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Episcopal, Presbyterian Churches to Debate Same-Sex Marriage, Gay Ordination

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Jun 27
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The Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will both be debating gay marriage issues in the coming week, and any decisions made may have far-reaching consequences, the Christian Post reports. Both denominations have around 1.9 million members in America and both have been experiencing divisions over the ordination of homosexual clergy and the acceptance of same-sex unions. Congregations have split over the issues, with some insisting that the church should become more gay-affirming and others holding firm to the traditional definition of marriage. "The marriage issue, depending on how the vote goes, has the potential to be very, very distressing to some of our congregations," said the Rev. Sheldon Sorge, pastor to the Pittsburgh Presbytery. "It would not surprise me at all if some congregations would see [approval of same-sex unions] as the straw that broke the camel's back for them to leave the denomination." Dozens of congregations have already left the PCUSA since it approved gay ordination last year, and many have also left the Episcopal Church  -- which has been blessing gay and lesbian couples for decades -- for its increasingly liberal theology. The PCUSA will gather to discuss blessings for same-sex couples in church from June 30 to July 7, and the Episcopal Church will host its triennial General Convention in Indianapolis from July 5 to 12.