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Articles on General Assembly Actions

by on July 2, 2014

221 ga logoFriends of Faith Presbyterian, Pueblo Presbytery, and Other Interested Parties,

Since the 221st General Assembly concluded June 21st scores of news articles and opinion pieces have been written about the two most controversial actions, namely concerning same-sex marriage and divestment. I have spent several hours reading everything I could find and have narrowed them down to the following articles that I believe are best. Much of what I have read has been inaccurate, misinformed, distorted, or sensational.

The criteria for inclusion on this list include:

  • That the articles are respectful, accurate, and fair
  • I have given insiders’ (Presbyterian and faith-based sources) perspectives priority over outsiders’ (mainstream press)
  • I have generally avoided explicitly advocacy groups
  • Many of these articles I have culled from Facebook friends I trust

If you would like to suggest additional articles I should include, please feel free, but only if they contribute something new and generally fit the criteria above. Please check back regularly if you are interested, as I will add articles as I find them. And please feel free to share the link to this list broadly.

I do not encourage you to read any comments that might follow the articles. Generally speaking, the comments depart, often significantly, from the “respectful, accurate, and fair” criterion above.

The list has three sections: the actions of the GA in general; divestment; and same-sex marriage. I have introduced each article with a very brief description of its value.

In General

The official PCUSA news agency summary in bulletin-insert fashion. http://www.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/oga/pdf/assembly-in-brief-ga221_combined.pdf

Lengthy, analytical summary. http://kekovacs.blogspot.com/2014/06/abounding-in-hope.html

A pastoral letter to those on the “losing side” encouraging faith and ongoing dialogue. http://improvisewip.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/a-little-open-letter-moving-forward-in-hope-and-love-after-ga221/

A pastoral letter reminding us that the sky isn’t falling. http://helpingmyunbelief.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/should-death-await/

Letter from a Presbytery Executive (regional head) summarizing the most controversial GA actions and reminding us that we are all in this together. http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2014/06/presbyterian_leader_pens_lette.html

NEW: Nice take on how diversity with unity may still prevail. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/henry-g-brinton/presbyterian-church-fight_b_5556035.html

Divestment

A good summary with the full text of the GA action. http://jhbelljr.net/2014/06/21/pcusa-divestment/

From the NY Times, a general and accurate description. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/21/us/presbyterians-debating-israeli-occupation-vote-to-divest-holdings.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

A balanced summary from Israeli paper Ha-Aretz. http://www.haaretz.com/mobile/1.600148

Official letter from PCUSA to American Jews assuring them of our good will and commitment. http://www.pcusa.org/news/2014/6/26/open-letter-pcusa-us-our-american-jewish-partners/?utm_content=bufferdd72f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

A Jewish voice of support and hope regarding GA decision to divest, including an appreciative list of positive statements the GA made. http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/06/23/the-presbyterian-divestment-vote-toward-a-new-model-of-community-relations/#.U6yg_QDZiDM.facebook

From a Jewish Rabbi putting in perspective the strategy of divestment. http://velveteenrabbi.blogs.com/blog/2014/06/caterpillar-et-al.html

Perspective from a Jewish organization sympathetic to PCUSA’s decision. http://peacenow.org/entry.php?id=6457#.U7JD_vldWSr

An understanding voice from Lebanon. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2014/Jun-25/261466-the-presbyterian-church-takes-a-stand-on-israel.ashx#axzz36Br3TiZg

Though from an advocacy group, it gives helpful details about the three companies from which we have divested. http://presbypeacefellowship.org/divestmentrelease#.U7JEXPldWSo

Other companies from which we’ve divested. http://www.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/mrti/pdfs/2014_ga_divestment_list-long_form-final.pdf

Same Sex Marriage

A letter from conservative advocacy groups in the PCUSA urging faith and patience. http://www.pfrenewal.org/issues/428-pastoral-letter-pfr-fellowship

From the head of the Fellowship of Presbyterians, PCUSA churches that share the same concerns as those congregations that have left. http://pres-outlook.org/2014/06/journey-ahead-us-thoughts-evangelical-remaining-pcusa/

Official PCUSA news agency summary.

http://www.pcusa.org/news/2014/6/19/assembly-approves-allowing-pastors-perform-same-ge/

Our decision relative to other denominations’ positions. http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2014/06/19/3451183/nations-largest-presbyterian-denomination-now-allows-same-sex-marriage/

Summary of GA action and how we compare to other denominations on the topic. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/19/presbyterian-church-gay-marriage_n_5512756.html

Address by Mark Achtemeier who wrote The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage. Provides a very brief outline/introduction of the book. http://covnetpres.org/2014/06/will-know-fruits/

A post from a friend who recognizes as I do that the new minority can learn from the new majority on how to be in a church despite disagreement. http://mollyfide.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/hoping-through-the-pain/

From an expert on young adults on whether we will ultimately decline or grow as a result of these decisions. http://www.christiancentury.org/blogs/archive/2014-06/why-pcusa-can-grow-because-marriage-equality

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One Comment
  1. Thank you for considering my work respectful, accurate and fair. That means a lot to me.

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