Statement on the Approval of Amendment 14-F on Marriage

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship expresses joy and gratitude with Presbyterians across the country tonight as a majority of presbyteries have voted in favor of an amendment to the Book of Order concerning how we do marriage in the Presbyterian Church (USA). The new section to be added to our Directory for Worship says that “Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”

That two people commit themselves to living together for the rest of their lives is peacemaking up close and personal. And marriage gives hope that human beings can learn to live together.

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship senses the hand of God moving through our church in extending the gift of marriage to all persons who seek to enter into this commitment, regardless of their sexual orientation. PPF does not see this transformation as merely conforming to secular social changes. Rather, we recognize the Holy Spirit in many of these changes. We repent that the church was among the last, not the first, to express the love of God equally to all. The consequences of our past policies have lent endorsement to discrimination, to families turning away from their own, to hate crimes and violence against gay and lesbian human beings.

As for us, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship is honored to lend its support and respect to those who have labored long to see justice roll down like waters, cleansing us all of discrimination, separation and fear. We pray that this historic change will be an occasion for us all to recommit ourselves to our own relationships and to support others in this miraculous, mysterious peacemaking endeavor that we call marriage.

We are particularly grateful for faithful Presbyterians in our partner organizations within our denomination who have sought to discern God’s will for the church on this matter. We rejoice in standing alongside the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, More Light Presbyterians, That All May Freely Serve, Presbyterian Voices for Justice, and many others in this struggle. We pray that the work of peacemaking might continue in our own denomination.

We realize that not everyone agrees with this change. Therefore the new section on Marriage honors freedom of conscience and does not compel any pastor or church to bless or participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies. We pray that discernment will continue as we seek to better understand this gift from God and to live up to our constant call to serve one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.