those of us who are the victims of the current  
             struggle to accept a marginalized and humiliating status. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                      The Early Years 
             George submitted this piece on his early years to the University  
             of British Columbia student newspaper: 
                                   Flashes of Reflection 
                       by an older gay man, and current UBC student 
             Sixty years ago, the second world war had just begun, I was 12,  
             in grade seven, not a very popular kid, picked on a lot, hated  
             it. Knew some guys I liked but they seemed too aloof, no  
             response as friends, frozen out. Didn't excel at much, at least  
             hadn't yet learned I could. Loved ice hockey and, strangely,  
             figure skating too. Sort of lonely, a dreamer, romantic, needing  
             affirmation by more than my dog, but not really fully  
             understanding needs. Aware of growing, newly sprouting erotic  
             feelings -- leading where? 
             After school one day an older boy invited himself over, and WOW,  
             sparks flew, emotions overflowed, new worlds blossomed, sex  
             became concrete. Who could have imagined. It was so neat, so  
             natural, exciting, but ooh, so secret! 
             The next day at school some older boys looked down at me, laughed  
             tauntingly. Now what's happening I thought, back on the  
             defensive again. Shit! One of them opened his mouth, put his  
             lips over his teeth -- hey kid, lets see how you do this. Come on  
             homo show us how you do it. Homo? What the hell is a homo?  
             Where the hell are they coming from? a new name to be beat up  
             Such was an 'outing' 60 years ago. No words for it. One blissful  
             encounter becomes an unexpected, misunderstood moment of public  
             self-revelation. Such was my discovery of my same-sex attraction  
             and my encounter with a world of fear, intimidation, hatred and  
             bigotry. Being outed as a gay (no such word then) kid 60 years  
             ago, on the threshold of puberty, made one the perfect victim.  
             You couldn't escape, ask for help or protection, or discuss your  
             feelings. There was no one you could talk to, for every search  
             for help you just knew would turn against you. All you could do  
             was try to survive. 
             Three years later, at the end of grade nine, after a lot of bad  
             times, mingled with some really good moments, we moved 2000 miles  
             away. So began 45 years of living in the closet. No way in hell  
             would I tell anyone of my same-sex attraction. It was a chance to  
             start anew, without an unchosen label, a detested category; a  
             chance to escape, to find part of the me that no one would ever  
             have accepted in the old community. What a relief, a new world. 
             Then followed the years of trying to reconcile the tensions  
             within; all the normal activities of a young man in pursuit of  
             self-discovery; dating girls, love affairs, education, work,  
             contact sports, military and war. Yet, continually lurking in the  
             shadows, same-sex attraction. Deny it, suppress it, pray it  
             away, ignore it, fear it, want it. God what a hostile world, gay  
             death in the holocaust treated as criminals not victims, Senator  
             McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover's witch hunts. Religious blindness  
             and bigotry, police repression and harassment. Who wanted to  
             confront such a world. Hide! Deny! Stay safe! 
             Yet, there did come a time. The world had changed somewhat.  
             Immersion in the Black Civil Rights Movement, the quest for  
             Women's Freedom and Third World Liberation set precedents and  
             empowered. So 45 years later "Out" I came, with a supportive  
             wife, into this different world where now there were some safe  
             places not only to be oneself, but even to celebrate the fact.  
             Too late in life to relive the past, but time enough to watch  
             with joy the emerging freedom of the young. To take part in  
             consolidating the gains, even savor the erotic. Yet, still, the  
             lessons of my past breed caution, for there lurks in all of us an  
             incipient intolerance toward difference, that, like the spark of  
             tinder, under the right conditions, can start again the flames of  
             violence and hatred. 
             As, among other things, an ordained Christian clergy person, I  
             find one of the most virulent types to fear are Christian  
             fundamentalists, who misuse scripture to justify their  
             prejudices. The result is their complicity in maintaining the  
             violence and hatred of which same-sex-oriented persons are  
             subjected. They present an image of Christianity warped from a  
             religion of love and freedom, to one of oppression, narrow  
             prejudice and particularism. The Biblical theology they pursue is  
             the same one that led them to support slavery, dehumanize other  
             races, religions and cultures, and oppress women; and as in the  
             past, they do it in almost total ignorance of those whom they  
             choose to demonize. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                    More Light Church will consider gays for leadership 
                                       By Karen Owen 
                     Copyright 2001, *Messenger-Inquirer*, Owensboro, KY. 
                      Reprinted with permission, and with our thanks. 
             3 February 2001 -- While many homosexuals quietly attend local  
             churches and keep low profiles, one local Presbyterian  
             congregation says it will not only tolerate them but will  
             consider homosexuals for leadership. 
             "People are going to fuss about it. We're prepared for that,"  
             said Jo Ann Bowman, a 68-year-old member of Central Presbyterian  
             It's a stand that could put the church at odds with other western  
             Kentucky Presbyterians, as well as other religious groups. The  
             historic downtown Owensboro congregation is one of only two  
             Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) churches in the state to call  
             themselves "More Light" churches. 
             When the idea first came up, "None of us knew what a More Light  
             church was," said 73-year-old member Charles Jackson 
             The November decision was part of the congregation's efforts to  
             become more inclusive and open to all people, said the Rev.  
             Michael Erwin, Central's pastor. Since then, 12 to 15 new people  
             have begun worshipping with the congregation on Sunday mornings,  
             bringing attendance up to an average of 50 to 55 people, Erwin  
             said. He doesn't know how many of the newcomers are homosexuals. 
             A gay man and a lesbian among the newcomers declined to be  
             interviewed on the record about the situation. The woman said she  
             is afraid of losing her job if her sexual orientation becomes  
             public. Homosexuals still face prejudice here, she said. 
             Erwin said he thinks new people are coming to Central because  
             "they recognize the truth being proclaimed here." That truth, he  
             said, is that "God is radically inclusive, that the Bible doesn't  
             speak about this particular issue." 
             His congregation wants to remove barriers separating people from  
             Jesus Christ, Erwin said. In becoming a More Light church, "The  
             barrier we removed was the church's pronouncement that  
             homosexuality was sin." 
