Saturday, March 10, 2001

Crestview representative ready to listen

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Rev. Gary Califf has spent the past months helping Crestview Presbyterian Church study a proposed amendment to ban same-sex unions.

        “Middle of the road” is how he describes the West Chester congregation of more than 900 members. But he said they have prayed, studied and meditated on the issue.

        “I don't think you can really legislate theology and that's what we're trying to do,” the Rev. Mr. Califf said. But, “we have to engage in theological discussion. It's part of the natural process of being a Presbyterian. It's an important issue.”

        The Rev. Mr. Califf, along with another pastor and two elders, will represent Crestview on Tuesday.

        He's not sure how he'll vote.

        Presbyterians believe in “the right of individual conscience,” so congregation members haven't tried to sway his vote.

        He'll listen on Tuesday and then decide.

        “You always have to be open to the movement of the spirit,” he said, “ and a closed mind is not one that allows God to enlighten it.”


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