Overture 050 Now on the GA Docket
March 23, 2016
All of us at That All May Freely Serve extend our blessings to you and all those you love and serve in these final days of Lent and the anticipation for Easter’s celebration and renewal.
I wanted to write to let you know of our support for Overture 050: On the Admission of, and Apology for, Harms Done to the LGBTQ/Q Members of the PC(USA), Family and Friends. The overture has been passed by The Presbytery of New York City and has received concurrences to date from the Presbyteries of Genesee Valley and Chicago. It will be part of the business of the 222nd General Assembly, although it has yet to be assigned to a committee.
This effort to move the institution of the church in a direction toward reconciliation and healing stirs up many responses. Were there no reasons for the strong reactions that have been evidenced – we might think beginning this discussion on a national church level unimportant. Clearly that is not the case. OVT 050 will now come before the church, demonstrating whether or not we are ready to admit harms done to our LGBTQ/Q community and others. The months ahead and the actions we take will speak to that witness for all who listen, within and without the denomination.
While some have suggested that the language of the overture has been presented as “targeting” certain groups, the overture addresses only the institution and its actions over the past many years. It is fully expected that the overture will be modified in committee and through amendment processes over the course of the assembly and the conversations that follow.
We continue to listen and work with all those interested to move this humble beginning toward healing and affirmation in all the ways we can . We are unable to ignore the changes that have been made in our denomination ; changes which call us to evangelize the constitutional and growing congregational welcome of the Presbyterian Church (USA). We believe this voice needs to be raised much more than it has.
We also believe that the PC(USA) has been called to this place – for a time such as this.
Lastly, we ask you to bring the overture before you r Session and Presbytery so that the early May deadline for concurrences may be met. If practices of the past continue, each presbytery that passes and/or concurs with a specific overture will have the opportunity for an Overture Advocate to speak on their behalf. (More information at www.tamfs.org)
Please let us know how we might be of help to you. The following piece was written for one of our presbyteries, and I hope it will be helpful to you.
Peace and Blessing to all,
Ray Bagnuolo, Chaplain & Minister Director
That All May Freely Serve