Saturday, September 3, 2011

Presbyterians Consider Leaving Over Gay Clergy

(Huffington Post) Less than four months after the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) made a historic and controversial move to ordain noncelibate, openly gay and lesbian clergy, a group of more than 2,000 disaffected ministers and lay people kicked off a conference Thursday that they say could lead to a breakaway church.

The Fellowship of Presbyterians plans to continue its meeting Friday to discuss how to reform a denomination that the group's leaders say has become "deathly ill" from declining membership, theological disagreements, increased bureaucracy and, most recently, the contentious debate over gay clergy.

"We have come off track, and Presbyterians have become a declining part of American life instead of a vibrant, growing part," said the Rev. John Crosby, who sits on the steering committee for the conference held near Minneapolis. "We have tried to create such a big tent trying to make everybody happy theologically. I fear the tent has collapsed without a center." (Read more)