Churches Discuss Gay Marriage - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Churches Discuss Gay Marriage

MAUMEE -- The issue of homosexuality is an issue that's redefining religion across the country. Tonight, Reverend Susan Andrews, a national leader in the Presbyterian Church, called it, "a log jam in the river flowing towards Jesus Christ."

Reverend Andrews has been a pastor for thirty years. Her father and grandfather were also pastors. She leads three million Presbyterians in the U.S. Andrews preached to Catholics, Lutherans and Presbyterians during a multi-faith worship service in Maumee Tuesday night.

Father James Peiffer from the Catholic Diocese of Toledo said, "We're all Christians, we celebrate our Baptismal unity." "It's kind of like the Presbyterians have invited us to their party tonight," said Marc Miller from the Northwestern Ohio Lutheran Senate.

Reverend Susan Andrews is moderator of the 250th general assembly of Presbyterians, which will convene next month in Richmond, VA on June 26th. She is trying to connect Presbyterians across the country. She said it's challenging amidst a spiritual divide over the issue of same-sex marriages. "Any issue related to sexuality, particularly the issue of gays and lesbians are very divisive in today's world, because the church is separate from the culture. But very much surrounded by the culture," said Andrews.

Andrews says Presbyterian leaders are looking at scripture to figure out which direction to go. She said, "I think as society wrestles with that, our church will continue to talk about it and what it does mean to have a faithful, monogamous covenant before God for the rest of your lives."

Same sex marriage is still not accepted in the Presbyterian church. Other denominations, like Lutherans, are also grappling with this issue. Rev. Marc Miller from the Lutheran Church said, "For us, it has been rather testy at times, but other times when we come together in prayer, people have really been able to listen to each other."

Andrews knows vigorous debate will be key to keeping harmony in the Presbyterian church. "And we usually keep at it long enough until we're able to find some middle ground, so that we can stay together," said Andrews.

The ordination of gay and lesbian ministers is an issue that's been before Presbyterians since 1978. The Presbyterian 'book of order' currently prohibits the ordination of gays and lesbians, but each year there is a call in the church's general assembly take that out. Andrews says Presbyterian ministers in Massachusetts are being told they can 'bless' a holy union, but that 'blessing' ceremony cannot be construed as a marriage ceremony.

Posted at 11:45pm Tuesday by ismith@wtol.com