             That judgment says all the people in that category are "somehow  
             secondary recipients of God's grace," Erwin said. "I don't think  
             that's biblically based." Scripture passages often used to  
             condemn homosexuality address specific situations, not the  
             broader issue, Erwin says. "Jesus never mentioned homosexuality.  
             If it had been such an important issue, you'd think the Son of  
             God would say something about it." 
             Many local Christian groups vehemently disagree with Erwin's  
             interpretation. His own denomination expects ordained leaders to  
             be faithful within marriage between a man and a woman and chaste  
             outside of marriage. 
             "In other words," summed up Jerry Van Marter, director of the  
             Presbyterian News Service, "no sexual practice outside  
             heterosexual marriage is tolerable." 
             The Presbyterian Church ordains deacons and elders as well as  
             ministers. Deacons are involved mostly in service to others, and  
             elders serve on the session or church board and oversee  
             administrative matters, said Gary Luhr, director of  
             communications for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). 
             In reality, many Presbyterian churches state on their literature  
             that they are open and welcoming to all people, Van Marter said.  
             "A lot of churches have a 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy" when it  
             comes to selecting leaders, he said. 
             Churches that take the extra step of joining the More Light  
             Network, which formed in 1980 shortly after the denomination  
             first banned ordination for gays and lesbians, "are really making  
             a political statement," he said. 
             Central, Erwin said, considers the 2-year-old "fidelity and  
             chastity" amendment "an affront to the gospel, and we will not  
             follow it." 
                                      In the minority 
             His congregation joins 89 other Presbyterian churches across the  
             country in the More Light Network [now more than 100! -- JDA].  
             One of them is in Louisville. One is in Cincinnati. The  
             denomination has 11,400 congregations in all, said Van Marter. 
             Most More Light churches are in urban areas with significant gay  
             or lesbian populations, he said. 
             While some religious groups, such as Reformed Judaism, the  
             Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of  
             Christ ordain homosexuals, many mainline Protestant denominations  
             are wracked with controversy over the issue. 
             The United Methodist Church, for instance, has the Reconciling  
             Congregations movement, churches dedicated to overturning that  
             denomination's restrictions on ordination for homosexuals. 
             No Kentucky churches have officially joined that movement, said  
             Rhoda Peters, provost for the conference. 
                                  Possible repercussions 
             As for Central Presbyterian, "We're not at odds with the  
             denomination," Erwin said. "We continue to be a church in good  
             Nothing will happen until Central actually selects an openly  
             homosexual person for ordination and someone in the western  
             Kentucky presbytery files a formal complaint, said Van Marter. 
             "A church declaring itself to be open, in and of itself, is not a  
             prosecutable act," said Van Marter. "It's when you take action,  
             you leave yourself open to judicial charges in the church." 
             In some parts of the country, no one is upset enough to take the  
             matter to the presbytery's permanent judicial commission, the  
             most local level of church court, he said. In other regions,  
             charges are filed "within minutes." 
             Jackson said he opposed Central's decision to become a More Light  
             Church. He's considered leaving the church he has attended since  
             1956 because of the issue. 
             "The idea of welcoming gays and lesbians and people like that  
             into the church is a wonderful idea," Jackson said. He wasn't  
             satisfied by arguments offered for the change, though. Also,  
             "Since I'm a conservative type person, I believe in going by  
             rules. I don't believe being a More Light Church is part of being  
             a Presbyterian." 
             "This church," said Bowman, who returned about a year ago to the  
             congregation she attended as a child, "is a Presbyterian church,  
             but it is God's church." 
             The decision to take a stand wasn't made lightly, she said. It  
             was made after a lot of study, thought and prayer. 
             "I think it's a great thing for our church," said Sarijane  
             Moorman, a member of the church session who has attended Central  
             all her life. "It just represents what I always felt. I want my  
             children to know God loves everybody and doesn't discriminate  
             against anybody." 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                     Sex in Leviticus 
             Sarah J. Melcher, is a newly minted Presbyterian Ph.D. in Old  
             Testament Studies from Emory University, now teaching at Xavier  
             University in Cincinnati. Her dissertation was on one of our very  
             favorite books of the Hebrew Bible, Leviticus! Sarah is also an  
             MLP member and the beloved cousin on your *Update* editor, who  
             bugged her for a special article, applying the results of her  
             research to the two famous "bashing" verses in Leviticus. 
             This is serious stuff, folks, so tighten your seat belts. Join  
             the long Presbyterians tradition of honoring and using deep and  
             serious scholarship, going all the way back to John Calvin  
             himself and his *Institutes of the Christian Religion*. 
             May I suggest that anyone who ever is tempted to use these verses  
             to attack anyone -- to go after the speck in someone else's eye! - 
             - should first read this and similar studies. Many thanks, Sarah,  
             for this serious examination! 
             (A note on verse citations: "a" or "b" following a verse number  
             indicates the first or second half of a verse; "aa" or "ab"  
             indicates the first or second quarter of a verse.) -- JDA. 
                                     Tied to the Land 
                      A Sociological Context for Leviticus 18 and 20  
                                by Sarah J. Melcher, Ph.D. 
             Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 have figured prominently in discussions  
             about gay/lesbian/bi-sexual ordination and in dialogues about  
             same-sex unions within the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. These  
             discussions tend to disregard the literary and sociological  
             context for these verses and apply them directly to issues facing  
             the Presbyterian Church today. However, these verses were  
             originally statements produced within a particular, ancient  
             sociological context and their initial meaning and application  
             were created there. These statements originally appeared -- or  
             were subsequently placed -- as verses within a specific literary  
             context as part of a deliberately crafted address. 
             Therefore, it is crucial for interpretation to understand these  
             two verses (Lev 18:22 and 20:13) within some appropriate context.  
             My research, on that account, approaches Leviticus 18 and 20  
             holistically, taking the literary context into consideration and  
             attempting to discern a sociological setting which could have  
             generated these two discourses. In so doing, I have asked two  
             basic questions of the material. First, did the authors/compilers  
             of Leviticus 18 and 20 have an overarching rhetorical purpose in  
             arranging these chapters and their specific prohibitions in this  
             way? Second, does this comprehensive arrangement reflect a  
             particular social situation that this collection of verses is  
             intended to address? 
