Since the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s approval of Amendment 14F on March 17, the offices of the Presbyterian Lay Committee (PLC) have received numerous calls for help from pastors, elders and church members.
In response the PLC has created a “PCUSA Marriage Resources” page on its web site, The Layman Online.
The approval of Amendment 14F by a majority of PCUSA presbyteries s ratified the decision of the 2014 General Assembly to change the definition of marriage from between “a man and a woman” to “between two persons, traditionally a man and a woman,” thereby expanding same-sex marriages in the PCUSA beyond what is currently allowed through the Authoritative Interpretation (AI) issued by the same assembly. That AI already allows ministers in states where same sex marriage, to officiate at weddings for same sex couples.
In an article posted on the resource page, PLC President Carmen Fowler LaBerge wrote that “Almost immediately after the 86th affirmative vote was cast and the language related to marriage was formally amended in theBook of Orderthe phone started ringing. I have now heard from more than a dozen pastors who received reassuring calls from presbytery representatives saying essentially, ‘Don’t worry, we know you don’t believe in same-sex marriage and we’re not going to make you perform them.’”
The very fact that these pastors were even receiving such a call, she said “is an indication that these pastors have been identified by their presbyteries as ‘oppositional’ on this issue. Some Presbyterian Church (USA) pastors have wondered aloud what they can do to further protect themselves and their local church from the demand to perform a same-sex wedding.”
The PLC’s marriage resources page is an attempt provide the resources needed by churches to navigate through the changing landscape of both the PCUSA and the nation as marriage laws are being amended in many states throughout the country. The page will be updated frequently as new resources are made available.
Currently, the resource page includes a video from LaBerge, sample resolutions for church members and sessions in support of traditional marriage and articles, commentary and analysis on the issue.
The page can be accessed through this link.