Thursday, May 16, 2002

Presbytery addresses gay issue

Local council to create commission to consider church laws

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The 16 members of the Presbytery of Cincinnati council will meet next week to start shaping a new administrative commission, which will be charged with looking at church law and the issue of ordaining gays and lesbians as deacons and elders. The council is to submit a draft at the July 9 meeting to the Presbytery of Cincinnati that outlines the commission's authority and could give a timeline for completion.

        Ultimately representatives of the Presbytery could give the commission authority to dissolve a congregation, but they generally ask the group to study the problem and make recommendations, said the Rev. Sam Roberson, general presbyter.

        Forming a commission was a compromise proposed by the council and supported by the majority of Presbytery representatives in a vote Tuesday. Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church had asked the governing body to make Mount Auburn Presbyterian leaders stop violating church law by ordaining gays and lesbians or leave the denomination. Mount Auburn had proposed forming a special committee with fewer powers than a commission.

        Traditionally a commission takes nine months to a year to make a final report.

        Moderator Alana Roush will appoint the commission members, generally seven people and a mix of elders and clergy.


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