             I frame these questions in this way because of my conviction that  
             the authors/compilers of Leviticus 18 and 20 intended these  
             passages to be read and understood in their entirety. When we  
             lift out individual verses from their literary context to support  
             a political stance or a theological position within the church,  
             we may be losing sight of the carefully crafted meaning that the  
             biblical passage was intended to convey, as well as overlooking  
             valuable information about the cultural context which generated  
             the passage. 
             Ironically, though our discussions often focus solely on the  
             individual verses 18:22 and 20:13, chapters 18 and 20 of  
             Leviticus contain the most comprehensive treatment of sexual  
             prohibitions found in the Pentateuch (Lev 18:6-20, 22-23; 20:10- 
             21) along with bans against sacrificing children to Molek (18:21;  
             20:2ab-5), stipulations forbidding ancestor worship (20:6, 27), a  
             commandment against cursing parents (20:9, parenetic  
             (exhortative) sections (18:2b-5, 24-30; 20:7-8, 22-26),  
             commissions to speak (18:2a; 20:2aa), and narrative introductions  
             (18:1; 20:1). This diverse literary material, arranged in each  
             chapter as a persuasive address, seems to reflect two distinctive  
             levels of composition. Therefore I have approached Leviticus 18  
             and 20 in a way that would honor those natural seams. I examined  
             the chapters first at the level of the individual regulations as  
             a collection (18:6-23; 20:2ab-6, 9-21, 27) to discern an  
             intention for this cluster which was consistent with other  
             writings of the Holiness Source. Then I analyzed at the level of  
             the final form of the two chapters, reading comprehensively to  
             discover a rhetorical aim for the discourses as a whole. It was  
             my hope that an analysis at these two levels would show: a) the  
             purpose(s) served by the particular combination of sexual  
             prohibitions in Leviticus 18 and 20 (18:6-20, 22-23; 20:10-21)  
             while accounting for their relationship with the non-sexual  
             exhortations or prohibitions (18:3-5, 21, 24-30; 20:2-9, 22-27)  
             and b) the rhetorical aim of these chapters in their final form,  
             that is, how they might shape an understanding of normative  
             behavior among their readers. 
             After considering the literary and sociological contexts for  
             these two chapters, I concluded that a concern for land-tenure --  
             especially as that concern relates to patrilineal inheritance and  
             redemption structures (see Lev 25:8-55; Num 27:1-11 and 36:1-12)  
             -- has influenced the ordering of regulations in 18:6-23 and  
             20:2ab-6, 9-21, 27. Like some other passages in the Holiness  
             Source, Lev 18:6-23 and 20:2ab-6, 9-21, 27 reflect a strategy to  
             supply, protect, and ideologically support inheritance and  
             redemption structures, which are perceived by H compilers  
             (Holiness source) to be instrumental for preserving a clan's hold  
             on the land. These two collections help guarantee an ample supply  
             of "raw material" (that is, children) for inheritance and  
             redemption structures, a) by outlawing sexual practices unlikely  
             to result in offspring (18:19, 22, 23; 20:13, 15, 16, 18), and b)  
             by protecting existing offspring (18:21; 20:2ab-5). The  
             collections protect existing structures, c) by forbidding sexual  
             couplings which could produce anomalous children -- those who  
             would not fit into the slots of the extant order (18:7, 8, 9, 10,  
             11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18; 20:11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 20, 21) or  
             those who could inspire paternity disputes (18:7, 8, 10, 14, 15,  
             16; 20:10, 12, 12, 20, 21), and d) by ensuring that appropriate  
             boundaries are observed between generations (18:7, 8, 10, 12, 13,  
             14, 15, 17, 21; 20:2-5, 9, 11, 14, 19, 20). 
             I reached the conclusion that a concern for land tenure and  
             related inheritance structures helped determine the particular  
             combination of individual prohibitions in Lev 18:6-23 and 20:2ab- 
             6, 9-21, 27 because unusual and specific kinship vocabulary  
             appears not only there but also in Leviticus 25 and Numbers 27.  
             (For example, the Hebrew kinship term *sh'er*, "near kin," appears  
             in all three settings.) Leviticus 25 and Numbers 27 are passages  
             composed by Holiness writers (as is the case for Leviticus 18 and  
             20) and are directly concerned with patrilineal inheritance and  
             redemption structures. It is my contention that the H compilers  
             of Lev 18:6-23 and 20:2ab-6, 9-21, 27 were thinking how  
             reproduction and the shape of future generations would affect  
             inheritance and redemption structures when they arranged these  
             laws into a collection. Because of the H compilers' concern to  
             protect these structures, they prohibited certain sexual  
             practices that would adversely affect inheritance and redemption  
             Another linguistic clue presented by the language of Leviticus 18  
             and 20 reminds the reader of the consequences of sexual  
             intercourse; that is, of the child who may be conceived. The  
             expression, "you shall not uncover the nakedness (*'ervah*) of  
             ________," signifies illicit intercourse, especially a sexual act  
             that violates another man's exclusive claim to his wife's sexual  
             and reproductive potential. An alternative translation of this  
             phrase, "the vagina (*'ervah*) of ________ you shall not uncover,"  
             reflects the adult Israelite male's expectation that his wife  
             will share his bed only and bear his children only, without  
             jeopardizing his culturally constructed expectation of a clear,  
             uncontested lineage to whom he may bequeath status and property. 
             A semantic study of the Hebrew word *'ervah* ("nakedness,"  
             "genitals," "vagina") and its ancient Semitic cognates further  
             bolsters the inheritance/land tenure theory by revealing how  
             frequently *'ervah* is used as a euphemism for "genitals" or  
             "vagina" and by disclosing its metaphorical use as a symbol of  
             the kinship bond (see 1 Sam 20:30). It is quite possible that the  
             frequency of term *'ervah* in Leviticus 18 is explained by its  
             symbolic meaning as the site of birth -- as the place where the  
             kinship bond begins. 
             Turning from semantic or terminological concerns to the kinship  
             system implied by the prohibitions in 18:6-23, it becomes clear  
             that each verse serves some kinship need. It is fruitful to  
             explore what consequences would ensue if each stipulation were  
             violated. In each case, to disobey a regulation represents either  
             an offense against a man's exclusive claim to his wife's sexual  
             and reproductive potential, or a confounding of inheritance  
             structures, or a possible paternity dispute, or a disrespectful  
             act toward someone in another generation, or a breech of proper  
             separation between the generations, or intercourse with near kin.  
