Monday, July 04, 2005

UCC Declares Independence

IN an apparent move to distance themselves from Scripture, Tradition and Reason, the news officers of the United Church in Christ signifies "We're number 1!" Having a good time spoofing the publicity they acheived with their ad which took all other denominations to task for discriminating against people of color, "othjerly abled" and gays (we missed the apology to their ecumenical partners if they issued one), their web site has been showing pictures of the bouncers from that spot, as well as images of Sponge Bob (their leader, JOhn Thomas, had done a media dust-up wiht Focus on the Family).

So, their official word to the world is "the UCC's General Synod took a significant step toward becoming the first mainline Christian body to offer its endorsement of full marriage equality -- regardless of gender -- when a resolution in support of "equal marriage rights for all ..."

Marriage equality endorsed by committee
Contributed by Irwin Smallwood
Monday, 04 July 2005

Late Sunday afternoon, the UCC's General Synod took a significant step toward becoming the first mainline Christian body to offer its endorsement of full marriage equality -- regardless of gender -- when a resolution in support of "equal marriage rights for all" made its way out of committee by an overwhelming margin.
The religious wresting now moves to full plenary session, where all delegates will take up the issue on Monday morning.

Although the committee’s action was not unexpected, the near-unanimous decision was considered a surprise of sorts. Of the 54 delegates voting, by voice, only two or three nays were heard. The result turned the large conference room into a chapel of restrained thanksgiving, with delegates and visitors joining hands and singing a benediction.

The committee – led through a complicated process by the Rev. Elizabeth Nordbeck, professor of theology at UCC-related Andover Newton Theological School in Massachusetts – was charged with the task of leading consideration of three diverging resolutions on marriage. In the end, the committee recommended that two of the more like-minded measures be combined into one and affirmed by delegates.

The main body of the combined resolution came from the Southern California –Nevada Conference. The spirit of a resolution from the Central Atlantic Conference calling for more study of the issue was written into it after its presenters expressed their desire to join in support of the Southern California – Nevada’s proposal.

The third proposed resolution, which sought to define marriage as “between one man and one woman with no exceptions,” will be forwarded to the plenary with the recommendation that it be rejected. It actually evoked almost as much debate in open forum as the resolution that passed. And the vote to recommend its rejection was nearly unanimous, with only a handful of nays and a couple of abstentions.

Although it includes a wide range of recommendations, the marriage equality proposal’s main thrust declares that “the government should not interfere with couples regardless of gender who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities and commitment of legally recognized marriage…”

A recast portion of the proposed resolution, crafted to include the essence of Central Atlantic’s original document, “calls upon all settings of the United Church of Christ to engage in serious, respectful and prayerful discussion of the covenantal relationship of marriage and equal rights for couples regardless of gender.”

The most substantive change in the resolution to be considered Monday came in response to concerns from delegates in areas of the country that are expected to have difficulty receiving marriage equality affirmations. The seven main points of the original equal marriage rights proposal were reordered, putting first the four emphases that called upon the denomination to bear witness to the wider world.

Then a transitional sentence was inserted before the final three points that call upon the church to look inward in study and prayer. It read, “In recognition that these resolutions may not reflect the views or current understanding of all bodies in the gathered church, the General Synod encourages the following…”

On Sunday evening, the UCC’s Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns sang songs of praise as an estimated 3,000 delegates and visitors made their way into evening worship

The story


Anonymous said...

So what did they decide about the Lordship of Jesus Christ? My guess is that they rejected it, especially given this news.

Rob Buechler

Anonymous said...

Oh PuhLEEZE. The United Church of Christ certainly believes in the lordship of Christ. For the record, we also believe that all of God's children are equal, homosexuality is not a sin nor a choice, and justice is a primary role of the church (alongside worship and evangelism).

Rejecting your view of Christ is more like it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote: "Rejecting your view of Christ is more like it. "

This at least is true! We do not have the same God, nor do we recognize the same Christ, nor do we recognize the same authority in Scripture.

Now to the question, did the UCC decide to adopt the resolution that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, or not? I am awaiting a response. It would seem not, since I have heard nothing about that resolution.

Peace in the Lord Jesus, not lord!
Rob Buechler

Shellfish said...

What the UCC did was to vote to keep using their old logo which has a cross in it and deleted the language that put teeth in the recommendation, that is, that clergy had tro subscribe to set beliefs.

They in fact did worse than previously expected.

Please, anonymous, this is not a slam against you. We are simply noting the advance of what is going on in the mainline. It seems that God has removed his hedge of protection and allowing the Enemy to sift you.

BTW, you guys look awful happy in the pics at your assembly in June. What a PR job. Would have been good if you would of shown a few more people wringing their hands and pointing their figures and a feww less puppets and people in costume. But what fun would that be?

The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...