As worship began at First Presbyterian Church of Hudson, WI two ruling elders who serve on the session, Sheldon and Attie Kay, reported to the congregation a decision that had been made a special meeting of the session the previous morning, April 11, 2015. The action taken at that meeting approved the following statement.
“Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the well-being of the entire human family. Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives. At First Presbyterian Church of Hudson, WI requests for Session consideration of marriage will not be denied based upon sexual orientation.
 Language from PC(USA) General Assembly Amendment 14-F (approved by a majority of PC(USA) presbyteries for inclusion in the Book of Order as of March 17, 2015)
I want to begin this morning by thanking Sheldon and Attie Kay for their careful sharing of the news that came out of the special session meeting yesterday. I imagine that decision, whether it is one you personally celebrate or question or maybe even mourn, has not moved far from the front of your mind as we have worshiped together this morning. It hasn’t moved from mine nor, I imagine, the minds of the session members here this morning even though we have been sitting with the decision almost twenty-four hours longer than the rest of the congregation.
And I don’t think it necessarily should because it is a decision that carries great weight for many in our church and community. It is a decision that came after months of intense session discussion and really two years of congregational study in a variety of different formats and venues. It has been an emotional discussion for many, and yesterday it was an emotional decision, in some way or another, for every person
sitting around that meeting table.
As the meeting drew to a close, following almost three hours of discussion and prayer, sharing and wondering aloud, discernment, but very little, in fact absolutely none of what I would categorize as antagonistic debate, I knew my original thoughts on Jesus’ Great Commission would have to be set aside. I knew what the Spirit was calling me to talk about instead was the decision we had just made. The question that remained, however, was “*What* was the Spirit calling me to say?” I guess in that sense the sermon title I had picked for entirely different reasons five or six days ago still fit. Now what? Continue reading →