HOUSTON VOICE www.houston voice.com
APRIL 18, 2003 7
I national news
Gay marriages could lead to pastor's removal
PRESBYTERIAN TRIAL, continued from Page 6
March 13, 2002, on behalf of St. Andrew's
Presbyterian Church of Newport Beach,
An elder anywhere in the U.S. may file a
disciplinary case, according to Michael
' Adee, national field organizer for More
Light Presbyterians and gay elder at the
First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe, N.M.
More Light Presbyterians, a national
group that strives for the full participation
of gays in the Presbyterian Church, monitors constitutional wrangling and works
'with ministers and congregations to be
Adee said that more than two dozen
cases similar to Van Kuiken's are on file,
the majority brought by Jensen.
"This is a remarkable invitation for the
Presbyterian Church to remove prejudice
and bigotry that exists," Adee said.
But Alexander Metherell, an ordained
elder at St. Andrew's in California and
Jensen's neighbor, views the current state
of affairs in the church as a result of misinterpretation of scripture through a "secular lens" and a meltdown of traditional
Metherell called for a special assembly
of the church's leaders last year to confront the "breakdown of the constitution
of the church." But the call for action was
not granted by Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel, the
Rev. Steve Van Kuiken, tried last week on charges of
ignoring the ban on gay marriages in the
Presbyterian Church (USA), awaits a verdict that
could remove him from the ministry. (Photo by AP)
elected moderator of the 2.5-million member church and an Atlanta, Ga., pastor.
"There is definitely a constitutional crisis of the church," Metherell said. "If this
judicial commission finds him not guilty
they ... will effectively be shredding the
Adee argues that the Presbyterian tradition calls for unity and not for the uni
formity that Metherell and Jensen seek to
maintain through court trials and special
assemblies, he said.
"If someone else's personal life is not
harmful to anyone else, it is not anyone
else's business," Adee said.
Hurdle to gay integration?
For groups like More Light
Presbyterians that attempt to work within
the confines of the church's constitution
to enact change, Van Kuiken's outright
defiance of church law can be problematic, said Chris Glaser, gay Presbyterian
author of "Coming Out to God" and
"We are all chained at the hip and if
one decided to jump over the cliff, he or
she would pull everyone with them,"
Gay-friendly church groups "are afraid
[Van Kuiken's trial] will have deleterious
effects on us all," he added.
Glaser began working to integrate
gays into the Presbyterian Church nearly 30 years ago, when the predecessor
group to More Light Presbyterians
formed in 1974.
If Van Kuiken's trial ends with a guilty
verdict, the church court could redefine
the code to be more restrictive in allowing
gay men and lesbians to become elders or
deacons, Glaser said.
"The more ambiguous the language, the
better off we are," he said.
Rev. Harold Porter, pastor emeritus at
Mount Auburn, follows the More Light
movement method of working from within
for change "just like gays have to attempt
to become first class citizens of the U.S.
without leaving the U.S.," he said.
Porter has a case pending for performing a holy union service years ago when he
served as the church's pastor. He said he
does not plan to see the case to trial or to
make the same bold statement made by
"I'm mostly concerned with trying to
work within the constitution, although I'm
fully in agreement with the theological
attitudes of Steve Van Kuiken," he said.
If Van Kuiken is found guilty by a two-
thirds vote, the Cincinnati judicial commission can punish him with public
rebuke, temporary suspension and
removal from the ministry. Van Kuiken
can appeal the decision.
O MORE INFO
Presbyterian Church USA
100 Witherspoon St.
Louisville, KY 40202
Christ Church Cathedral
AND INVITES YOU TO ATTEND OUR EASTER SERVICES
Good Friday, April 18
7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer, Golding Chapel
12:00 p.m. Proper Liturgy for Good Friday, Cathedral '
5:15 p.m. Station.-* of the Cross (Spanish) *
6:15 p.m. Stations of the Cross (English)*
Easter Eve, April 19
8:00 p.iti.The Great Vigil of Easter *
Easter Day, April 20
7:00it.m. Holy Eucharist and Sermon Rite I
9:00 a.m. Festival Eucharist and Sermon Rite IT
a.m. Festival Eucharist and Sermon Rite I*
1.00 p.m. Domingo de Pascua, Cathedral
5:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist and Sermon Rite II. Chapel
* Infant care,g8p_ci! in the Jones Education Building
Music this EAsmMt
The Day of Resurrection will be greeted at
Christ Church Cathedral with brass and organ, choirs and
timpani.At 9 o'clock the Parish Choir will sing the joyous
anthem Most Glorious Lord of Life by Williams Harris.
Communion music will include carols and anthoss by Alice
Parker and MelchiorVulpius. Choral music at the 11 o'clock
celebration will feature the Cathedral Choir singing the
brilliant FestivalTe Deuin by Ralph Vaugllim William^ and the
Missa Brevis by Simon Preston, former Master of the
Choristers at'Westminster Abbey. As in the past, an en:
of brass and percussion second to none will join tin
in providing music at botl i
hrist Church Cathedral (Episcopal) is located at 1117 Texas Avenue, Houston.TX, 77002.
For m< ion, please call 713-222-2593 or visit us online at www.christdii _cheathedral.org