To the members and churches of the Presbytery of Denver,
As of March 17, 2015 there were sufficient votes across the denomination to support passing the amendment which will replace in our current Book of Order chapter W-4.9000 regarding Christian marriage.
Some, in fact many, will say the Church has turned a corner, broken new ground, gone down a profoundly different path. They will be saying that with joy or with anger, with tears of a hope long envisioned finally being realized or with tears of their worst fears coming true. Either way, there are some things that will change, and some that will remain the same.
What has not changed is the discretion of the session regarding its wedding policy which includes the weddings that occur on church property, and the discretion of each teaching elder regarding the couples for whom to conduct a marriage. The PC(USA) welcomes everyone to participate in the life of the church and into membership of a particular church. As the people of God we practice mutual forbearance, and understand that as a diverse people, we will have differing opinions.
What has changed is the prerogative for a same gender couple to be married by a PC(USA) minister in a PC(USA) church, in those states where civil jurisdiction recognizes same gender marriages.
In Colorado, on October 7, 2014 State Attorney General John Suthers instructed all 64 county clerks to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear any appeals on the issue.
One of the tenets of our reformed tradition is that God alone is the Lord of the conscience. This provides an opportunity for each Teaching Elder and each session to carefully consider current wedding policies and how to approach each situation.
May the God of hope and love guide you as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Cathy Ulrich, Interim Stated Clerk
Diane Ritzdorf, Moderator
Tom Sheffield, Presbytery Pastor