Saturday, February 21, 2009

This is the time…

In the votes to date, fifteen presbyteries that voted “No” on the last attempt to delete G-6.0106b, have reconsidered and voted “Yes” in favor of 08-B. To date, there have been no reversals of previous “Yes” votes.

There is a shift underway, which can be seen even in the ties and close votes that have moved toward ratification A shift that emphasizes the real chance we have of embracing the recommendation of the 218th General Assembly to ratify of 08-B.

Across the national church, progressive organizations are faithfully at work, reaching out to minister members (active and retired) and elder commissioners of every presbytery. We ask you to join us in contacting all who have yet to hold their presbytery meetings, encouraging them to attend their gatherings and vote. We also ask that you extend to them the resources that are available from every major progressive group to assist in their discernment process. (Attached is an extensive packet from More Light Presbyterians that is comprehensive and very helpful.)

It is important to know that in each progressive group, individuals are prepared to talk with you and others you suggest, ready to answer questions and provide support. We welcome those who are in favor of ratification, and we respect those who are unable to support the position for change. Be assured that everyone is honored with such respect and courtesy. Christian ethics and practices never cease; during such times, they are critical. This is about the Church of Jesus Christ, the Body of Christ and our relationship with one another – differences and all – in a church that is near to welcoming our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender sisters and brothers as never before.

Please Help in Welcoming Unity and Healing:
The real work of unity and healing will follow the ratification of 08. We need you to help end this forty-one year struggle and usher in a new time. Here are some of the things you can do:

1. If you are able, be a voice in small groups and on the floor of your presbytery. Contact us if you would like help in ideas in participating in this way.

2. Please take note of the upcoming presbytery meetings. If you are a member of any of these presbyteries, contact minister members (active and retired), Elder commissioners, Commissioned Lay Pastors, and all those who might vote. Dialogue with them, encouraging them to attend the presbytery meeting (offer to travel with them, if you can), and extend to them the resources that are available.

3. If you know others in different presbyteries that might be willing to support the ratification of 08-B, reach out to them, asking them to attend their meeting and vote.

4. Send the attached resource packet from More Light Presbyterians to all those you think may find it helpful.

5. If you have someone you would like contacted, reach out to one of the progressive partners of let us know. We are ready to speak with them them.

6. If you know anyone in your or other presbyteries that may need a ride to a meeting, contact us. We are creating a network to make sure that anyone who wishes to get to a meeting, requires child care, or has other special needs are accommodated so they are able to vote.

If there is anything else you can think of, let me know or contact any of your friends within the progressive groups that are listed below or others in your regional areas. Everyone is ready to help.

We have until May 18th to enter into the promise of this kairos, a passage that will lead us to a time of unity and healing, embracing the teachings of Jesus AND one another, extending the gifts and energies of all into a world that needs us, more than we know.

Blessing upon you all,

Ray Bagnuolo 914 682 3659
Minister-at-Large Presbytery of Hudson River; Member of the Board of More Light Presbyterians

Contact Information

Covenant Network Tricia Dykers Koenig

More Light Presbyterian Resource Packet on 08-B on the website Debra Peevey

Presbyterian Welcome Comprehensive and up-to-date information on the vote

That All May Freely Serve

Witherspoon Society

Prebytery Votes for 2/20-2/21/09

At Friday and Saturday presbytery meetings, these presbyteries' results have been announced:
Yes Votes:
Arkansas (a reversal): 116 yes - 64 no
Eastern Oregon: 22 yes - 6 no
Giddings-Lovejoy: 125 yes - 83 no
Greater Atlanta (a reversal): 243 yes - 233 no - 5 Abstentions
John Knox: 39 yes - 13 no
Mid-Kentucky: 90 yes - 19 no
New Hope (a reversal): 177 yes - 139 no - 1 abstention
Ohio Valley (reversal): 57 yes - 44 no
Sante Fe: 110 yes - 23 no
Tres Rios (a reversal): 37 yes- 34 no

No Votes
Homestead: 37 yes - 40 no
The James: 125 yes - 192 no
Lake Erie: 32 yes - 58 no
North Alabama: 30 yes - 48 no
Sacramento: 65 yes - 75 no
Tropical Florida: 21 yes - 93 no

So far, 15 presbyteries have reversed their positions since their last G-6.0106b-related vote

As of this note:
34 Yes - 45 No

A Note:
Such a close votes, once again, point to the work that will follow the ratification of this amendment. Passage will usher in a time of unity and healing, more than any celebration of victory. The reason for eliminating the exisitng G-6.0106b is to be able to move forward in our church and this world in the ways we have been called to serve, without the barriers that have been erected to separate us.

Ratification is a critical step to the unity of this church and our message to those seeking to follow the teachings of Jesus in their lives.

Please continue to pray with us for a time when such healing and welcoming are the gifts we share with all.