The Presbyterian Church (USA) is expected to approve rule changes that would allow gays to be ordained ministers, a move members had contentiously rejected just two years ago.
What's the reaction locally? The minister of one Houston church has sent out a letter urging calm. Mike Cole, general presbyter of the New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Montrose, says to take a deep breath or two, or three, or four...:
There will be many in our presbytery who will rejoice and many who will be distressed...My pastoral encouragement is for all of us to practice mutual forebearance in humility with one another recognizing that this represents a major shift in our approach to potential ordinations. My other encouragement is for all of us to breathe deeply (multiple times), pray fervently (constantly) and react moderately (as often as possible) as we live into this new emerging reality.
The new rules take out language that required a potential minister to "live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness."
It does not require churches to ordain gays, it simply removes a ban from them doing so.
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How will New Covenant act? "That is a question to be answered by all of us," Cole wrote to members, "as we work together over the months and years ahead."
In another letter, he also warned members that you could expect reporters to mess everything up as usual.
"I consider it likely that there will be some sensationalized headlines, articles and reporting from the news media that may or may not get the facts and the effects of this action correct," he wrote.