Magazine article The Christian Century

PCUSA Committee Wary of Sexual Issues

Magazine article The Christian Century

PCUSA Committee Wary of Sexual Issues

Article excerpt

Trying to salvage a troubled report on rebuilding urban community life in the U.S., the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has removed a section on the issue of sexual orientation. The committee, which met in Louisville, Kentucky, January 14-17, relegated the divisive issue to a section near the end of its 70-page policy statement, adding it to a list of issues that should be addressed at some point in the future. The document, "Building Community Among Strangers," and recommendations growing out of it are to be presented to the denomination's upcoming General Assembly in Fort Worth, Texas.

The committee voted unanimously to eliminate a brief section that concluded: "To build community, we will need to do a lot of listening inside and outside the church: to gay and lesbian persons, and to those among us who are pained at challenges to their understanding and interpretation that scriptures condemn homosexuality." Argued committee member Laverne Feaster of Little Rock, Arkansas: "This document is so important that we shouldn't let this issue dominate it." Donald Shriver, the committee's chairman, concurred. "I agree that we should gently push aside this section of the report," he said, "but lift it up as an issue the church still needs to face. …

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