By Gregg Brekke, The Presbyterian News Service.
The Executive Committee of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (PMAB) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) met for its annual retreat at the offices of the Presbytery of Philadelphia (Pa.), July 22-24. In addition to business items addressed, the committee participated in four site visits, learning more about ministry initiatives in the Philadelphia area.
The first reported action of the committee was a response to a request for the use of the chapel at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville to conduct a same-gender marriage. The committee approved the request, saying its use was “consistent with the center’s chapel and building use policy, for any couple bearing a lawfully issued marriage license.”
Since the PCUSA moved its headquarters to Louisville in 1987 at least eight couples have been married at the Presbyterian Center. Seven of those marriage ceremonies took place in the chapel, which completed construction in 1995.
This authorization follows a resolution approved by the 221st General Assembly in 2014, and adopted by a vote of the presbyteries in early 2015, allowing same-gender marriages in Presbyterian contexts and also with last month’s Supreme Court ruling removing restrictions on same-gender marriages nation-wide.