By Charlie Brennan, The Boulder Daily Camera (Colorado)
The First Presbyterian Church of Boulder is asking its congregation to vote on whether to end affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA), in favor of a California-based evangelical Presbyterian association that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
The First Presbyterian Church of Boulder, 1820 15th St., well known for a large-scale feed of Boulder’s homeless population every Thanksgiving, had originally been scheduled to take a vote of its congregation Feb. 22, but that was postponed due to weather.
And although absentee voting has been ongoing, the bulk of the balloting is now scheduled for its services on Sunday.
The Rev. Erik Hanson, lead pastor of the church, denied in an interview Friday that seeking a new affiliation for the downtown church is spurred primarily by the same-sex marriage issue — despite what some of its 1,500 congregants might believe.
“This has not been the driving wedge for us,” said Hanson, who came to Boulder from Berkeley, Calif., in 2012. “There are people in our church convinced that is the driving wedge and we’re just not being honest about it. I just don’t know what to do about that … . It’s more complicated than that.”
The church website carries extensive discourse around the re-affiliation process and the reasoning that has brought the parish to this juncture. “Same-sex marriage” is not a phrase that appears in its online discussions.