He echoed the party line spoken right after its approval in 2006,
We have the same standards," Kirkpatrick continued, "and now a process that encourages a more pastoral approach to ordination and encourages our governing bodies to do thorough work in examining people for office."
Gray underscored Kirkpatrick's comments, "Our standards have not changed. The Book of Order has not changed.
Oh the difference a few months make. It is amazing that such things could be said when at the very time it was happening we had a minister member of Redwoods Presbyter, Ms. Kathleen Morrison living in her committed relationship. It is even more amazing considering the once Rev. Scott Anderson, and perennial presence at General Assemblies, had once more tossed his hat into the ordination ring, seeking to become an inquirer.
This next week will even test our outgoing Stated Clerk's statement more. A lesbian Presbyterian minister, serving in Redwoods Presbytery is going to participate in a "same-sex blessing ceremony". Significant is that the ceremony is for her and her partner. I wonder what we do with Presbytery's who do not take seriously enforcement of our ordination vows since in the same article in the LA Times it describes her relationship as being 10-years old.
Elsewhere, San Francisco Presbytery votes Tuesday on ordaining Lisa Larges who is in a covenantal relationship according to the Witherspoon website. Salt in the wound for this event is that it occurs in my home church where I was raised in the faith, and in which I took my trials of ordination.
Then to top it off we have a declaration of a scruple by former Rev. Dr. Paul Capetz . This special meeting of the Presbytery of Twin Cities will decide whether or not to reinstate Dr. Capetz to the ministry of Word and Sacrament. He says he doesn't agree with G-6.0106b but that in every other way he meets the requirement of the same.
Nothing has changed, but we are ordaining practicing homosexual persons to the office of minister in spite of our Book of Order.
Nothing has changed, but we "bless" these same-sex relationships within the context of a worshiping community.
Nothing has changed, but we entertain scruples about whether or not portions of our Book of Order is indeed essential to accept and practice.
Here's how it will pan out in the short term. The blessing of Ms. Bove will go ahead and be praised as a wonderful inclusive time of affirmation for her chosen life. Ms. Larges will most likely be accepted to move ahead to her "trials" by a narrow margin. It will depend on if the conservative congregations attend the meeting. An Dr. Capetz will be welcomed back into the ministry. I hope I'm wrong.