             All these concerns fit a framework in which clear, undisputed  
             lineage and lines of inheritance are highly valued and protected. 
             Similarly, the kinship system implied by Leviticus 20's  
             collection of prohibitions (20:2ab-6, 9-21) suggests a coherent,  
             comprehensive intention behind the prohibitions themselves, as  
             well as behind the assignments of guilt, and provisions for  
             punishment. This intention is compatible with my  
             inheritance/property theory. For example, the "cutting-off"  
             penalty (vv 3, 5, 6, 17, 18) seems to have a peculiar fit for  
             these regulations, since it is likely here that it represents  
             premature death and destruction of lineage. (A study of the  
             "cutting-off" penalty throughout the Hebrew Bible supports this  
             probable meaning.) "The punishment fits the crime" in many cases.  
             According to these Holiness writers, a person who does not  
             exercise restraint in his sexual practices, who puts the goal of  
             clear and uncontested lineage at risk, or who destroys his seed,  
             will suffer a loss of his own heritage. By misusing his/her  
             reproductive potential the violator will lose reproductive  
             immortality through loss of life and lineage. 
             Moving now from the collection of stipulations to the larger  
             discourse of Leviticus 18:2-30, the address is still concerned to  
             tie the social group permanently to the land, but the focus has  
             changed from a concern for the clan's land tenure to concern for  
             the nation's land tenure. As we have seen, a concern to protect  
             the clan's inheritance and redemption structures (and thus its  
             land tenure) is implicit in the collection of individual  
             stipulations. Once the parenetic (exhortative) sections (18:2b-5,  
             24-30) are taken into consideration, however, Leviticus 18's  
             discourse argues more comprehensively that the stipulations of  
             18:6-23 are necessary to preserve the nation's hold on the land.  
             To violate them would result in the land "spewing them out"  
             (18:25, 28; see also 20:22). 
             Like Leviticus 18's parenetic sections, those in chapter 20 make  
             the connection between staying in the land and adherence to the  
             statutes so urgent that disobedience results in the land "spewing  
             out" the nation. Again, as in chapter 18, the nation's very  
             coherence as a landed people is jeopardized by failure to abide  
             by the individual regulations of 20:2ab-6, 9-21, 27. 
             An important aspect of the final form in both chapters is its  
             format as an address to the *bne yisra'el* ("sons of Israel").  
             This is one feature among others suggesting an implied audience  
             for the divine speech in 18:2-30 and 20:2-27. The nation is  
             defined in terms of descent from a common ancestor, as the "sons  
             of Israel." The discourses of Lev 18:2-30 and 20:2-27 appear to  
             address the sexually mature males of the community. The  
             instructions in their final form in the Hebrew text employ  
             second-person masculine verb forms, supporting the theory of a  
             male audience. The parenetic framework in chapter 18 (verses 2b- 
             5, 24-30) uses a second-person plural form of address: for  
             example, "You (pl.) shall not do," or "You (pl.) shall keep my  
             statutes." Within the specific laws of chapter 18 (verses 6-23),  
             the second-person masculine singular form is preferred: for  
             example, "You (sing.) shall not uncover your sister's sexual  
             organs." In support of this theory of implied audience, among the  
             injunctions of Leviticus 18 and 20 no woman or group of women is  
             addressed directly. In these chapters, certain women are  
             portrayed as inappropriate partners for intercourse. Within this  
             literary context, women are a topical concern, not the direct  
             recipients of an address. 
             In the final form of Leviticus 18, it is the men of the nation  
             who are commanded in their sexual and procreative capacity to  
             maintain discriminating engagement in sexual intercourse. Since  
             the *bne yisra'el* ("sons of Israel") are potential fathers of the  
             next generation, they must adhere to regulations that ensure the  
             future generation's attributes. As far as the next generation is  
             concerned, they must be numerous (so a citizen must avoid  
             behaviors that waste seed), they must belong to a clear lineage,  
             and they must know who their fathers are. As for the current  
             generation of "sons of Israel" addressed by Leviticus 18, desire  
             shall not be the motivation for their sexual activity. Sexual  
             intercourse shall serve reproduction. A son of Israel's  
             reproductive capacity must be properly channeled so that future  
             generations of descendants have clear, undisputed lineage. 
             Since the inheritance of the land of the Canaanites is given to  
             the "sons of Israel" -- a group defined by descent from a common  
             ancestor -- it is important to keep the definition of that group  
             crystal clear. In passages focused on smaller social divisions,  
             the tribe or the clan is also permanently connected to a plot of  
             land. According to H passages, all divisions of the community are  
             to remain permanently connected to their inheritable property.  
             Since at the level of the clan or the tribe inheritance is  
             dependent upon sons of clear descent, it makes sense that  
             inheritance at a national level is similarly dependent upon sons  
             of clear descent. 
             In the same way, Leviticus 20, in its final form, addresses the  
             nation of the *bne yisra'el* ("sons of Israel") to impress upon  
             each the importance of guarding the disposition of his seed and  
             treating his elders respectfully. It is also crucial that the  
             sojourner who resides in Israel observe the individual  
             stipulations in 20:2ab-6, 9-21, 27. 
             The discourse of Leviticus 20 makes national membership dependent  
             upon adherence to the individual stipulations. Most of the deeds  
             listed will result in permanent loss of national membership for  
             the violator and his descendants. This makes sense because the  
             nation itself can lose its land if these statutes are not  
             observed. Without the land, it ceases to be a nation in the usual  
             In conclusion, I propose that the individual regulations of 18:6- 
             23 and 20:2ab-6, 9-21, 27 as collections reflect a cultural  
             context concerned with the preservation of land-tenure for the  
             clan. Kinship structures have been enlisted in H passages to aid  
             in this. From the study, it appears that certain types of  
             cultural structures (including kinship) have been employed in  
             forging a comprehensive strategy concerned to preserve clan land  
             holdings. Numbers 27 and 36 demonstrate the capacity of H  
             compilers to structure inheritance (Num 27:8-11) and marriage  
             practices (Num 36:8-9). Lev 25:8-55 similarly shows that H  
             compilers will structure redemption arrangements as another  
             strategy to protect the clan's hold on their ancestral property.  
             Lev 18:6-23 and 20 2ab-6, 9-21, 27) represent a strategy to  
             structure sexual practice in order to serve land tenure  
             interests. The two collections of stipulations disallow practices  
             that will waste reproductive potential or will confuse  
             inheritance structures. From these multiple passages and  
             strategies we gain a picture of a culture that will arrange its  
             structures, institutions, and practices to serve the primary need  
             of sufficient permanent land for the clan. As Naboth exclaims at  
             Ahab's suggestion that he sell his land, "YHWH forbid that I  
             should give you my ancestral inheritance" (1 Kgs 21:3). Whatever  
             creative reformulating the community can provide to help clans  
             stay on their ancestral property, well and good. The Holiness  
             Source is consistent throughout the levels of the community's  
             social structure: land tenure shall be protected at the level of  
             the clan (Lev 25:8-55; Num 27:1-11), tribe (Num 36:1-13), and  
             nation (Lev 18:1-30; 20:1-27). 
             As a religious institution, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. no  
             longer follows passages commanding animal sacrifice (some of  
             which are found in Leviticus) in our ritual practices. In the  
             same way, we should reconsider the applicability of biblical  
             prohibitions Lev 18:22 and 20:13. Designed to serve a community  
             in which land ownership was crucial to survival, these verses  
             should not be applied in the same way to a very different  
             communal situation. In the twenty-first century in the United  
             States of America, inheritance structures and ancestral property  
             are no longer driving concerns. In fact, married couples who  
             currently follow practices resulting in many children (an implied  
             goal of Leviticus 18 and 20) are questioned about the ethics of  
             such practices by those concerned about an overpopulated world. 
             We Presbyterians have shown flexibility in appropriating other  
             biblical passages intended for a strikingly different cultural  
             milieu. We refrain from an unquestioning application of these  
             passages to our current situation. However, we have been  
             reluctant to deviate from a rigid adherence to these two verses  
             (Lev 18:22 and 20:13). As a denomination, we would benefit  
             greatly from examining our reluctance to reconsider how these  
             verses should be understood. Historically, Presbyterians have  
             understood that some biblical passages are deeply shaped by the  
             social circumstances which generated them. Consequently, we have  
             avoided applying these unreflectively to current circumstances.  
             As a biblical scholar, I would say that Leviticus 18 and 20 are  
             passages that have been deeply shaped by the social circumstances  
             which generated them. I challenge us to cease declaring these  
             verses to be normative for a strikingly different cultural  
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                 MORE LIGHT PRESBYTERIANS 
                              4737 County Road 101, PMB# 246 
                                 Minnetonka, MN 55345-2634 
                             732-249-1016, http://www.mlp.org 
             NATIONAL FIELD ORGANIZER, Michael J. Adee, M.Div., Ph.D., 369  
             Montezuma Ave., PMB #447, Santa Fe, NM 87501-2626, 505-820-7082,  
             fax 505-820-2540, MichaelAdee@aol.com 
                                       MLP OFFICERS 
             Officers are also MLP Board Members.  The dates following each  
             name indicate the end of current board terms; an "I" indicates  
             board members representing individual members; a "G" indicates  
             board members representing governing body members. 
             CO-MODERATORS: Mitzi Henderson (2001-G), 16 Sunset Lane, Menlo  
             Park, CA 94025-6732, 650-854-2598, fax 650-854-4177,  
             mitzigh@aol.com; William H. Moss (Bill, 2001-I), 535 Steiner St.,  
             San Francisco, CA 94117, 415-864-0477, WHMoss@excite.com 
             COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY: Donna Riley (2002-G), 318 East Capitol  
             St. N.E., #5, Washington, DC 20003, 202-547-7135,  
             RECORDING SECRETARY: Gene Huff (2002-I), 658  25th Ave., San  
             Francisco, CA 94121, 415-668-1145, genehuff@pacbell.net 
             TREASURER: John McNeese (2001-G), 1300 Brighton Ave, Oklahoma  
             City, OK 73120-1404, 405-848-7498, John3317@home.com 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                  MLP Board of Directors 
             James D. Anderson (2001-I), P.O. Box 38, New Brunswick, NJ 08903- 
             0038, 732-249-1016, 732-932-7501 (Rutgers Univ.), FAX 732-932- 
             6916 (Rutgers Univ.), JDA@scils.rutgers.edu 
             Ralph Carter (2003-G), 111 Milburn St., Rochester, NY 14607- 
             2918, 716-271-7649, rcarter@rpa.net 
             Tony De La Rosa (2001-I), 4545 Bedilion St., Los Angeles, CA  
             90032-2001, 213-926-2787, tonydlr@ix.netcom.com 
             Marco Antonio Grimaldo (2003-I), 93 E. Main, #402, Newark, DE  
             19711, 202-607-7629, mgrimaldo@earthlink.net 
             Eunice Poethig (2003-I), 3606 Trail Ridge Rd., Louisville, KY  
             40241-6221, ebpoethig@unidial.com 
             Pat Rickey (2003-I) 13114 Holston Hills, Houston, TX  
             77069, 281-440-0353, 281-440-1902 fax, RickeyMLP@aol.com 
             Bear Ride (2002-G), 1680 N. Holliston Ave., Pasadena, CA 91104,  
             626-398-9936, bears@usc.edu 
             Erin K. Swenson (2003-G) 1071 Delaware Ave. S.E., Atlanta, GA  
             30316-2469, 404-627-4825, ErinSwen@aol.com 
             Robin White (2002-I), 300  Birkwood Pl., Baltimore, MD 21218,  
             410-235-2429 home, 410-435-4330 work, RKayeWhite@aol.com 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                   MLP National Liaisons 
             MORE LIGHT UPDATE, James D. Anderson, Editor, P.O. Box 38, New  
             Brunswick, NJ 08903-0038, 732-249-1016, 732-932-7501 (Rutgers  
             Univ.), FAX 732-932-6916 (Rutgers Univ.),  
             WEBSITE: Donna Riley, 318 East Capitol St. N.E., #5,  
             Washington, DC 20003, 202-547-7135, dmriley@alumni.princeton.edu 
             MLP DATABASE: Dick Lundy, 5525 Timber Ln., Excelsior, MN 55331,  
             952-470-0093 h., dick_lundy@pcusa.org, DLundy@Spacestar.net. 
             PRESBYNET: Bill Capel, 123-R W. Church St., Champaign, IL 61820- 
             3510, 217-355-9825 wk., 352-2298 h., Bill@Capel.com 
             CHAPTERS & LIAISONS: Michael J. Adee, M.Div., Ph.D., 369  
             Montezuma Ave., PMB #447, Santa Fe, NM 87501-2626, 505-820-7082,  
             fax 505-820-2540, MichaelAdee@aol.com 
             CHAPTER CONSULTANT: Gene Huff, 658  25th Ave., San Francisco, CA  
             94121, 415-668-1145, genehuff@pacbell.net 
             SEMINARY & CAMPUS GROUPS: Johanna Bos, Louisville Presbyterian  
             Theological Seminary, 1044 Alta Visa Rd., Louisville, KY 40205- 
             1798, jbos@lpts.edu 
             STRATEGY: Tricia Dykers Koenig, Covenant Network, 3967 Navahoe  
             Rd., Cleveland Heights, OH 44121, 216-658-1770, 216-658-0590  
             (fax), 216-381-0156 (home), triciadk@covenantnetwork.org 
             JUDICIAL ISSUES: Bear Ride, 1680 N. Holliston Ave., Pasadena, CA  
             91104, 626-398-9936, bears@usc.edu; Tony De La Rosa, 4545  
             Bedilion St., Los Angeles, CA 90032-2001, 213-926-2787,  
             tonydlr@ix.netcom.com; Peter Oddleifson, c/o Harris, Beach and  
             Wilcox, 130 E. Main St., Rochester, NY 14604, 716-232-4440 w.,  
             716-232-1573 fax. 
             PRISON MINISTRIES: Jud van Gorder, 915 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz,  
             CA 95060-3440, 831-423-3829. 
             SHOWER OF STOLES PROJECT: Martha G. Juillerat, Director, 57 Upton  
             Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55405, 612-377-8792, StoleProj@aol.com,  
             THAT ALL MAY FREELY SERVE: Jane Adams Spahr, P.O. Box 3707, San  
             Rafael, CA 94912-3707, 415-457-8004, 415-454-2564 fax,  
             JanieSpahr@tamfs.org, http://www.tamfs.org 
             PRESBYTERIAN ACT-UP: Lisa Bove, 1037 N. Ogden, #10, West  
             Hollywood, CA 90046, 323-650-2425, lbove@chla.usc.edu; Howard  
             Warren, Jr., 2807 Somerset Bay, Indianapolis, IN 46240, 317-632- 
             0123 w., 317-253-2377 h. 
             BISEXUAL CONCERNS: The Rev. Kathleen Buckley, 2532 Rosendale Rd.,  
             Schenectady, NY 12309-1312, 518-382-5342; Skidmore College  
             chaplain 518-584-5000 ext 2271, email kbuckley@skidmore.edu;  
             Union College protestant chaplain, 518-388-6618,  
             buckleyk@gar.union.edu; The Rev. Susan Halcomb Craig, c/o United  
             University Church, 817 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007, 213- 
             748-0209 ext. 12, fax 213-748-5531, scraig@usc.edu 
             TRANSGENDER CONCERNS: Erin K. Swenson, 1071 Delaware Ave. S.E.,  
             Atlanta, GA 30316-2469, 404-627-4825, ErinSwen@aol.com 
             YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT CONCERNS: Brian Cave, 199 8th St, Apt. 3,  
             Brooklyn, NY 11215, 718-369-6434, ClemsonBC74@aol.com 
             LATIN AMERICA: The Rev. Tom Hanks, Lavalle 376-2D, 1047 Buenos  
             Aires, Argentina, thanks@thanks.wamani.apc.org 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
             Arkansas: Greg Adams, 314 Steven, Little Rock AR 72205, 501-224- 
             4724, sgadams@Aristotle.net 
             Cascades: Janet Stang, 1244 Looking Glass Way, Central Point, OR  
             97502, 541-664-9189, stangp@transport.com 
             Charlotte: John Barry Mays, 1020 Arosa Ave. #5, Charlotte NC  
             28203, 704-358-8042, amayesd@worldnet.att.net 
             Cincinnati: Hal Porter, 4160 Paddock Rd., Cincinnati OH 45229,  
             513-861-5996, hgporter@hotmail.com 
             Denver: Laurene Lafontaine, 520 Grant St. #2, Denver CO 80209,  
             303-282-5573, lafden@uswest.net 
             Des Moines: Mike Smith, 1211 West St., Grinnell IA 50112, 641- 
             236-7955, michael.d.smith@pcusa.org 
             Detroit: John Lovegren & Dan Isenschmid, 269 McKinley Ave. Grosse  
             Pointe Farms MI 48236, 313-885-9047, pointetox@CompuServe.com 
             East Iowa: Robin and Rick Chambers, 907 Fifth Ave., Iowa City IA  
             52240, 319-354 2765, RChamb2912@aol.com 
             Heartland: Jeff Light, 4433 Campbell, Kansas City MO 64110, 816- 
             561-0555, jefflight@aol.com 
             Indian Nations: John McNeese, P. O. Box 54606, Oklahoma City OK  
             73120, 405-848-2819, John3317@home.com 
             Los Ranchos: Carolyn Ekstrand, 85 Tarocco, Irvine CA 92618, 949- 
             719-7286, burmese_cats@yahoo.com 
             Mid-Kentucky: Michael Purintun, 522 Belgravia Ct. Apt. 2,  
             Louisville KY 40208, 502-637-4734, michaelp@ctr.pcusa.org 
             Milwaukee: John Gregg, 3443 E. Waterford Ave., St. Francis WI  
             53235, 414-486-9939, JOHN_GREGG.parti@ecunet.org 
             Missouri River Valley: Cleve Evans,3810 S. 13th St., #22, Omaha  
             NE 68107, 402-733-1360, cevans@scholars@bellevue.edu 
             National Capital: Jeanne MacKenzie, 725 3rd St. SW, Washington,  
             DC, 202-554-8281, jmackenzie@execware.com 
             New Hope: Jim Foster, 500 Meadow Run Dr., Chapel Hill NC 27514,  
             919-933-0498, j-efoster@mindspring.com 
             Newton: Laura Collins, 1 Wapalanne Rd., Branchville NJ 07826,  
             New Brunswick: Jim Anderson, P. O. Box 38, New Brunswick NJ  
             08903, 732-249-1016, Jda@scils.rutgers.edu 
             New Castle: Patrick Evans, 91 E. Main St., #402, Newark, DE  
             19711, 302-266-9878, pevans@UDel.edu 
             New Covenant: Sara Jean Jackson, 4383 Fiesta Lane, Houston TX  
             77004, 713-748-4025, sjackson@netropolis.net 
             North Puget Sound: George Fuller, 5261 Dunbar St. Vancouver BC  
             V6N 1W1, Canada, 604-261-33417, loisf@interchange.ubc.ca 
             Northern Kansas: Tammy Rider, 3002 SW Randolph, Apt.A. Topeka KS  
             66611, 785-266-6695, TRider7140@aol.com 
             Northern New England: Ken Wolvington, 118 Shore Road, Burlington  
             VT 05401, 802-862-6605, kenwolv@prodigy.net 
             Pacific: Lisa Bove, 570 N. Irving Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90004,  
             323-465-5745, lbove@chla.usc.edu 
             San Gabriel: Charles R. Houdek, 1420 Santo Domingo Ave., Duarte  
             CA 91010, 626-303-5531, crh68@webtv.net 
             San Francisco: Gene Huff, 658 25th Ave. San Francisco CA 94121,  
             415-668-1145, genehuff@pacbell.net 
             San Jose: Marcia Ludwig, 6247 Shady Grove Dr., Cupertino CA  
             95014, 408-255-8467, church@fpcsj.org; Derrick Kikuchi, 29 Mar  
             Vista Ct., Daly City CA 94014-1414, 415-586-1416,  
             Seattle:  Lindsay Thompson, 200 W. Mercer St. Suite 207, Seattle  
             WA 98119, 206-285-4130, tradelaw@thompson-law.com 
             Shenandoah: John E. Harris, 572 Atwood Drive, Gerrardstown WV  
             25420, 304-229-9227, john.harris1@ecunet.org 
             Southern Louisiana: Ellen Morgan, 2285 Cedardale, Baton Rouge LA  
             70808, 504-344-3930 
             Southern New England: Jack Hartwein-Sanchez, 149 Bramble Way,  
             Tiverton RI 02878, 401-624-6698, jackmlp@earthlink.net 
             Utica: Judith A. Westerhoff, 33 Mulberry St., Utica NY 13323,  
             315-853-6272, Br0adcloth@aol.com (first "o" is the number zero) 
             Western Kentucky: Michael Erwin, 426 St. Ann St., Owensboro KY  
             42303, 270-683-6836, pastor@centralpchurch.org 
             Winnebago: Dick Winslow, 111 E. Water St. #100, Appleton WI  
             54911, 414-731-0892, rwinslow@athenet.net 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                                       MLP Chapters 
             MLP chapters provide an opportunity for local lesbian, gay,  
             bisexual and transgender Presbyterians and their straight allies  
             to come together regularly to carry out a variety of functions  
             and tasks which are seen to be important and appropriate for a  
             particular area.  Some are large; others are small.  Most meet  
             monthly, some less often but are always on call for taking on  
             strategic tasks.  All are able to provide strong personal support  
             to their members for the individual journeys they travel at this  
             point in their lives and in the life of the Presbyterian Church.   
             Chapters themselves decide what specific tasks and roles they  
             wish to take on, based on the stated mission of MLP.  
             For information about organizing a chapter, please refer to our  
             brief statement called "Tips for Organizing a MLP Chapter."  It is  
             found on our web page (http://www.mlp.org) or can be secured  
             along with other advice from our national field organizer Michael  
             Adee (369 Montezuma Ave., PMB #447, Santa Fe, NM 87501-2626, 505- 
             820-7082, fax 505-820-2540, MichaelAdee@aol.com).  Corrections  
             and other changes in the chapter information listings should be  
             sent to Michael. 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                               Seminary and Campus Chapters 
             LIAISON: Johanna Bos, Louisville Presbyterian Theological  
             Seminary, 1044 Alta Visa Rd., Louisville, KY 40205-1798,  
             CHICAGO THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY: Heyward / Boswell Society. Marilyn  
             Nash, 5757  South University Ave.,  Chicago, IL 60637,  
             COLUMBIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY: Imago Dei, Andrew Foster Connors,  
             404-377-2205, connors@mindspring.com; Katie Ricks, 404/377-9531,  
             AuntKatieR@aol.com, Columbia Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 520,  
             Decatur, GA  30031. 
             Johanna Bos, 1044 Alta Vista Dr., Louisville, KY 40205, 502-8985- 
             3411, jbos@lpts.edu 
             McCORMICK THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY: Acts 10:15, McCormick Theological  
             Seminary, Tanya Denley, 1047 E. Hyde Park Blvd., Basement,  
             Chicago, IL 60615, tdenley@juno.com; James Hicks, 1519 W.  
             Rosemont Ave. #2W, Chicago, IL 60660, 773-338-5278,  
             PRINCETON: BGLASS, Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight  
             Seminarians, c/o Christine Gannon, SBN 430, Princeton Theological  
             Seminary, Box 5204, Princeton, NJ 08543, 609-497-9024,  
             Presbyterians.  Shelly Holle, 2 Kensington Rd., San Anselmo, CA  
             94960, 415-482-0283, SHolle@sfts.edu; Mary Davis, 563 St. Mary  
             Dr., Santa Rosa, CA 95409, 707-537-1133, mrydavis@aol.com; Pam  
             Lupfer, 25 Richmond Rd., #303, San Anselmo, CA 94960, 415-457- 
             7906, loopslair@aol.com; Tim Shipe, timothyshipe@hotmail. 
             UNION-PSCE: Whosoever More Light Chapter, Union-PSCE, c/o Jason  
             B. Crawford, 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA 23227,  
             MACPROTESTANTS AT MACALESTER COLLEGE: Macprotestants, Lucy  
             Forster-Smith, Chaplain, 1600 
             Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105, 651-696-6298 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                              Presbytery & Regional Chapters 
                         Persons listed are moderators or contact 
                                 persons for each chapter. 
             BOSTON AND NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND: Ken Wolvington, 118 Shore Rd.,  
             Burlington, VT 05401-2658, 802-862-6605, ken.wolvington@pcusa.org 
             SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND: Jack Hartwein-Sanchez, 149 Bramble Way,  
             Tiverton, RI 02878, 401-624-6698. 
             NEW JERSEY: James D. Anderson, P.O. Box 38, New Brunswick, NJ  
             08903-0038, 732-249-1016, JDA@scils.rutgers.edu 
             MONMOUTH (NEW JERSEY): Linda Rogers, Toms River, NJ, 732-473- 
             9155, mail via More Light Presbyterians, P.O. Box 38, New  
             Brunswick, NJ 08903-0038. 
             GENESEE VALLEY: Kay Wroblewski, 74 Freemont Rd., Rochester, NY  
             14612, 716-663-6632; Ralph Carter, 111 Millburn St., Rochester,  
             NY 14607-2918, 716-271-7649, rcarter@rpa.net 
             NEW CASTLE PRESBYTERY (Delaware): Patrick Evans, 91 E. Main St.,  
             #402, Newark, DE 19711, 302-266-9878, pevans@UDel.edu 
             PITTSBURGH: Robert J. Boston, Moderator, P. O. Box 15784,  
             Pittsburgh, PA  15244, 412-795-0828. 
             LAKE ERIE: Evan Marie McJunkin, 5440 Washington Ave., Erie, PA   
             16509, 814-864-1920., evan@erie.net 
             DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: "Open Doors," Dana vanBever, 3500 Russell  
             Road, Alexandria, VA 22305, 703-683-2644, jdvangreen@aol.com;  
             Jeanne MacKenzie, 725 3rd St., SW, Washington, DC 202-554-8281,  
             EASTERN VIRGINIA: Carol Bayma, 4937 Olive Grove Ln. Virginia  
             Beach, VA 23455-5218, 757-497-6584, Carol and Alice@gateway.net 
             TRIANGLE (NORTH CAROLINA): James R. Foster, 500 Meadow Run Dr.,  
             Chapel Hill, NC 27514-8022, 919-933-0498, j-efoster@mindspring.com;  
             Jack Cover, Chairperson, 919-933-0498. 
             CHARLOTTE: John Barry Mayes, 1020 Arosa Ave. #5, Charlotte, NC  
             28203 704-358-8042; Gwen and Cullen Ferguson, Chapter  
             Coordinators, www.gaycharlotte.com/morelight, mlpcharlotte- 
             owner@yahoogroups.com, amayesd@worldnet.att.net 
             NORTHERN OHIO: George Smith, 13349 Spruce Run Dr., Apt. 103,  
             North Royalton, OH  44133, 440-230-1301,  
             GeoEMSmith@aol.com; Carole R. Minor, 339 St. Leger Ave. Akron, OH   
             CENTRAL INDIANA: Howard Warren, Jr. 2807 Somerset Bay,  
             Indianapolis, IN 46240, 317-253-2377. 
             DETROIT / SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN: John Lovegren & Dan Isenschmid,  
             269 McKinley Ave, Grosse Pointe Farms,MI, 48236, 313-885-9047,  
             LAKE MICHIGAN PRESBYTERY: Rev. Janet Duggins, Westminster  
             Presbyterian Church, 1515 Helen Avenue, Portage, MI 49002 
             MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN: Dick Myers, 549 West Manor Circle, Bayside,  
             WI 53217- 1735; 414-228-7466, dmyers@execpc.com; John N. Gregg,  
             3443 E. Waterford Ave., St. Francis, WI 53235, 414-486-9939,  
             CENTRAL ARKANSAS: Greg Adams, 314 Steven, Little Rock, AR 72205,  
             501-224-4724, sgadams@Aristotle.net 
             LOUISIANA: Ellen Morgan, 2285 Cedardale, Baton Rouge, LA 70808,  
             OKLAHOMA: John McNeese, 1300 Brighton Ave, Oklahoma City, OK  
             73120-1404, 405-848-7498, John3317@home.com 
             GREATER HOUSTON: Lynn Johnson, 1625 Harold, Houston, TX 77006,  
             713-523-5222, tilj1@aol.com; Sara Jean Jackson, 4383 Fiest Lane,  
             Houston, TX 77004, 713-748-4025, sjackson@netropolis.net; Pat and  
             Gail Rickey, 13114 Holston Hills, Houston, TX 77069, 281-440- 
             0353, RickeyMLP@aol.com 
             GRACE PRESBYTERY (Dallas / Fort Worth, TX): Jean Martin, 1220  
             Brookside Dr., Hurst,TX 76053, 817-282-7449. 
             GRAND CANYON: Kimberly Murman, 303 E. Patrician Drive, Tempe, AZ  
             85282, 480-967-2767 kmurman@worldnet.att.net ; Rosemarie Wallace,  
             710 West Los Lagos Vista, Mesa AZ 85210, forster@asu.edu 
             NORTHERN NEW MEXICO (Santa Fe Presbytery): Jeanne and David  
             McGown, 2751 Via Caballero Del Sur, Santa Fe, NM 87505, 505-471- 
             LOS RANCHOS (ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA): Linda A. Malcor, P.O.  
             Box 749, Laguna Beach, CA  92652, 949-425-9979,  
             Legend@malcor.com. Our meetings are usually on the 2nd Saturday  
             of each month.  Check our webiste at  
             http://DRAGONLORDS.dragonfire.net/mlpoc.htm for details! 
             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
                            MASTHEAD (Publication Information) 
             MORE LIGHT UPDATE, Volume 21, Number 5, May-June 2001.   
             ISSN 0889-3985.  Published bimonthly by More Light Presbyterians  
             (for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns), an  
             organization of Ministers, Elders, Deacons, Members,  
             Congregations and other Governing Bodies of the Presbyterian  
             Church (U.S.A.).  Elder James D. Anderson, Editor, P.O. Box 38,  
             New Brunswick, NJ 08903-0038, 732-249-1016, 732-932-7501 (Rutgers  
             University), fax 732-932-6916 (Rutgers University), Internet:  
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             corrected version 4-22-01