What a few months it has been towards the ratification of Amendment 14F! When February began, 30 Presbyteries had affirmed ratification and 11 had voted against it. In just 27 short days, 70 Presbyteries have now voted yes, and 32 have voted no. This weekend, 13 more presbyteries have held sacred conversations about marriage and vote on whether to affirm a description of marriage in our Book of Order that includes all loving and committed couples. Since 86 yes votes are required for adoption of 14F, we are well on our way to achieving it. However, ratification of amendment 14F isn’t the total sum of our goal. More Light Presbyterians embarked on a journey in our preparations for and following General Assembly to hold each of the conversations we entered with our Presbyterian family as sacred. We knew that if we started a journey that was focussed on sacred conversations, we could begin to reframe the marriage discussion to focus on the lasting covenants that many of our community members share. Ratification of 14F isn’t the end of the conversation around marriage, rather it is an opportunity to reaffirm as a denomination the values of the sacred covenant of marriage that we share.
In February we continued to see Presbyteries that have historically voted against amendments on changing ordination standards, now affirming the language change on marriage in the Book of Order. The Presbytery of the Pines, Lake Eerie Presbytery, Shenandoah Presbytery, Mid-South Presbytery, Pueblo Presbytery, Stockton Presbytery, and Glacier Presbytery have all voted for the first time to affirm an amendment seeking greater inclusion of LGBTQ folks in the life of the PC(USA).
One of the ways More Light committed to the ratification of 14F was to gracefully engage Presbyterians across multiple differences and mobilize a strategic organizing team that helped get every presbytery engaged in conversation. I don’t believe as many Presbyteries would have felt called to vote yes on 14F without the dedication of the MLP Regional Coordinators. They have spent countless hours equipping local teams in Presbyteries to host sacred conversations about marriage. We are so grateful for the work that they have done and will continue to do throughout the voting period on 14F. They are all dedicated Presbyterian teaching or ruling elders who believe in building a church that reflects God’s heart. Our MLP 14F Regional Coordinators are: