Last year, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA appointed a Special Committee to Study Issues of Civil Union and Christian Marriage. The committee was given two years to study how the theology and practice of marriage have developed in the Reformed tradition and the place of covenanted same-gender partnerships in the Christian community.

This adult education course tries to do something similar over an eight-week period for St. Andrew Presbyterian in Iowa City. Throughout this discussion, we hope to hear from class participants’ personal experiences and questions concerning sexuality and the Presbyterian faith.

For questions or comments, contact Jeff Charis-Carlson at

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Report from the Nov. 19 Session meeting

On Nov. 19, as planned, I met with the St. Andrew Session 19 and discussed some options for how the church should continue the discussion of same-sex relationships that we’ve begun in this class.

The official decision was reported in the December 2009 issue of the St. Andrew Messenger: “Jeff Charis-Carlson, who recently finished leading an 8-week Adult Education study on ‘Sexuality and the Presbyterian Christian Faith,’ requested that Session approve a congregationwide period of dialogue and discussion on same-sex marriage and Christian faith. Jeff also suggested that the church clarify, at the end of the study, its official stance on same-sex relationships. Following discussion, a motion was approved for Session to create a committee to lead an ongoing discussion of the topic of same-sex marriage at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, beginning in January 2010 and not to exceed 8 months.”

We’re still in the planning stages of what this committee will do, but right now we’re moving forward with plans to offer a four-week version of our class starting in January. I hope to have an outline of some monthly or bi-monthly activities to offer after that class ends.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

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