The 2014 “Clerk’s Annual Questionnaire,” prepared by the denomination’s Research Services, includes a section on “Same-sex marriage,” and includes the following questions:
- “During 2014, were there any marriage ceremonies conducted in your church or on your church property? If Yes, how many marriage ceremonies were conducted in your church or on your property? If Yes, how many of those were between couples of the same sex? (if none, enter zero or “0”)”
- During 2014, did your pastor/pastors conduct any marriage ceremonies at locations other than a church property? If Yes, how many marriage ceremonies were performed at locations that were not a church property? If Yes, how many of those marriages were between couples of the same sex? (if none, enter zero or “0”)”
Research Services says it is asking the questions to “collect data for a research project to track the number of same-sex marriage occurring as a result of the vote by the 221st General Assembly.” It also states that the information from individual churches or pastors will not be shared with the public, only the aggregated data.
The 2014 assembly took two actions on marriage during its meeting. The first was approving an Authoritative Interpretation that allows PCUSA pastors to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies in states where it is legal. The action also allows the ceremonies to take place on church property.
The second GA vote approved an amendment to change the definition of marriage in the denomination’s constitution from being between a “man and a woman” to begin between “two people.” PCUSA presbyteries across the nation are now in the process of voting to approve or disapprove of the GA’s actions. As of 1/21/15, the vote stands at 15 in favor and 10 against.
The “Clerk’s annual questionnaire” is developed annually by Research Services and sent to PCUSA congregations as a supplement to the “Session annual statistical report.” Different topics are covered each year. Previous years’ questionnaires and their results include:
- 2012 Clerk’s Annual Questionnaire (includes questions on Guest Preachers, 1001 New Worshiping Communities, Presbyterian Publishing, Mission Resources, World Mission, Theology and Worship, Bequests and Major Gifts and Other Financial Information)
- 2011 Clerk’s Annual Questionnaire (includes questions on Guest Preachers, Transfer of Members, Immigrants, World Mission, Self-Development of People, Communication and Funds Development, Economic Issues, Special Offerings, Congregational Endowments, Bequests and Major Gifts and Other Financial Information)
- 2010 Clerk’s Annual Questionnaire (includes questions on Guest Preachers, Environmental Ministries, Mission, Music Ministgries, Congregational History, Hymnals, Financial Information)
- 2009 Clerk’s Annual Questionnaire (includes questions on Guest Preachers, Hunger Ministries, World Mission, Collegiate Ministries, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, Seminaries and Theological Education, Financial Information)
- Earlier questionnaires (scroll down for 2008,-2005 questionnaires.)